For East St. John it was as easy as 2,3,4.
You could easily add in 5 and 8.
Cortez Fisher, sporting jersey No. 2; Kylon Harris, donning jersey No. 3; and Marcus Jackson, wearing No. 4, all came up big for the East St. John offense against Hahnville.
You can add in Welland Williams, with No. 5, Jackie Marshall, donning No. 8, and the rest of their defensive mates, who did a number on the Tigers in East St. John’s 38-16 District 7-5A showdown Friday night at Joe Keller Stadium in Reserve.
Fisher had a 17-yard touchdown run and a 70-yard score on a fake punt as the sophomore rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
“Going into the game this week, we practiced really hard. I love my o-line. At the center position, we have guys like Dontae King, at guards, we have Gaylon Fobb and we have Mike Greene. My tackles did a really good job in practice going into this game, Charles Constantino and Jamyrion Irvin. Those are really good guys,” said Fisher.
Harris, who finished with six catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns, scored on receptions of 16, 59, and 30 yards.
His 59-yard score came as he leaped high over a defender along the sideline in front of the ESJ and then raced in for score.
“He (the Hahnville defender) was under the ball. I just went up to go get it. I got it and I just took it all the way,” said Harris.
Jackson directed it all, completing 12 of 14 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for another score. His 2-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter helped to set the tone for the Wildcats.
“We just wanted to show them it would be a physical game,” said Jackson. We just wanted to start hitting them and punching them in the mouth early.”
Williams and Marshall were part of a shutdown East St. John defense, that held a Hahnville team that had been averaging 40 yards a game, to only two scores.
The duo even played on offense, mostly as blocking backs. Marshall did have several carries, including a two-point conversion.
Leading 18-0 at halftime, the Wildcats got the ball to start the second half and faced a fourth-and-3 from their own 30.
Fisher, the up-back, took the snap from center and blazed 70 yards for a touchdown to extend the ESJ lead to 24-0 less than two minutes into the second half.
The Wildcats originally faced a fourth-and-8 but a penalty against Hahnville advanced the ball five yards.
“On the fourth-and-8, we were going to punt it,” Fisher revealed. “As soon as they moved the ball, Jackie Marshall called it and we just went ahead and marched the ball down the field.
“As soon as I went up the middle and Jackie hit the linebacker, it was on from there. My lead block, I will take advantage of that.”
Hahnville added a pair of touchdown receptions by Harris before Hahnville closed out the scoring on a 70-yard run by Trey LaBranch and a two-point conversion to account for the 38-16 final.
LaBranch finished with 149 yards rushing, a total of 117 coming on two of his carries.
“We were never in this game. Not from the first whistle. It was a hell of a job of my coaching staff for having us prepared. Hat’s off to East St. John. They had a great game plan. They have some great kids on that football team. Coach Brown is doing a great job. I said from the beginning, they hired the right man over there. That’s a good football team…At the end of the day, when Hahnville and East St. John play each other, that’s the tempo and energy you have to play with, and we didn’t bring it tonight,” Hahnville coach Daniel Luquet said.
East St. John and Hahnville had the ball only once in the first quarter as each team mounted time-consuming drives to open the game.
Hahnville opened the game near midfield and used up the first 5:43 of the clock to reach the ESJ 19 but had nothing to show for it when a pass into the end zone was incomplete.
East St. John countered with a time-consuming drive of its own.
Starting at their own 19, the Wildcats used up the remaining time on the first quarter clock to march to the Hahnville 15.
Three plays later and only 56 seconds into the second quarter, Jackson run up the middle from 2 yards out to give ESJ a 6-0 lead.
“We felt like we could come here and be physical with Hahnville,” East St. John coach Brandon Brown said. “We knew they were physical and the challenge this week was to come and match their intensity. That’s what it was. We said we would come in here and be physical and that’s what the first drive did. The first drive was a tone-setter for us.”
The Wildcats liked scoring so much in the second quarter, they added two more touchdowns in the period.
Following a second fourth-down stop by the ESJ defense, the Wildcats offense turned the effort into points on a 16-yard pass from Jackson to Harris for a 12-0 lead at the 7:47 mark of the second quarter.
ESJ’s next score came after a third fourth-down stop in the first half by the Wildcat defense.
A busted coverage by the Hahnville secondary allowed Harris to hauled in a pass good for 32 yards. Three plays later, Fisher raced 17 yards for a touchdown and an 18-0 East St. John lead.
Hahnville reached the ESJ 3-yard line with one second left in the game. On second-and-goal, LaBranch was stopped in the backfield, allowing the Wildcats to maintain their 18-point lead going into halftime.