Gators blow out McKinley in district opener

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant quarterback Cole Poirrier accounted for three touchdowns in the Gators’ blowout win over McKinley.

St. Amant is getting ready to begin what head coach David Oliver called a “gauntlet.”

In a four-game district stretch, the Gators will face Woodlawn, Catholic, Dutchtown and East Ascension. So, St. Amant wanted to head into that minefield on solid footing.

The Gators did just that on Friday night, as they cruised in the District 5-5A opener. St. Amant scored early and often in what became a 59-6 blowout victory over McKinley.

The game was never close.

On St. Amant’s first offensive possession, the Gators wasted no time marching 52 yards downfield. On their fourth play, Cole Poirrier lofted up a jump-ball in the end zone, and St. Amant basketball star Trace Forbes came down with it for a 30-yard touchdown.

St. Amant was successful on the ensuing two-point try to make it 8-0.

On the Gators’ next possession, they marched 63 yards on eight plays. After a seven-yard touchdown run by Joshua Morrise, St. Amant went up 15-0 heading into the second quarter.

To begin the second period, a snap went over the head of McKinley’s quarterback. After going through the back of the end zone, the Gators went up 17-0.

St. Amant got a big return by Shane Landry on the ensuing free kick. It set the Gators up at the Panther 19-yard line. Two plays later, Morrise scored from two yards out to make it 23-0.

St. Amant then put together a 78-yard drive that was all Poirrier. He completed passes to Noah Louque and De’Andre Taylor for 35 and 27 yards, respectively.

Poirrier then scored from one yard out on an option-keeper to make it 31-0.

After Vernoan Scott recovered a McKinley fumble on the Panthers’ ensuing possession, Poirrier hit Tanner Oliver for a 23-yard touchdown that gave the Gators a 38-0 lead at halftime.

St. Amant added three more scores in the second half. Two were rushing touchdowns by Fredrick Turner and Chase Kelly.

The Gator offense put up 447 yards.

In less than a half of work, Poirrier went 7-8 for 149 yards with two touchdowns. He also rushed for 22 yards and a score.

Morrise ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns, while Turner collected 44 yards and a score on the ground.

The St. Amant defense was dominant as it held McKinley to just 75 total yards. The Panthers’ only score came on a 77-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Outside of that one play, they had negative-two yards.

“I was real proud of the way our defense played,” Oliver said. “They were really physical for the entire victory. They controlled the game. Our offense and special teams followed suit in what was a good, solid win.”

The Gators are now a perfect 5-0 as they ready themselves for the tough district slate, which begins this week with a matchup against Woodlawn--who beat undefeated Dutchtown, 27-14, on Friday night.

“I think we’re as ready as we can get,” Oliver said. “In the non-district schedule, I think we corrected some mistakes. It’s four straight weeks that are going to determine where we’re at as a team. We’re undefeated now, but we have our four biggest games ahead of us. I guess if you could write a story about how you’d want to be heading into these four games, we would have done it.”