The opening minute belonged to Covenant Christian but the rest of the game was all West St. John in the Rams’ 53-7 Homecoming win Friday night in Edgard.
Devante Johnson broke free from the Lions’ Wing-T offense and sprinted 68 yards along the sideline in front of the Covenant Christian bench to give the visitors from Houma a 7-0 lead one minute into the game.
“I think our guys came out flat and still had some of that Homecoming juice in them. We were not focused that first drive and took them lightly. They ran a real good jet sweep and Devante Johnson is the real deal. We were out of position and he got away from us,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said.
Yards were hard to come by for the Lions (4-3 overall, 0-2 in District 8-1A) after their initial score but there was no big adjustment by the Rams’ defense, according to Walters.
“No, we just kind of chewed the guys out a little bit. We just weren’t lining up where we were supposed to be. We didn’t attack it correctly. They were kind of lackadaisical initially and after that they buckled down,” the West St. John coach said.
Meanwhile, the Rams (5-2 overall, 2-0 in district) played most of the remainder of the first half in Covenant Christian territory to build a 32-7 halftime lead.
West St. John drove the ball on its first two drives but both ended in interceptions – the first by Covenant Christian’s Anthony Ruffin and the other by Trenton Holloway.
A punt to midfield set up West St. John’s first touchdown – an 8-yard run by Kylan Duhe to pull the Rams to within 7-6 at the 2:13 mark of the first quarter.
On West St. John’s first drive of the game that ended in Ruffin’s interception, Nico Roy, the Rams’ bruising running back rushed for a total of 40 yards on two plays but WSJ came away with no points because of the turnover.
After Duhe’s touchdown to pull the Rams to within one point, Roy, from his linebacker position, put West St. John on top 12-7 with 31 seconds left in the opening quarter when he returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown.
“Each week we are getting a score from out defense, which is a big help,” Walters said.
Roy extended the West St. John lead to eleven points at 18-7 on an 11-yard touchdown at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter. The score was set up by a punt return by Wantrell Williams that gave the Rams the ball at the Covenant Christian 40.
Another punt from deep in Lions territory gave West St. John the ball at the Covenant 33, eventually setting up a 15-yard run by Duhe to put the Rams on top 24-7 with 4:17 remaining in the second quarter.
Johnson appeared to come up with another big play for Covenant Christian when he returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown but a holding call against the Lions wiped out the score.
A 41-yard pass from D’andre Gaudia to Duhe with less than a minute remaining in the first half gave West St. John a 32-7 halftime lead.
Roy and Duhe continued their onslaught in the second half. Roy had a touchdown run of 33 yards in the third quarter and another from 6 yards out in the fourth quarter. Duhe scored on a 4-yard run in the third quarter.
Both Roy and Duhe topped 100 yards rushing. Roy had 108 yards on 12 carries and three rushing touchdowns. Duhe finished with 104 yards on 12 carries with three scoring runs and a touchdown reception.
Gaudia was 6 of 11 passing for 153 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Rams have now scored 50 or more points in each of their last three games.
The win sets up a district showdown next week against Varnado next week in Edgard.
“They are at the top of the district and so are we. We approach the game as if it’s for the district championship. We expect the best from them. They are another good Wing-T team. It will be a good test for us. I’m glad we have them at home and we definitely will be ready to play.