West Feliciana drops jamboree to Zachary

West Feliciana High School faced off with Zachary High in Friday’s jamboree, a sneak peek at what’s to come this season.

For those unaware, a jamboree is a short-form version of a high school football game which is split into two 15-minute halves. It also does not count in terms of regular season record. The reason that it is important is because it gives us a window into what the regular season could look like for both of these teams.

For the West Feliciana Saints, there was good and bad in this game. The biggest bad was, of course, the scoreboard.

West Feliciana gave up two quick touchdowns in the early going, allowing Zachary to secure a 14-0 lead about halfway through the first half.

West Feliciana was able to get on the board toward the end of the first half with a tough touchdown throw from Bennett Clement to Jackson Fazio.

Speaking of Clement and Fazio, both were really impressive throughout the jamboree. Fazio is a guy whom West Feliciana head coach Robb Odom and I spoke at length about in the preseason. He is sure to be a huge difference maker for the Saints as the season goes on.

Clement is not a player who was on my radar in the preseason, but the junior quarterback was hugely impressive in this game. Not only did he make some great high-pressure throws to get the Saints downfield, but he tore off a pair of great runs. If Clement can continue to make a difference in the air and on the ground, he is going to be a big threat in that offense.

On defense, Nyjall Kelly was a big standout. He picked up an all-important interception before the end of the first half, and was all over the field throughout the game.

Kelly’s interception ended up putting the Saints in good field position as time ticked down in the first half, but they were unable to capitalize, going into halftime down 14-6.

Despite cutting down Zachary’s lead to a mere 8 points before the half, turnovers killed any hope of West Feliciana coming back to win the game.

The ball was fumbled on a run play around midfield, and Zachary gained possession. They then struck with another big touchdown, bringing the score to 21-6.

West Feliciana got the ball back on the kickoff, but fumbled it around the 38-yard line, allowing Zachary to once again gain great field position.

The final score of the 2019 jamboree was 28-6, with West Feliciana falling to last year’s 5A state champions.

For all intents and purposes, this was a trial run for the 2019 West Feliciana Saints. There were a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball, but nothing that can’t be fixed in the coming week, as they prepare for a clash with longtime rival East Feliciana High School.

Speaking of the regular season opener against East Feliciana, I had a brief opportunity to speak with West Feliciana head coach Robb Odom, after the jamboree about next week’s game. He told me, “We’re looking forward to improving ... and starting the regular season against a great rival in East Feliciana.”

Make sure to keep up with everything football-related coming out of the Felicianas this season, and get ready for what is sure to be a barn burner next week between East and West Feliciana.

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