St. Amant makes easy work of Hammond

Kyle Riviere
Reggie Sims scored on a nine-yard touchdown run to give St. Amant a 20-0 lead over Hammond. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

St. Amant lost their big-play weapon K.J. Franklin from last year's team, but the Gators still found ways to be explosive in their jamboree last Friday night.

Hosting Hammond, St. Amant scored on a big play through the air and had two other touchdowns set up by long gains on the ground. It all equated to a 20-6 victory for the Gators.

"It's a jamboree, so you get to work out the kinks," St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. "There were a lot of things that I liked, and there were some things I didn't like. We didn't pick up a fourth-and-inches, we didn't have the kicking tee ready, we had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a touchdown. Those are things that we have to clean up.

"I thought Hammond gave us a good look. I like where our team is at. I think we have a chance to be pretty good, and we're looking forward to Carver next week."

The Gators were turned over on downs on their opening drive of the game, but their defense forced a fumble that allowed them to begin their second drive at the Hammond 40.

Running back Lathan Vaughn then broke loose on a 29-yard run to set them up with a first-and-goal at the Tornado 6-yard line. Two plays later, Vaughn punched it in from one yard out to give St. Amant a 6-0 lead.

Late in the half, they did their damage through the air.

Quarterback Slade Zeppuhar hit a wide-open Austin Bascom over the middle. Bascom raced to the end zone for a 45-yard score to give the Gators a 13-0 advantage at halftime.

On St. Amant's first possession of the second half, they went right back on the move.

On a third-and-18, quarterback Cole Poirrier hit Javin Augillard for 18 yards to keep the drive alive.

Running back Reggie Sims then scampered 16 yards to set the Gators up with a first-and-goal at the Hammond 9. On the very next play, he ran it in for the score to complete a six-play, 63-yard drive and give St. Amant a commanding 20-0 lead.

The Tornadoes scored a late touchdown to make the score look a little more respectable. It was a 58-yard touchdown pass. Outside of that big play, Hammond had just 11 total yards for the rest of the game.

"I thought our defensive effort was good," Oliver said. "Our special teams were solid. In an abbreviated game, you feel pretty good where you're at. We didn't have a lot of penalties. We did have a few delays, so there is a lot to build on and a lot to clean up."

The St. Amant offense produced 177 total yards.

On the ground, Vaughn led the way as he carried the ball 12 times for 50 yards and a score.

St. Amant alternated Zeppuhar and Poirrier at quarterback. Zeppuhar had the biggest impact as he completed four of five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Bascom had two catches for 53 yards and a score.

"I thought our alignments and our effort were good. That's the stuff we'll build on," Oliver said. "There were some substitution errors and some technique errors, and that's the stuff we'll try to clean up moving forward."

St. Amant is now all set to begin the regular season. They'll host their season opener on Friday night against George Washington Carver, a Class 4A squad that went 7-3 last season.