Gators take down CHS to remain undefeated

Kyle Riviere
Running back Cade Nelson scores a touchdown in St. Amant's 21-14 victory over Catholic.

Last year, St. Amant’s only loss of the regular season came at Olympia Stadium when the Gators dropped a heartbreaker to Catholic of Baton Rouge. That game ended up being the de facto District 5-5A championship game.

St. Amant raced out to a 22-0 lead, but they just couldn’t hold off the Bears. They came storming back to beat the Gators, 31-28.

That wasn’t happening in The Pit. Not this year.

The Gators dominated the defending champs on Friday night and led by 14 points for much of the contest.

Even when Catholic made a hard charge late to potentially tie the game and send it to overtime, the St. Amant defense made a huge stand and locked up a 21-14 victory for the Gators.

It was one of the top matchups in the area. The eighth-ranked Bears came in looking to beat No. 10 St. Amant for a fourth straight season.

But the Gators made it clear from the start that they were a different team.

All season, first-year starting quarterback Halen Miller has done most of his damage through the air, but on Friday night, he showed the Bears that he can be just as dangerous on the ground.

On the opening drive, he got things started with a 45-yard run.

He later connected with Grant Alexander for 21 yards. Eventually, St. Amant went up 7-0 with a one-yard touchdown run by Cade Nelson.

The Gators went on another long scoring drive that spanned 69 yards in 10 plays.

Once again, it was the feet of Miller getting it done. He scored on a nine-yard scamper to give St. Amant a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

With the Gator defense dominating, St. Amant was able to take this lead into the half.

They outgained Catholic, 202-67, in the first two quarters.

The Bears finally caught a break on the opening kickoff of the second half when Patrick Mensah broke loose on a 62-yard return, but they eventually fumbled the ball away. It was recovered by Ben Parker.

Though, Mensah would later cut the lead in half with a 51-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The Gators wasted no time responding. They extended their lead to 21-7 early in the fourth quarter with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Alexander.

Catholic again cut it to a one-score game when they broke out the trickery.

The Bears scored on a 42-yard halfback pass from Gregory Martin to Vernon Langley with just over six minutes remaining in the game.

Catholic eventually got the ball back late and moved it downfield. Looking for the tying touchdown, they reached the St. Amant red zone.

It was there that the Gator defense stood tall.

Colton King came up with a huge sack of quarterback Cameron Dartez. Then, Dartez was picked off by K.J. Franklin with just six seconds remaining in the game.

The interception clinched the 21-14 victory for the Gators.

Prior to Catholic’s final drive, St. Amant’s defense had held them to just 183 total yards. They finished with just 36 rushing yards for the game.

Dartez connected on 21 of 30 passes, but just for 180 yards.

Miller went 17-26 for 160 yards with a touchdown through the air. On the ground, he carried the ball 11 times for 94 yards and a score.

The victory not only snapped the Gators’ three-game losing streak to Catholic, but it improved their record to a perfect 6-0 for the third straight season.

St. Amant will try to remain unbeaten this Friday night as they hit the road to face parish and district foe Dutchtown (3-3).