St. James took advantage of a young, overmatched Hayes Academy squad to post a 54-0 Homecoming win Friday night in Vacherie.
“We came in and handled the Homecoming distractions and did what we had to do,” St. James coach Robert Valdez said. “We had a chance to see a lot of young kids.
“In the first half offensively we had three, one-play drives. In games like this you just have to come out and take care of business. You want to respect the opponent but the thing about it is you want to maintain a sharp edge.”
St. James, the eighth-ranked team in Class 3A, improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in District 10-3A. Haynes is winless on the season.
“Graduating 25 seniors last year was really tough on us. It’s a good little group but it’s young and it will get better. The St. James group is very talented and it’s a tough district. We are learning a lot,” Yellow Jackets coach Paul Longo said.
Along with it being Homecoming, the Wildcats donned their black jerseys with pink numerals for their annual Cancer Awareness game.
A 31-yard touchdown run by Sean Lebeouf slightly more than three minutes into the game gave St. James a 7-0 lead over the outmanned Yellow Jackets.
The first of three, one-play scoring drives came less than two minutes later when Dontaz Sterling raced 24 yards for a touchdown one play following a 3-yard Haynes punt.
Kyren Harris’ interception of a Zachary Bott pass at the Haynes 43 set up a touchdown pass from Shamar Smith to Logan Gravois to make it 21-0 at the 4:59 mark of the first quarter.
Forced to punt from deep in Yellow Jackets territory, a bad snap forced the Haynes punter to field the ball on one keep. The 12-yard loss gave St. James the ball at the Yellow Jackets’ 18 and set up a touchdown run by Smith one play later to give the Wildcats a 27-0 lead after one quarter.
St. James added another touchdown only 15 seconds into the second quarter when a blocked punt was recovered by the Wildcats at the Haynes 17 to set up an eventual 2-yard run by Lebeouf to make it 34-0.
A punt of 9 yards gave the ball to the Wildcats at the Haynes’ 34 and St. James took quick advantage when Smith scored one play later to give SJH a 41-0 halftime lead.
St. James emptied its bench while the game was played in running time in the second half.
Wildcats defender Greg Rounds stole the ball from a Haynes runner and raced 35 yards for a touchdown in the middle of the third quarter to make it 48-0.
Quarterback Logan Gravois scored on a touchdown run on the last play of the game for the 54-0 final.