St. James uses special teams, defense to top Lutcher

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VACHERIE – This was a night for defense, for special teams … and for the home team.

St. James got an early score from its special teams, then continually turned back Lutcher’s offense in defeating its parish rival 13-7 Friday night at Wildcat Stadium in a game seen live at CrescentCitySports.com.

Cornerback Glen Brown had two of the biggest plays of the night, returning a blocked field goal 65 yards for a score in the fourth quarter and making an interception midway through the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Wildcat defense forced two other fumbles and turned away Lutcher four times on fourth down inside the 35-yard line.

“In Week 2, to play lights out on defense and on special teams, that’s a great showing,” said St. James coach Robert Valdez. “It takes some time for the offense to gel, but if you can play special teams and defense, that’s a good sign.”

Brown’s blocked field goal runback, which was the only scoring of the first quarter, marked the third touchdown allowed by Lutcher on special teams this year.

“It’s something we talked about,” said Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins. “We’ve got to find a way to stop those.”

The Wildcats had only one first down on their first offensive possession, but finally sustained a drive on the legs of Williams, who capped a 67-yard, 10-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Williams, who finished with 133 total yards (75 rushing and 58 passing), rushed six times for 42 yards on the possession.

Lutcher, which outgained St. James 232-162, finally got something going thanks to its special teams, as Gregory Clayton’s 27-yard punt return put the Bulldogs at the St. James 23 for its second possession of the third quarter.

Daevon Adams took over from there, running 19 yards to the 4 and then getting the touchdown on the next play. Adams finished with a game-high 102 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Lutcher had a chance to take the lead on its next possession, getting a first down at the St. James 28, but two penalties backed the Bulldogs up and they failed to convert on the fourth-and-6 from the 24.

Four possessions later, Brown intercepted a Kolby Bourgeois pass with 5:35 remaining, and Williams went to work, converting a pair of third downs and keeping the football away from the Bulldogs until there were 19 seconds left.

Lutcher had time for two pass plays before the clock ran out.

“We’ve got some guys upset and hurt,” said Jenkins, whose team is 0-2 after going 13-2 and winning its second straight Class 3A state title last year. “One of the big things, though, is the guys have got to stay together. You have to believe in your brother to your left and to your right.

“We just haven’t had that positive break yet.”

Meanwhile, St. James has a pair of wins over two of its biggest rivals with another longtime rival, E.D. White, coming to town next week.

“We’ve just gotta keep riding the momentum,” Valdez said.

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Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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