Running backs and quarterbacks stole the show at the All-Catholic Jamboree at Redemptorist on Friday night. Running back Christian Primeaux of St. John of Plaquemine ran for 111 yards and scored all of the Eagles’ points as they topped St. Michael 16-12.
In the nightcap, Catholic High’s Khalil Thomas ran for 110 yards as Catholic held off Redemptorist 22-15.
ST. JOHN 16, ST. MICHAEL 12: In the first game, Class 1A St. John overcame two costly fumbles that stopped promising drives, then came back to score in the last 30 seconds in their win over Class 4A St. Michael.
The first half was nearly all offense. St. John opened with Davante Williams at quarterback and the senior directed the Eagles on a 10-play, 80 yard scoring drive. Williams ran for 28 yards on the drive, and Primeaux carried five times for 32 yards.
Primeaux got the first touchdown on a 3-yard run and also ran for the two-point conversion to put St. John ahead 8-0.
St. Michael’s offense, which had a three-and-out on its first possession, came alive behind the pinpoint passing of senior quarterback Dash Duncan.
Duncan led the Warriors on a four-play scoring drive after connecting with Sonny Adams for 7 yards, Bo Aucoin for 25 and finally to C.J. Okpalobi on a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Another promising drive for the Eagles ended when a lost fumble put the ball back in Duncan’s hands.
This time he started with three incomplete passes, then connected on four in a row beginning with an 11-yard toss to Okpalobi on fourth-and-10 and a 4-yard TD strike to J.T. Mauldin.
“We had a couple of turnovers when we were moving the ball,” St. John coach Tut Musmeche said. “We had two quarterbacks in there (Williams and sophomore Hunter Schnebelen), trying to give another guy some experience, so it (the turnovers) was probably my fault.”
The Warriors’ offensive line gave Duncan plenty of time to pick out receivers and the 6-foot-4 senior did just that, going 7 for 10 in the first half for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
St. Michael’s offense sputtered on its only two possessions of the second half, while St. John mounted three impressive drives. The first ended in a lost fumble, the second ended on downs deep in St. Michael territory and the third resulted in the winning touchdown.
“Two three-and-outs in the second half. ? You can’t ask for better than that,” Musmeche said.
CATHOLIC 22, REDEMPTORIST 15: Both teams used big first-half plays to light up the scoreboard when the Wolves and Bears squared off in their traditional jamboree matchup.
“Typical Catholic High-Redemptorist game,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “We played hard and they played hard. It’s a jamboree game, and you never know what you’re going to be faced with. The important thing is, we finished with 22 and they had 15.”
Defensive back Avery English put the Wolves up 7-0 when he picked off a Ben Braymer pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown on Catholic’s first possession.
The Bears answered on their next play from scrimmage, springing Khalil Thomas for an 84-yard touchdown run.
Thomas broke out of a pack in the middle of the line, broke to the left sideline and pulled away from the Wolves secondary on his way to the end zone.
He also added the two-point conversion on a run off right tackle to bring the score to 8-7.
Collins carried four more times for a total of 110 yards on the night.
The Wolves followed with a drive deep inside the Catholic 10 before a false start on a fourth-and-1 stymied the drive.
Baymer then drove the Bears to the Redemptorist 42 where he lofted a deep pass to Christian Brown, who dove in for a touchdown.
Guy Hymel’s conversion kick made it 15-7.
The touchdown pass was one of only three Braymer threw in the game.
“We wanted to throw more, but let’s face it, we didn’t have the ball much in the second half,” Weiner said.
Catholic scored what proved to be the winning touchdown when Austin Wilson blocked a punt and Ross Collins fell on it in the end zone.
That score proved to be big when Redemptorist quarterback Josh Courtney (19 of 32-passing for 155 yards) drove the Wolves 87 yards and narrowed the margin to 22-15 on a 4-yard TD pass and a two-point conversion pass, both to Donald Gage.
After Catholic had a TD nullified by a holding penalty, Collins picked off a Courtney pass on the last play of the game.