When West St. John scored 35 points in the first quarter on its way to a 61-6 thumping of one-time league rival White Castle, it was hard to imagine what the Rams could do to follow up that effort when taking on unbeaten Houma Christian in the District 8-1A opener.
The Rams scored just about every way possible in putting up 33 first-quarter points against Houma Christian on West St. John’s way to a 62-0 thrashing of the visiting Warriors on Friday night in Edgard.
While handing Houma Christian its first loss of the season, the Rams improved to 4-2.
“We like to say we wanted to come in and kick in the door being it was our first game in district. We are still trying to turn some heads and get some recognition around the state. In 1A, we still haven’t broken into the polls yet. We are playing for some pride and recognition and continue to make a statement and let them know West St. John is here,” Rams coach Brandon Walters said.
After forcing Houma Christian into a three-and-out to open the game, a 33-yard punt return by Dontrell Davis set up 2-yard run by Nico Davis two plays later to give West St. John a quick 6-0 lead and set the tone for the game.
The Rams (4-2 overall, 1-0 in district) forced another three-and-out from deep in Houma Christian territory when a high snap from center to the Warriors punter went into the end zone for a safety and am 8-0 lead.
After Houma Christian (5-1 overall, 0-1 in district) kicked the ball out of bounds twice on the ensuing free kick, the Warriors had to kick off from their own 10-yard line. Wantrell Williams hauled in the ball at midfield in front of the Houma Christian bench and ran across the field for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty. It matter little as the Rams scored five plays later on a 6-yard run by Kylan Duhe for a 15-0 lead.
The Warriors fumbled the ball way on their first play of the ensuing possession. West St. John quarterback D’andre Gaudia hooked up with Trenton Grow on a 33-yard touchdown strike on the very next play and the Rams had a 21-0 lead with 7:27 still remaining in the opening quarter.
Houma Christian continually had trouble handling the kickoff, resulting in poor starting field position for the Warriors.
Faced with fourth-and-16 from their own 6-yard line, the Warriors tried for a conversion instead of punting.
An incomplete pass gave the ball West St. John and the Rams made the Warriors pay dearly for the gambit when Duhe scored his second touchdown of the game one play later for a 28-0 WSJ lead. The Warriors continued the pattern of foregoing a punt deep in their own territory throughout most of the first half.
“I’m not sure what was the reason for that but we weren’t too displeased about it,” Walters said of the Warriors’ decision to attempt fourth-down conversions.
With the offense and special teams producing touchdowns for the Rams in the first quarter, now it was time for the defense to get into the scoring act.
Facing fourth-and-10 from the Houma Christian 14-yard line, Warriors quarterback Damien Pennison fumbled with West St. John defensive lineman Covan Barnes scooping up the loose ball at the 2-yard line and racing in for a touchdown for a 33-0 Rams lead after one quarter.
“Those defensive linemen really have been playing some ball. They are in a deep competition among themselves for sacks, fumbles and tackles. It’s a good thing. It’s making them all play even more. Those guys are hungry and they are feeding off of each other,” Walters said.
The Rams began to empty the bench and the 33-0 lead held up through halftime.
“We took out a lot of the starters and we started moving in all of the young guys and getting them some looks. From that point on after the first quarter, we pretty much were shuffling everyone in to try and give those guys some quality work,” Walters said.
Gaudia hooked up with Dontrell Davis on a 50-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes in the second half. Following a second safety, a 25-yard run by Nico Davis and a 30-yard run Duhe gave the Rams a 55-0 lead after three quarters.
The West St. John defense added the only points of the fourth quarter on a 70-yard interception return by Trenton Grow for the 62-0 final.
Duhe finished with 77 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Nico Davis rushed for 39 yards and two scores. Williams had three carries for 51 yards.
Dontrell Davis had a touchdown catch while Grow had a touchdown pass and an interception for another score.
Gaudia was 4 of 8 passing for 104 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
West St. John’s offense finished with 271 total yards while the Rams’ defense held Houma Christian to 2 yards rushing and 40 passing while intercepting three passes.