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Big plays power East St. John past South Lafourche Tarpons 50-19

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  • September 26, 2014 - 5:40pm

Photos by Patrick RobertsAmani Martin returns a fourth-quarter interception in East St. John's 50-19 win Friday over South Lafourche in the District 7-5A opener.

East St. John scored 28-straight points in a big-play fourth quarter to pull way from South Lafourche to give the Wildcats a 50-19 victory in the District 7-5A opener Friday night in Reserve.

“Real good win,” said East St. John coach Phillip Banko. "It was a good battle but we’ve been in big battles the last four weeks. That’s what I told (my players) at halftime, stick together, keep fighting.”

Leading only 22-19 heading into the final period, the fourth quarter belonged to the Wildcats (2-2 overall, 1-0 in district).

East St. John quarterback Xavier Lewis scored on a quarterback sneak less than a minute into the fourth quarter to get the Wildcats going. Lewis finished with 166 yards rushing and 105 yards passing.

An Ahami Martin interception gave the ball back to the Wildcats. East St. John took advantage when Lewis raced 83 yards for a touchdown and then hitting Jarrod Jackson on a two-point conversion pass.

The big plays continued for the Wildcats. An 85-yard touchdown run by running back Nigel Anderson provided the next score. East St. John then scored through the air on a 71-yard touchdown pass to Shedrick Colbert. Jackson added another two-point conversion, this time on a run.

"We found openings and we took them," said Lewis. "We played two championship teams (Rummel and John Curtis) and we lost. We wanted to show the world and prove people wrong. We got a lot of doubters on us. I mean we’re just going to continue to get better and better every week."

It was the Tarpons (1-3 overall, 0-1 in district) who came up with the first big play of the game. Sharrkin Dillon returned the opening kickoff 71 yards to the East St. John 24. South Lafourche quarterback Harvey Allen scored on a 4-yard run to give the Tarpons a 6-0 lead only two minutes into the game.

East St. John answered on a 44-yard touchdown run by Lewis. A blocked extra point attempt left the game tied at 6-6.

The Wildcats took their first lead of the game early in the second quarter. Anderson, who rushed for 174 yards, scored on a 3-yard run to put East St. John on top 12-6.

South Lafourche scored late in the first half on a 9-yard run by Allen. Brandon Lee’s extra point gave the Tarpons a 13-12 halftime edge.

A Lino Barrera field goal gave East St. John a 15-13 lead early in the second half before the Wildcats extended their advantage to nine points at 22-13 on a 58-yard punt return by Lewis.

Allen hooked up with Dillon on a 50-yard touchdown gap to narrow the score to 22-19 before the Wildcats pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Anderson led East St. John with 187 yards rushing on 18 carries and two touchdowns while providing a solid one-two punch with Lewis coming out of the Wildcats backfield.

"That’s why (Anderson and Lewis) are back there," said Banko. "They’re very explosive there’s no question. They’re very fast, they’re very quick, they’re very agile, they’re very tough."

“Really, we knew it was going to come down to us because we were the two key players they were looking at," said Anderson. "We work hard for this every week. So let’s show the world, let’s show the parish.”

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