Big pass plays were the special of the day in West St. John’s Spring Game against visiting Booker T. Washington on Friday night.
Each team tossed three touchdown passes in the game.
Trenton Grow was on the receiving end of two of the throws while all three touchdown passes for the Lions were hookups between quarterback Kentrell Harris and Tyreese Johnson.
Harris and Johnson hooked up right away. The duo connected on a 61-yard toss in BTW’s first series of 15 plays. They hooked up again in the series on a 27-yard pass when Johnson hauled in a pass in the right corner of the end zone.
“They have been playing together since they have been in middle school,” Lions coach Wayne Reese Jr. said of Harris and Johnson. “That’s nothing new for them. Eleven (Johnson) is only one guy. We need to work everybody else. We know what he can do, we just need to work everybody else around him.
“We have a lot of talent at the skilled positions but we just need a little more beef up front and establish our running game a little bit more.”
West St. John failed to score in its opening 15-play series.
“We came out flat in the beginning. We were really, really lethargic. It took getting knocked around a little bit and giving up two quick, easy scores and we came back the second half and did a lot better,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said.
The Lions had the ball first for a 10-play red zone series but failed to score.
WSJ struck quickly during its red zone possession with Gaudia tossing to Grow from 20 yards on their initial play.
In a second 15-play series, Booker T. Washington failed to score while Grow caught his second touchdown pass of the evening, this from 21 yards out from Ferdinand Young.
In a 10-play series, Kaejean Kindrick turned a swing pass from Gaudia into a 9-yard touchdown for WSJ while the Lions failed to score during their series.
Each team scored once in a final 4-play series from the opponent’s 10yard line to conclude the Spring Game.
Kindrick scored from 10 yards out on West St. John’s first play for the only non-passing touchdown of the evening.
The Lions ended things when Harris and Johnson hooked up one final time from 11 yards out.
Booker T. Washington High was in existence since 1942 and closed following destruction and student displacement after Hurricane Katrina.
KIPP took its place and later added the name Booker T. Washington and now is reverting back to being known as BTW. The school has steadily been building back its athletic programs and again will be playing for district honors.
“The guys are improving each year. Our coaching staff has been having the guys since the ninth grade, some from eighth grade. Just like any other thing, you build it one brick at a time. We still have a lot of work to do but I see improvement in some areas,” said Reese.
“They have some good athletes over there, that’s why I like doing some work with Coach Reese because they have some kids that are tough and hard-nosed. They will challenge our kids and are not afraid to come in and that’s what we want,” Walters said.
The outing was a reunion of sorts for the head coaches.
“We stayed right next door in the dormitory. I know he will, and is, doing a good job,” Reese said of Walters.
“We came up through the halls of Grambling. We were neighbors in the dorm and we had some fun times and fun stories. We are like brothers. The G-men take care of each other,” Walters said.