Last year’s East Jefferson football team went undefeated on its way to the Class 4A state championship. But on Friday in a jamboree game against Slidell, the Warriors showed they have some work to do if they hope to come close to last season’s greatness.
East Jefferson, which graduated many starters from last year’s squad, dropped the opener against Slidell 7-0 in the Northshore High Jamboree in Slidell.
“I was pleased with the defense, but we were worn out in the end, because we were on the field so much,” said first-year East Jefferson coach Marc Martin.
East Jefferson committed several turnovers, including an interception by the Tigers’ Justin Leiger in his own end zone with 1:04 to go in the second half.
“With the rain earlier, we knew it would be a battle of turnovers,” said Slidell coach Larry Favre. “I don’t know if we won the battle, but I know we’re better already on defense. You can tell.”
Kain Mitchell broke open a scoreless game with 12:37 remaining in the second half when he broke over left tackle and for a 53-yard touchdown run.
Evan Barbot kicked the PAT to make the score 7-0. Mitchell, a senior running back, rushed for more than 100 yards in the winning effort.
Neither team could get any offense going in the first half. East Jefferson totaled 69 yards in the first 15-minute half and Slidell amassed 56 yards.
Slidell’s best chance to score in the first half came when the Tigers took over at the 10-minute mark of the opening half.
The Tigers put together an 11-play drive that reached the Warriors’ 32, but the second of three first-half fumbles ended the threat.
Slidell’s Alex Capers led the offense in the first half with 40 yards on three rushes. Morris Sarah led East Jefferson with 38 yards in the opening half.
SLIDELL 7, LAKESHORE 0: Kevin Hopkins scored on a 4-yard sweep with 6:37 to go in the first half to lead the Panthers to a home jamboree victory over the Titans.
Hopkins, a senior wide receiver, took a handoff and ran from right to left across the field before lunging into the end zone for the game’s only touchdown. Austin Dixon kicked the PAT.
Northshore, winless in District 6-5A last season, dominated the first half against Class 4A Lakeshore. The Panthers outdistanced the Titans 140-31 in the first of two 15-minute halves.
Lakeshore’s offense looked solid to begin the second half, behind the running of fullback and LSU commitment David Ducre III. A quarterback hurry by Northshore’s Alex Allen ended the threat on a fourth-and-3 from the Panthers’ 18, however.
Northshore quarterback Matt Benedict hooked up with Hopkins for a 29-yard gain midway through the second half. When the drive stalled and the Panthers returned to defense, Hopkins intercepted a Lakeshore pass near the Northshore red zone to punctuate his team’s victory.
Northshore hosts Helen Cox on Sept. 5 in its season opener. Lakeshore hosts Miller-McCoy.