Speedster Kerry Johnson got Chalmette off to a quick start Friday against East Jefferson. Grinder Masen Mitchell finished them off.
The Owls took a 19-7 victory at Joe Yenni Stadium, ruining the Warriors’ homecoming festivities in winning their second consecutive District 8-5A game.
“Kerry is a fast guy, and he’s capable of making big plays for us,” Chalmette coach Jason Tucker said, his team going to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in 8-5A with a game at West Jefferson next. “Masen carried the ball 29 times last week (against Landry-Walker), and we knew they would be keying on him tonight.”
Johnson gained 102 yards on five carries in the first half, and Mitchell churned out 152 yards on 19 carries in the second half. He finished with 174 yards on 28 carries.
Johnson gave the Owls a 13-0 lead, and they never trailed. In motion, Johnson ran a jet sweep left for a 13-yard touchdown three minutes into the game, on the second play after Chalmette received the ball at the East Jefferson 38 following a punt.
Seeing a hole in the Warriors’ defensive armor, the Owls went right back to Johnson and the jet sweep left on their next possession after a punt.
First, Masen Mitchell drew the Warriors inside with runs up the middle.
On the third play, Johnson again swept left. It appeared East Jefferson would tackle him for a loss, but Johnson avoided a defender, turned the corner and sped up the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run at 4:31 of the first quarter.
East Jeff (1-4, 0-2) came back — and nearly all the way. Finally solving the riddle to Johnson’s jet sweeps by forcing him back inside, the Warriors stopped the Owls for the rest of the half.
Having stopped Chalmette on consecutive possessions, East Jefferson drove 61 yards on nine plays, with Roman Edwards getting a 27-yard run to the Chalmette 18. The drive ended with Rashaad Johnson’s 5-yard run, on a jet sweep, with 3:46 left in the half.
The Warriors had a chance to go ahead after getting the ball on their 48 with 2:06 showing. However, Edwards fumbled on the Owls’ 24, although it appeared he was down on the play.
East Jeff quickly had another big opportunity. A strong south to north wind held up the second-half kickoff, turning it into a pooch kick the Warriors recovered on the Owls’ 38. However, a five-play drive ended at the Chalmette 8.
Two series later, Chalmette got the ball at the Warriors’ 39, and Mitchell scored two plays later on a 37-yard touchdown that pushed the lead to 19-7 with 1:33 left in the third.
EJ answered with a drive to the Chalmette 20, where No. 35 ran into quarterback Gerard Walker, forcing an errant pitch intended for Malcolm Robinson that the Owls recovered on the 21.
“We were close, but we made errors that really hurt our chances of winning the game,” East Jefferson coach Marc Martin said.