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Trojans invade Joe Keller Stadium to take on ESJ in district opener

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  • George Becnel
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  • September 18, 2017 - 5:24pm

File photosKeith Menard (right) and his Central Lafourche Trojans invade Joe Keller Stadium on Friday night to take on East St. John in the District 7-5A opener.

When East St. John reached the red zone four times but came away with no points, it spelled doom for the Wildcats in a 28-0 home loss last week to McDonogh 35.

“We moved the ball but kept killing ourselves with penalties. You can’t do that. We were hoping by Week 3 we would kill those mistakes but we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,” East St. John coach Alden Foster said.

East St. John (1-2) needs to stay away from those mistakes if the Wildcats hope to get off to a winning start in the District 7-5A opener against Central Lafourche (1-2) on Friday night at Joe Keller Stadium.

Last year’s East St. John-Central Lafourche encounter came in Week 10. Both teams went into the game with four wins and a playoff spot on the line.

The Trojans edged ahead 22-21 before East St. John pulled away for a 48-29 triumph that advanced the Wildcats into the playoffs.

“It was a huge win. It really came down to a playoff game for both of us. Whoever won that game would get in and we were fortunate enough to win it. It was a battle and I don’t expect it to be any different Friday,” Foster said.

The Wildcats likely will have to deal with Central Lafourche’s David Robinson Jr. on both sides of the ball Friday night.

Robinson is coming off a game in which he rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard gallop, in Central Lafourche’s 36-24 victory over South Lafourche.

On special teams, Robinson blocked a punt, scooped up the ball and raced for another touchdown.

“He plays cornerback, quarterback, wide receiver and running back. He’s their ‘Mr. Everything.’ He’s their mojo but their entire team plays well together,” Foster said.

Trojans running back Deon Jenkins is coming off a 158-yard, two-touchdown effort against South Lafourche.

“They have a few good offensive linemen and he does a good job of getting behind them. We have to play assignment football and be where we need to be to be successful,” Foster said.

The Trojans return three starters along the offensive line in tackles Jonathan MacCurtrie and Justin Meier, along with center Hobie Gregoire – all seniors.

The quarterback is junior Jacob Barker, a first-year starter.

Free safety Raquan Samuels is Central Lafourche’s only returning starter from a year ago.

Defensive tackle Charles Stewart is a formidable presence along the Trojans’ defensive line, Foster said.

“The defensive line stays low and they get after you. They run that 3-3 stack and if you are not following your blocking assignments, it’s a defense that is meant to cause confusion,” said Foster.

While Robinson and Jenkins each topped 100 yards a week ago, the Trojans also allowed South Lafourche running back Corbin Allen to rush for 226 yards on 27 carries, so the running game could be the key factor to Friday’s ESJ-Central Lafourche encounter, according to Foster.

“We have to establish our running game with our running backs like we did against West Jeff,” Foster said. “That helps get Dasmain (Crosby) going when he gets his running game established, too.

“We have to establish the running game. That helps us not just on offense but on defense. Nowadays, you have to be able to establish the run and stop the run. That’s what we try to emphasize this week.”

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.