East Jefferson served up five first-half fumbles, and John Ehret feasted on them Thursday night at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in the District 8-5A opener for both teams.
The Patriots recovered four of the fumbles, turning them into 26 first-half points in a 60-0 homecoming victory.
Ehret (3-1, 1-0) rebounded from a 21-7 loss at Destrehan last week. The Patriots will play Higgins at Memtsas next Friday. East Jefferson (1-3, 1-0) lost its second consecutive game heading into next week against Chalmette.
“I was proud of the way we bounced back from a tough loss,” said Coach Corey Lambert, who guided Ehret to the Class 4A state championship game last season. “I told our kids that if your objective is to get to the Superdome, you've got to treat every game like a championship game. In a tough game, three or four plays can make a big difference.”
Ehret sophomore quarterback Travis Mumphrey, looking noticeably bigger and stronger compared to last season, completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on six carries in staking the Patriots to a 33-0 halftime lead.
The Warriors lost fumbles on their second, third, fourth and fifth possessions — on a handoff exchange, a bad option pitch, a dropped center exchange and a run into the line.
“We're a junior-laden team with a sophomore quarterback, and we still do not know how to handle the first bit of adversity,” East Jefferson interim coach Frank Aillelo said. “That's when you get the snowball. One thing turned into two. Four consecutive possessions in the first (half) ended in turnovers. When you play a quality football team, that's what happens.”
Ehret's first score, however, came after East Jeff punted followed its first possession. Darius Campbell capped a 63-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left the first quarter.
The next three came after East Jefferson fumbles, all in Warriors' territory at the 26, 13 and 36. It led to a 26-point second-quarter outburst. Mumphrey ran 26 yards for a touchdown eight seconds into the second quarter, then passed 16 yards to Campbell for a score at 9:48 of the quarter, and passed 9 yards to Brandon James for a touchdown with 7:16 to gave Ehret a 27-0 lead.
Like their first score, the final Patriots touchdown of the half also came after a punt — one of 25 yards that set up Ehret at the EJ 34. Four plays later, Mumphrey combined with James on a 26-yard pass.
The onslaught continued with 21 third-quarter points. East Jefferson finished with eight fumbles, losing six.