It was the sort of play that swings momentum in a game, but Joe Chango wasn’t about to let it mask all that had gone wrong for his Country Day team Friday.
And so while Christian Kerut’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Wynne late in the second quarter proved a critical play in the Cajuns’ 55-26 win against West St. John, it didn’t save Country Day from a harsh halftime critique.
“It was certainly a good way to go into halftime,” Chango said. “It didn’t stop us from addressing what we had to address at halftime with the turnovers and the penalties, because that was what kept them in the ballgame with us. When we cleaned that up, we were certainly able to take care of business in the second half.”
Leading 20-13 at halftime thanks to Kerut and Wynne’s late first-half hookup, the Cajuns (6-0) outscored the Rams 28-0 in the third quarter to take control of the District 9-2A opener for both teams.
Jase Griffin started the second half with a bang for Country Day, taking a handoff and sprinting 74 yards to the end zone on the Cajuns’ first play from scrimmage.
It was part of a huge night for the senior running back, whom Kerut called “a monster” in the backfield. Griffin carried 26 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns and caught two passes for 47 yards and a score.
“He’s just a heck of a football player,” Chango said.
And he’s just one cog in Country Day’s offensive machine.
Trey Harrell caught touchdown passes of 2 and 24 yards. Wynne’s second-quarter touchdown was a game-changer. Price Petagna caught a 37-yard pass from Kerut, who completed 13 of 17 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns.
“We have so many options,” Griffin said. “If they want to step Trey, we have me, we have Chandler. If they want to stop one of us, we have four other guys that can get the ball and do the exact same thing. We have options everywhere.”
For a time, West St. John (2-4) bottled up those weapons. The Rams picked off a pass and forced two fumbles – one on a punt return – in the first half, and they tied the game at 13-13 late in the second quarter on Juwan Boudoin’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Daquan Frank, the second of Boudoin’s four touchdowns.
But Harrell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Cajuns’ 35-yard line, and big completions from Kerut to Griffin and Wynne put Country Day in the end zone in just three plays.
“They were battling back and forth with us, so that last touchdown was big,” Griffin said.
And the win was big for Country Day, like West St. John playing its first season in 2A after making the leap from 1A.
“This was a huge win for us,” Kerut said. “We’re 6-0 now. Before the season this is one of the teams people said we couldn’t compete with, and I think we proved a lot of people wrong today.”