With St. Augustine’s Leonard Fournette transforming from letterman to legend, the Purple Knights on Friday evening unveiled an offense which dared to be as explosive as it was in 2013 — even without its recently-graduated, LSU-bound running back.
Thanks to the next crop of standouts, some whose names are familiar and others, whose performances during this scrimmage against Warren Easton earned their first individual accolades.
Expect St. Augustine to enter this fall poised to throw, throw and throw.
Remember these names: quarterback Justice McCoy, receiver Stanley Morgan and tight end Jamal Pettigrew.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our youngsters. We don’t call him, ‘Cam’ for nothing,” St. Augustine coach Cyril Crutchfield said of McCoy, comparing him to Cam Newton, the elusive and strong-armed quarterback of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
McCoy completed 12 of 19 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns in St. Aug’s 35-28 win. Morgan (five receptions, 132 yards, three touchdowns), one of the best prep receivers in the state, continued to defy defenders as he did last fall.
“Every game, you’ve got to treat it like it’s your last,” Morgan said. “That’s how I came out.”
His teammate Pettigrew, a rising junior, made his first varsity splash at Pan American Stadium, catching three passes for 59 yards and one score.
“Everybody knows who I am now,” said Pettigrew, who is 6-foot-6. “At the beginning of the spring, nobody knew who I was. This is just the beginning.”
And don’t forget about the younger Fournette.
Lanard Fournette, who often joined Leonard last season in the St. Augustine backfield, experienced his first game in years without his bigger, big bother. Lanard Fournette finished with 14 carries for 51 yards. He also scored once from 4 yards out. His best run, a scamper for 20 yards on the left side of Warren Easton’s defense, was called back because of a holding penalty.
“I think people are going to start looking at me different,” he said. “Now, he’s on his own; I’m on my own. We’re separated. He’s in college; I’m in high school.
“I’ve got a lot of improvements to do. I’m a little rusty. I’m going to go hard this summer, get my footwork together, my quickness in the holes.”
All that was left was Leonard’s critiques. He watched the game from the stands.
In 2013, St. Augustine reached the Division I state semifinals. This spring, 14 seniors signed scholarships to play college football.