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Rams top McMain; SJH, ESJ capture out-of-state spring game wins

  • Tags:
  • Game Recap
  • Spring Practice
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • May 13, 2017 - 2:27pm

West St. John defender Horace Lewis (55) forces a fumble on the opening possession of the contest to set up a quick score in the Rams' spring game win over McMain on Saturday.

It may only be spring but it looks like West St. John already has found the latest in the long line of workhorse running backs.

Nico Davis powered his way to 149 yards on 20 carries as the Rams defeated McMain 21-8 in West St. John spring game Saturday in Edgard.

“We definitely have a next-man-up philosophy here and he’s been tearing it up this spring. Our guys don’t want to tackle him. He’s a big load to handle,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said of Davis.

In other action Saturday involving River Parish teams, St. James blanked Seminary 21-0 and East St. John topped Provine 13-6 in the Super Class Jamboree on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.

In the West St. John-McMain game Saturday morning that featured four, 10-minute quarters, it was case of a young Mustangs squad being dominated on both sides of the ball against the Rams.

“That’s what we will hang our hat on in the trenches. If we can solidify those guys on both sides of the ball, we will be able to do some good things,” Walters said.

“We are so green; just lining up, that’s the biggest thing for us right now, just lining up correctly. That’s why you have a spring – to try and correct the mistakes but we have to continue to work hard, have a good summer, and see what happens after that,” said McMain coach Kevin Roussell.

Davis made his presence felt from the start, but on the defensive side of the ball. On the opening possession of the game, West St. John’s Horace Lewis forced a fumble that Davis recovered at the Mustangs’ 46-yard line.

“We have maybe two starters back on offense so I expect some of that to happen with them. They have to hold onto the football. We’ve had drives going; we just have to learn to complete drives,” Roussell said.

Now at running back, Davis got the ball six times on the eight-play drive, amassing 25 yards to help set up a 5-yard keeper by quarterback Alyjah Borne to give the Rams a 6-0 lead at the 3:18 mark of the first quarter.

Neither team scored the remainder of the first half although the Rams continued to control the line of scrimmage. On several occasions, West St. John was able to convert on fourth-and-short situations.

“We definitely want to see if our guys will bite their mouthpieces and move forward. That’s what we expect. We should get fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2 with the guys we have in the trenches,” said Walters.

A 48-yard pass from Borne to Covan Barnes on the opening play of the second half quickly advanced the Rams to the McMain 22. Following a 20-yard run by Davis, the running back scored from 2 yards out and a two-point conversion gave West St. John a 14-0 lead.

West St. John made it 22-0 on the final play of the third quarter on an 8-yard run by Trenton Grow. Borne and Grow both played quarterback with D’Andre Gaudia sitting out while nursing an injury.

McMain’s only score came on the ensuing possession. Facing fourth-and-1 from the Mustangs’ 39, Tyrhe Brown called a quick snap and his quarterback sneak turned into a 61-yard touchdown to make it 22-8.

Following the four timed quarters, each team had to the ball for one possession from the opposition’s 10-yard line. The only score came on an 8-yard pass from Brown to Devin Scretchings.

All-in-all, Walters said he was pleased with his team’s play, especially the running game.

“To go further in this game (in the playoffs), you have to be able to score with the run and stop the run. That’s what we want to be able to hang our hat on – being able to run the ball consistently when we want to and dictate what we want to do,” the West St. John coach said.

St. James defeats Seminary: Wildcats quarterback Demarcus Williams and Dontaz Sterling each factored in two touchdowns as St. James blanked Seminary 21-0 in the Super Class Jamboree.

Williams hooked up with Sterling on a touchdown pass for one of the scores while each added a pair of scoring runs.

“I was pleased we got out injury-free,” St. James coach Robert Valdez said. “We have a couple of new starters along the offensive line and a couple of new receivers. I was very proud of how we played defensively.”

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.