- Feature Story
- Game Recap
- RPF Staff
- October 07, 2017 - 3:13am
St. James made it a four-for-four sweep of rivals in the same season but none came in an easy fashion.
Friday night’s game for the Wildcats against Donaldsonville was another case in point.
Down by three points with less than two minutes remaining in the game, Wildcats quarterback Shamar Smith tossed to a wide-open Dontaz Sterling on a 26-yard touchdown pass to give St. James a 26-22 triumph over the Tigers in the District 10-3A opener Friday night in Donaldsonville.
“Somebody said we did the compass today – we did north, south, east, and today was west,” St. James coach Robert Valdez said.
The St. James rally came after Donaldsonville had taken the lead at 22-19 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Jamon Pleasant with 8:25 left in the game.
A 50-yard pass reception by Shawn Preston and another key catch by Sean Lebeouf on St. James’ final drive helped to set up the game-winning score from Smith to Sterling. Smith had a solid outing in his second start at quarterback, hitting on 14 of 23 passes for almost 200 yards
Donaldsonville reached the St. James 15-yard line in the closing seconds of the game before a pass by Tigers quarterback Jaylin Williams was batted away in the end zone to end the contest.
“I don’t know what’s happening but I’m glad we are on the winning end of it,” Valdez said.
The result left both teams 5-1 overall, with St. James 1-0 in district and Donaldsonville 0-1. The Wildcats went into the game ranked No. 4 in Class 3A while the Tigers were No. 6.
“Going in and beating an undefeated team in their territory with a great atmosphere, that’s fantastic,” Valdez said of the win.
The teams traded scores throughout the game.
St. James struck first when Kailin Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Donaldsonville countered moments later when a 47-yard touchdown pass from Williams to LaDarius Jackson and a two-point conversion put the Tigers on top 8-7 at the 1:35 mark of the first quarter. Williams topped 200 yards on 9 of 24 passing.
The score held up through most of the second quarter until a 1-yard run by Lebeouf with less than 30 seconds remaining in the period gave the Wildcats a 13-8 edge going into halftime.
Donaldsonville struck quickly in the second half on a 41-yard pass from Williams to Acquinus Levy to put the Tigers on top 14-13.
A 3-yard touchdown run by Smith gave St. James a 19-14 edge late in the third quarter to set the stage for the dramatic fourth-quarter finish.