- Feature Story
- Game Preview
- George Becnel
- September 12, 2017 - 4:00pm
Maybe when you only play a few road games, you savor them even more.
“Sometimes, the road games are a bit of peace,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said. “It’s so crazy with the preparations for the home games and all that goes on into putting on that show. To get on the bus and just go play football and come back, that’s beautiful. I look forward to it just to get a change of scenery and a change of pace and see how our guys respond to playing on the road early in the season. We will need that as it goes later (into the season). Those road games definitely will provide a good test for us.”
Walters and his Rams (1-1) play away from home for first of only three regular-season road games when they take on the Bonnabel Bruins.
The West St. John may like the fact his team is going on the road, although the Rams are not quite sure where they will have to show up. The WSJ-Bonnabel game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie but could be moved to Muss Bertolino Stadium in Kenner.
Regardless of the venue, West St. John will be taking on a Bruins team that is 0-2 on the season and coming off a 35-0 loss to Country Day.
West St. John bounced back from a heartbreaking season-opening loss to rival St. James by blanking South Plaquemines 34-0.
“We knew we had to get out there and have a good showing,” Walters said of the South Plaquemines game. “We wanted to do a lot better than we did the previous week and just want to make sure we sustained the level of play throughout the whole game.”
The Bruins generally feature a big offensive line and the 2017 group is no different while also boasting experience. Malik Lucas, at 250 pounds, is a returning starter as is fellow guard Tory Collins, who checks in at 265 pounds. The other returning starter is 270-pound tackle Tyran Lewis.
“They pull a lot and trap with those guys with the guards and tackles. The center is a pretty big kid. We definitely will have our hand full up front,” said Walters.
While the Bruins operate out of the spread offense, they like to hand it off to 220-pound running back Ernest Williams. Directing the offense is quarterback Torrence Bardell.
“The quarterback, Torrence Bardell, is a real good athlete. He’s a pretty speedy guy. He’s athletic and has real good feet. He has a real good arm, also. He keeps it a lot but they like to give it to Ernest Williams. He’s basically a big fullback back there. We to get him wrapped up and tackle him,” Walters said.
Bardell’s targets include Miguel Stewart, Terrance Massey and Chris Toler. Massey, a senior, is the only returning starter.
Defensively, Bonnabel lines up in a 4-2-5 scheme just like the Rams.
“They pretty much stay in that. They will give you one safety high and we will see some man coverages out of that, also, along with cover-3,” Walters explained.
A win over Bonnabel would put the Class 1A Rams over the .500 mark. A triumph also would mean a lot of power points with a victory over a Class 5A school.
What will it take for that to happen?
“I think for us, it’s for us not to beat ourselves. We have to minimize mistakes and make sure we keep pressing and work on our execution of plays,” said Walters.