PLAQUEMINE - St. John- Plaquemine jumped on Hanson Memorial early and never let up, recording a 56-6 victory in a first-round Division 1A football playoff game played Thursday at Plaquemine High’s Andrew Canova Stadium.
St. John’s three big offensive weapons, Davante Williams (three touchdowns and 176 yards rushing), Hunter Schnebelen (two rushing TDs and a touchdown pass) and Christian Primeaux (twoTDs and 179 yards rushing) keyed the scoring onslaught.
The Eagles (8-3) turned a Hanson mistake into a touchdown with 9:51 to go in the first quarter. After holding the Tigers on downs, they took over on the Hanson 21. Williams scored on the next play and the rout was on.
“Any time you play an excellent team like they are and give them short fields, they’re going to take advantage of it,” Hanson coach Richard Sandusky said. “We knew they were an explosive team, we made way too many mistakes, and it just snowballed on us.”
The Eagles’ offense was not perfect in the first half, but it was efficient enough to score on all five possessions and led 35-6 at halftime.
St. John (8-3) needed only 15 plays to run up 255 yards of total offense and never faced a fourth down situation. The St. John defense made its contribution when Curtis Jones smothered the Hanson punter on the HHS 21 following a bad snap to set up the first TD.
“Certainly our defensive line did a great job,” St. John coach Tut Musemeche said. “Our defense has been improving all year. We’ve had some young guys in spots, but this time of year age is irrelevant, and tonight we were pretty physical and pretty fast.”
The defense gave up 142 total yards, stopped Hanson (7-4) several times on fourth down, and intercepted two passes .
Schnebelen added first-half TDs on runs of 45 and six yards, and Christian Primeaux scored on a six-yard run.
Connor Case was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra point kicks in the first half and 8-for-8 for the game. Hanson was able to get untracked on only one drive, going 70 yards for their only touchdown of the half. Quarterback Drake Rodriguez scored on a three-yard run with 9:46 left in the half to cut the lead to 21-6.
Late in the half the Tigers failed to convert a fourth down pass play and St. John capitalized with a 73-yard drive. Williams got the touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Schnebelen.
“I was glad we had a chance to do a good job on the two-minute drill late there in the first half,” Musemeche said. “In fact, barring their one drive, everything we did in the first half was pretty good.”
The Eagles scored three more times in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Primeaux and Williams each scored one more touchdown, and Kaleb Campesi carried in from one yard out.
A skirmish broke out on the Hanson sideline after the Tigers recovered a St. John fumble with 4:27 left in the game, but coaches and authorities quickly restored order and two adults were led off the field by officers.
“I don’t think it was kids involved from what I understand,” Musemeche said, “so we let the authoritieshandle it.”