Still stinging from a 38-12 shellacking delivered a year ago, St. Augustine returned the favor against De La Salle Thursday night as the passing and running of transfer quarterback Trevon Woodson ignited the undefeated Purple Knights to a 38-20 beat down of the Cavaliers at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Woodson passed for 247 yards and one touchdown in addition to rushing 11 times for another 60 to account for 307 of St. Augustine’s 452-yard assault that included three touchdown runs by junior running back Mahmood Bailey.
The exclamation point came on the game’s final play when Woodson was re-inserted to answer De La Salle’s third touchdown with a 38-yard pass to wide receiver Khi Mathieu to the Cavaliers 32-yard line as time expired.
“We made a big jump from last week,’’ Woodson said pointing to last Saturday’s 27-6 season-opening victory against McDonogh 35. “As seniors we got together and we demanded more from our young players and we got it. I definitely was more comfortable this week than last week. We started off with tempo and their defense couldn’t keep up.’’
St. Augustine (2-0) more than doubled De La Salle’s 213 yards and had 24 first downs to the Cavaliers’ 15 in winning its second straight outing under new coach Nathaniel Jones.
The Purple Knights, ranked No. 9 among large schools in the New Orleans Advocate Super 10, jumped out to a 17-0 lead before answering consecutive Cavaliers touchdowns in the second and third periods with three more of their own to ease the painful memory created by last year’s 38-12 loss to De La Salle at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium.
De La Salle (1-1), top-ranked among small schools in the Super 10, had a 20-game winning streak broken in regular season play dating to 2015 after advancing to the Class 3A state finals en route to an 11-1 finish.
“I’m proud of my guys and the way they played,’’ Jones said. “It was a great effort considering we didn’t get as much practice time as we would have liked due to the (threat of Hurricane Gordon). I think our offensive line really kind of set the tone. So kudos to them.’’
It was Woodson who lit the fuse, however. A 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior transfer from South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, Ga., Woodson completed 18 of 23 passes without being intercepted while directing St. Augustine to scoring drives covering 80, 80, 72, 80 and 58 yards in a turnover free effort.
Bailey culminated three of those possessions with touchdown runs of 1, 8 and 12 yards before a Woodson bubble pass to wide receiver Broderick Martin produced a 10-yard touchdown on the final play of the third quarter good for a 31-14 advantage.
St. Augustine’s final touchdown came when linebacker Jabaz Myles recovered a blocked punt in the end zone three minutes into the final period. Defensive end Christopher Confident blocked the punt.
Kicker Jaron Marks III, meanwhile, was perfect on all 5 of his PAT kicks and hit a 20-yard field goal to produce a 10-0 lead.
“We played a great game, especially running the ball,’’ Bailey said pointing to his team’s 205 yards rushing. “We stayed focused in this game unlike last year. We accomplished our mission. We wanted to beat them by more than 10 points because they beat us bad last year.’’
Freshman tailback Justin Doyle paced the Knights in rushing with 64 yards on 11 carries followed by Woodson’s 60 yards on 11 attempts and Bailey’s 53 on eight carries.
Martin caught five passes for 67 yards and the touchdown while Bailey contributed another 62 yards on four receptions and Mathieu had two catches good for 48 yards.
De La Salle was paced by tailback Kendall Collins Jr., who rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries that included a 12-yard scoring run for the Cavs second touchdown that briefly trimmed St. Augustine’s lead to 17-14.
Quarterback Fisher Rojas and wide receiver Ivan Paz collaborated to record De La Salle’s other two scores via touchdown passes covering 8 and 10 yards. Rojas completed 5 of 11 passes for 70 yards and the two scores, with Paz accounting for all but 7 of those passing yards on his four receptions.
“First of all, you could tell that they were well-prepared,’’ De La Salle coach Ryan Manale said of the Purple Knights. “Hats off to St. Augustine. They looked like they had been practicing all summer for this game. They have some real talent and that’s a solid team. I don’t want to take anything away from them.’’
Although avenging last year’s defeat was paramount, it was not all that drew the ire of the Purple Knights, particularly Jones, who was upset by De La Salle’s refusal to delay playing the game until Friday or preferably Saturday following two days of school closure on Tuesday and Wednesday necessitated by the threat of Hurricane Gordon.
“I’m really disappointed with the De La Salle people,’’ said Jones, whose team had three fewer days to prepare than the Cavaliers, who opened their season with a 33-0 victory against South Lafourche on Aug. 30. “We tried to reschedule this game during the summer. We did not want to play a game on Saturday and have to come back and play on Thursday. But they were adamant about playing the game on Thursday.
“Their reason was something about the gate (attendance). They said they could not get a stadium on Friday. Are you serious? Forget about the gate. You’ve got to look out for your kids.
“We only had one day of practice with the storm. We could have played the game on Saturday night, Saturday morning. There were opportunities to play this game.’’
De La Salle coach Ryan Manale said Saturday was ruled out by his school because many of his players already were scheduled to participate in a suicide prevention walked tied to the death of a former Cavaliers player in 2017.
“There were stadium issues,’’ Manale said. “We would have loved to play the game on Friday night, but we could not find a stadium. We could not play on Saturday. There was no reason to delay playing the game. Both teams had been preparing.
“There’s no doubt both teams had been practicing for this game all summer. St. Augustine was very well-prepared. Hats off to them. They deserved (to win). They earned the win.’’
ST. AUGUSTINE 38, DE LA SALLE 20
St. Augustine 7 10 14 7 -- 38
De La Salle 0 7 7 6 -- 20
First downs 24 15
Rushing 205 143
Passing 247 70
Total offense 452 213
Passes 18-23-0 5-11-0
Penalties 6-60 5-55
Punts 1-24.0 3-32.3
Fumbles/lost 3-0 1-0
SA: Mahmood Bailey 1 run (Jaron Marks III kick).
SA: Jaron Marks III 20 field goal.
SA: Mahmood Bailey 8 run (Jaron Marks III kick).
DLS: Ivan Paz 8 pass from Fisher Rojas (Blake Giacone kick).
DLS: Kendall Collins Jr. 12 run (Blake Giacone kick).
SA: Mahmood Bailey 12 run (Jaron Marks III kick).
SA: Broderick Martin 5 pass from Trevon Woodson (Jaron Marks III kick).
SA: Jabaz Myles recovered block punt in the end zone for touchdown (Jaron Marks III kick).
DLS: Ivan Paz 10 pass from Fisher Rojas (Run failed).