DUTCHTOWN — There wasn’t anything subtle about the statement St. Amant made in its 41-14 District 5-5A victory Friday over rival Dutchtown at Griffin Field.
“We’ve got a good team,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “We’re proud of our kids, and we’ve been working to try and kick the door down to get to the next level. We didn’t ring the door bell, we didn’t knock. We kicked it down (Friday night). We showed what kind of team we can be.”
St. Amant (8-2, 3-2) jumped out to a 10-0 lead, opened a 24-7 halftime lead and stretched that advantage to 20 points twice.
St. Amant’s wire-to-wire victory was its second straight over Dutchtown (7-3, 4-1) and secured the Gators a home playoff game in next week’s nonselect state playoffs.
Dutchtown, which had its four-game win streak snapped, wound up sharing the league championship with Catholic High, a team it defeated a week ago 42-7.
“I don’t think it was a letdown,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “I don’t think we had the proper respect we needed to come out here. They played a tremendous football game. I don’t think we’re 35 points better than Catholic High, and I don’t think they’re 27 points better than us.”
St. Amant quarterback Hayden Mallory paced a balanced offense that produced 440 yards — 227 rushing and 213 passing.
Mallory didn’t appear bothered by a steady first-half rain, as he completed 14 of 24 passes for 213 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Running back Nathan Taylor enjoyed a banner evening with 20 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Briggs Bourgeois led the Gators with seven catches for 90 yards and 2 TDs.
Bourgeois also kicked field goals of 36 and 49 yards, added four extra points and wound up with 21 of his team’s points.
“We want to start off fast every game and really put our foot on their throats,” Bourgeois said. “We established what we are.”
Dutchtown got as close as 10-7 with under two minutes left in the first quarter on the first of two touchdown runs from Fitell Bolding, who wound up with 90 yards on 20 attempts.
St. Amant answered over the next 11 minutes with 17 straight points thanks to Bourgeois. He caught a pair of touchdowns from Mallory, as the Gators closed the first half with a 24-7 lead.
Bourgeois capped the Gators first series of the third quarter with a 49-yard field goal at the 8:57 mark.
“They outplayed us, they outcoached us,” Saia said. “They were the hungrier team and came in here and took it to us. All you can do is take your hat off to them and tell them congratulations.”
A second TD run from Bolding cut it to 27-14 before Taylor finished off two of the Gators next three drives with scoring runs of 8 and 9 yards. The latter took place on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“It’s nice to end the season on a high note and secure a Week 11 game at The Pit,” Oliver said. “We’re excited.”