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West St. John Rams looking to duplicate 2015 playoff run

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  • George Becnel
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  • November 17, 2016 - 1:08pm

File photosBrandon Walters' West St. John Rams contained East Feliciana's running game last week and they look to do the same against South Plaquemines on Friday night.

Few expected West St. John to make a deep playoff run in 2015.

After winning on the road at Ferriday and knocking off top-seeded Many at home, the Rams made it to the Class 2A quarterfinals before being edged 36-34 by Mangham.

The Rams may be in the midst of repeating the feat. After opening with a road upset over No. 9 East Feliciana last week, West St. John, the No. 24 seed, is at home to take on South Plaquemines, the No. 9 seed.

“The guys played very well against East Feliciana and we want to do some of the same this week,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said.

West St. John, now 4-7, was able to advance by limiting East Feliciana’s run game.

“We try to hang our hat on being great against the run,” Walters said. “To be successful in the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball and stop people from running the ball. We like to get pressure on people and being able to stop the run and force people to throw into our coverage.

“They had some really fast kids and tried to get to the perimeter. We were able to match speed with their speed and it was a plus for us.”

The Rams are looking to repeat that success against a South Plaquemines team that also likes to pound the football.

“It’s definitely is a plus for us, seeing a team that mimics the team we played against and were successful. We just want to kind of duplicate some of our efforts and have a real good showing against them,” said Walters.

Leading the Hurricanes’ offense is quarterback Drew Sanger.

“He’s a tall kid with a real good throwing arm. He’s not as mobile as the guy we played last week, which is a plus for us. He can get the ball distributed and his receivers will go and get it. We have to try and keep him in the pocket. They like to roll him out get him in space and let him throw from there,” said Walters, comparing Sanger to East Feliciana’s Marvell Jackson.

Sanger’s favorite target is Elijah Bourgeois.

“He’s the man. Every time he goes in motion, they like to get the ball to him pretty often. When he goes in motion, you have to be aware whether or not he will touch the ball,” said Walters.

The top runner for the 8-3 Hurricanes is halfback Micah Ancar. Hilton Sylve, Trashaun Polius and Kendrick Smith get carries as well.

“They are utilizing all of their kids and some of them go both ways,” Walters said.

Like West St. John, South Plaquemines lines up in a 4-2-5 defense.

“They also play a 3-4 defense and send pressure from the edge,” Walters pointed out.

Sylve and Ancar, along with several others, especially on the line, play both offense and defense for the Hurricanes.

What will it take for the Rams to advance?

“We have to execute,” Walters said. “We have to come out with the same mindset as we did on the road and be able to protect and defend our home field.”

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.