By Tate Roussel
Kylan Duhe and Niko Roy put the West St. John team on their backs and left the Bonnabel Bruins behind as the rushing game for the Rams carried them to a 40-20 win in their home opener Friday night.
Duhe’s performance saw him average more than 10 yards per carry as the game’s leading rusher had 24 carries for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
“He is really special. We are going to feed him,” said Rams coach Brandon Walters. “We are going to play our style of ball and keep coming at you.”
Roy put together a strong showing of his own as his 15 carries resulted in 119 yards and a pair of scores.
A quick start provided short-lived confidence for the Bruins.
The Bonnabel Bruins offense found themselves with great field position to start the game, as a big return on the opening kickoff started their drive at the Ram 32-yard line.
It took only four plays and three minutes for Bruin quarterback Torrence Bardell to find his receiving corps for the first strike of the game. After a missed extra point attempt, the Bruins had the game’s first lead of 6-0 with 10:25 remaining in the opening quarter of play.
The first drive of the game for the Rams led to a similar result. A 19-yard run by Duhe moved the ball inside the red zone, with the Rams then scoring from 8 yards out. A failed two-point conversion attempt left the game tied at 6 with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter.
West St. John’s next score came at the 9:57 mark of the second quarter on a 24-yard run by quarterback D’Andre Gaudia to make it 12-6. A 26-yard run by Duhe into Bruins territory helped to set up the score.
It as Gaudia’s only score of the night, but he would complete 7 of 11 pass attempts for 93 yards in the game.
Bonnabel’s offense needed only seven plays and 1:30 to respond. A 12-yard rushing score by the Bruins, along with the game’s only successful extra point attempt, gave the Bruins a 13-12 lead going into halftime.
After a 14-yard touchdown by Roy and his successful two-point conversion gave the Rams a 30-13 lead at the third quarter, West St. John pulled away with 20 points in the final period.
A 14-yard rushing touchdown and a successful conversion, both by Roy, put the Rams up 20-13 with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
Two plays into Bonnabel’s next drive, the Bruins fumbled at their own 29-yard line and the Rams cashed in in the excellent field position with a 2-yard run by Roy to make it 26-13 early in the fourth quarter.
Another forced turnover by the Rams defense – this time an interception by Wantrell Williams – gave the West St. John starting field position at the Bruin 31. One play after the turnover, Duhe broke free to extend the Rams’ lead to 32-13.
After Bonnabel scored on a 62-yard, Duhe countered 20 seconds later on an 80-yard run for the 40-20 victory.