Zachary vs West Feliciana jamboree017.JPG (copy)

West Feliciana Saint running back Nyjal Kelly keeps his eyes on the Zachary Broncos defenders during the jamboree on Friday. He had a good game despite a loss to Baker High on Friday. 

West Feliciana shows improvement in loss to Baker

The West Feliciana Saints remain winless on the season, following a loss on Friday to district rival Baker High School. However, this loss was not without major noticeable improvement on offense from the Saints.

The first half was dominated by Baker, as the Saints trailed 16-0 at halftime. Once again, they really could not get anything going on offense. That may have partially been due to the sheer size of the Baker defense, who seemingly outsized 90% of the West Feliciana squad.

The second half started just about as poorly as the first half ended. After a really good return by Neno Lemay on the opening kickoff, the Saints went three-and-out.

Following that drive, Baker scored again quickly on a big quarterback run. After a successful two-point conversion, the Saints trailed 24-0.

West Feliciana still could get nothing going on offense following the Baker touchdown and had to punt it away once again.

Baker then drove down the field for another quick score and followed it up once again with a two-point conversion. That left the Saints trailing 32-0 midway through the third quarter.

Finally, things started to turn around for West Feliciana on offense. They were able to pick up their first first down of the half and continued to drive down the field.

Starting quarterback Bennett Clement showed real poise throughout the drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to Nyjal Kelly. Finally, the Saints were on the board.

They followed up the touchdown with a successful two-point conversion, bringing the score to 32-8.

West Feliciana attempted an onside kick that was very nearly successful but was just barely picked up by a Baker player. A West Feliciana lineman then forced a fumble on the drive, but Baker recovered to end the third quarter.

West Feliciana forced a punt to open the fourth quarter. Neno Lemay nearly broke free on the return, but still did great to put the Saints inside Baker territory.

The West Feliciana offense continued to play with a fire under them. Bennett Clement once again took control of the game, saving the drive with a huge scramble run for a first down.

The big bruising back, Antonio Haile, then broke free for a big run to get the Saints inside the five-yard line. They were able to follow that up with a touchdown run from Nyjal Kelly on the option pitch from Bennett Clement.

This time, the attempted two-point conversion failed, making the score 32-14 in favor of Baker. Baker would recover yet another onside kick and get back on offense.

Baker then drained the clock en route to another scoring drive. The Saints would block the attempted PAT, but that still left Baker ahead 38-14 with about five minutes left on the clock.

West Feliciana led yet another great drive down the field, getting down inside Baker’s 10-yard line with a huge pass from Clement to Lemay. Unfortunately, the Baker defense went into lockdown mode, forcing an incomplete pass on second, third, and fourth down to get the ball back, putting any hopes of a comeback to bed.

The final score was 38-14 in favor of the Baker Buffaloes, as West Feliciana is yet to find victory in 2019.

Losing district games hurts more in the grand scheme of things, but the biggest takeaway from this game for West Feliciana has to be the major improvement they showed on offense. Bennett Clement seems to be getting more comfortable as the starting quarterback. They have some genuine weapons in guys like Lemay, Kelly and more. As long as they continue to keep things running smoothly, West Feliciana can still be a force to be reckoned with as the season goes on.

Friday, they will travel up the river to face Brusly in their second district game of the season.

Elsewhere in the Felicianas, the East Feliciana Tigers got back in the win column in a high-scoring game against Westlake, 36-28. They move to 3-1 on the season as they prepare to travel to Port Allen Friday in their first district game of the season.

Silliman Institute absolutely stifled Adams County Christian School, upsetting the defending state champs by a score of 26-0 and handing them only their second loss in two years. The 4-2 Wildcats return home this Friday to take on St. Aloysius of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Finally, Slaughter Charter remains winless despite major improvements on offense in the past couple weeks. They fell to Varnado High School 46-14, but return home to take on Northeast High School this Friday in hopes to pick up their first win of the season.

Joel Robinson covers sports for The Democrat and The Watchman. To share tips about area sports news, email extra@theadvocate.com