And still undefeated
Neither the persistent, driving rain nor the previously undefeated Central Wildcats could stop St. Amant Friday night at The Pit.
The weather was nasty and so was the Gator defense as they made two huge goal line stands that fueled the 21-12 St. Amant victory.
The offense had their troubles moving the ball, but when they had to make plays, they did just that. Trey Washington had another monster performance, rushing for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Washington and the Gator offense methodically moved the ball for much of the first quarter but got their first big play at the 2:35 mark.
Washington got a handoff and dashed through the middle, scoring from 54 yards out to give St. Amant the 7-0 lead over the No. 12 Wildcats.
Central and highly-touted quarterback Brett Courville didn't waste much time responding to the score.
On the first play of the second quarter, Courville connected with Gary Triplett for a 49-yard touchdown, but the Wildcats missed the extra point. So, the Gators nursed a 7-6 lead.
The score proved to be a spark for Central though. They got the ball back on a short field and put together another drive that reached the St. Amant 2-yard line.
It was here that the Gator defense bowed up and made their first goal line stand. They forced the Wildcats into a fourth and goal and stuffed Courville as he tried to take it in on a quarterback-keeper.
The gritty stand not only ignited St. Amant, but it stunned Central for just enough time for Washington to break the game wide open.
On the Gators' first play after the turnover on downs, Washington did his best Tony Dorsett impersonation and exploded for a 99-yard touchdown run that gave St. Amant a 14-6 lead.
However, the disappointment wasn't over just yet for the Wildcats.
They marched the ball right downfield again and got down to the Gator 2-yard line. But just like they had done minutes earlier, the St. Amant defense rose to the challenge and stuffed four straight Central runs to force the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs again.
It would have been easy for Central to fall apart after such a crippling close to the first half, but they never did.
They got the ball to start the second half and promptly marched 80 yards downfield and cashed it in when Lamontae Juneau powered in for a one-yard score. It cut the Gators' lead to 14-12.
It was as close as the Wildcats would come. The St. Amant defense came through again and forced Central to fumble the ball deep in their own territory.
The Gator offense capitalized on the very next play when Kirk Elisar broke loose to the outside for a 13-yard score. The touchdown extended the St. Amant lead to 21-13, and the Gators never looked back.
The outstanding defensive performance helped put the game out of reach and helped improve St. Amant to a perfect 4-0. They bent but never broke. Even though they gave up 411 yards, they held a Wildcat offense that was averaging 41 points a game to a meager 12.
The win has now propelled the Gators to a No. 12 ranking in this week's polls, and it sets up another huge showdown this week against their parish and district rival in No. 6 Dutchtown.
The Griffins are 3-1 and coming off of a 42-21 win over Destrehan where they piled up 471 yards of total offense.
Dutchtown featured a three-headed monster when it came to their rushing attack. Mason Nickens and Torrance Mosley both rushed for 78 yards while Antoine Magras chalked up 118.
It may only be the two teams' first district game, but it very well could end up deciding who wins it all at season's end.