PLAQUEMINE - The St. John football team relied on a steady, methodical option offense during its rise up the District 9-1A standings.
But on Thursday night against East Iberville the Eagles opted for the quick strike.
St. John senior running back Davante’ Williams sparked a 28-point first quarter with touchdown runs of 55 and 41 yards as the Eagles overwhelmed the Tigers 62-0 at Plaquemine High School’s Canova Stadium.
In the first half, the Eagles rushed for 275 yards to fuel a 48-0 halftime lead. The Eagles (6-2, 3-0) claimed their fourth consecutive win to set up a showdown next week for first place in District 9-1A against West St. John.
“The offensive line did a really good job and we had some running backs that made some big plays,” said St. John coach Tut Musemeche. “It was really good execution early on.”
Williams finished with 116 yards rushing on four attempts while fellow senior running back Christian Primeaux led the Eagles with 126 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Hunter Schnebelen rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown and fullback Kaleb Campesi added rushing scores of 4 and 16 yards as the Eagles racked up 432 yards rushing.
“Their scheme is a unique type of offense, and they’re really good at what they do,” said East Iberville coach Kelcy Dotson. “If you’re not stronger than them or if you’re not disciplined enough, you’re going to have trouble stopping them.”
The Eagles defense limited the Tigers (6-1, 1-2) to 90 yards. East Iberville’s slow start quickly snowballed as injuries and seven turnovers thwarted the Tigers.
“We tried to hit some points where we thought they were weak, but we just didn’t hit them hard enough,” Dotson said. “They were just the better team.”
Penalties stalled the Tigers’ first two drives and set the table for Williams, who scored on his first two touches to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
The Eagles then scored 21 straight points off turnovers as the defense forced takeaways on three consecutive EIHS possessions.
Junior defensive back Colby Landry intercepted a pass to set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Primeaux. Eagles safety Trevor Curry intercepted passes on back-to-back drives and closed the first quarter with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown that put St. John ahead 28-0.
“We’ve kind of found our identity on defense as the year goes, on and I think they’re playing the caliber of football that’s expected from our guys,” Musemeche said. “I was really happy with how aggressive our guys were tonight.”
The Tigers appeared poised for a breakthrough in the second quarter when quarterback Richard Johnson scrambled and broke into the open field for a 30-yard gain. But Johnson fumbled at the Eagles’ 35-yard line, and Primeaux responded with a 60-yard TD run that gave St. John a 41-0 lead.
Johnson led the Tigers with 74 yards on 12 attempts.
before leaving the game with concussion symptoms.