John Ehret coach Corey Lambert called Friday night’s results “a statement.”

And boy, what a statement did his Patriots make.

Led by quarterback Dejon Harris and a lights-out second half performance by his defense, Ehret rolled to an easier-than-expected 44-7 victory at Bobby Nuss Stadium.

“We were very motivated,” Harris said. “Ever since we lost to Landry-Walker in Week 6, everybody started doubting us and thought we weren’t as good as we thought we were,” Harris said. “So we had to come out and show them.”

Harris led the way, rushing for 176 yards and scoring three touchdowns.

Not bad for a guy who also lines up at linebacker and will play that position next season at Arkansas.

But for now, he’s playing quarterback as well for the team that lost it starter, Caron Baham, in Week 1.

“With Caron being down and (running back) Byron James being down, this team has to go through (jersey) No. 2,” said Lambert. “I know Dejon thinks I’m hard on him sometimes, but my coach did it to me when I played here. Dejon reminds me of me at quarterback. He’s smart, he runs hard and he makes great decisions. Dejon can be the one to take us to the Dome with this defense.”

Ehret improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in District 8-5A.

The victory creates a logjam atop the 8-5A standings, with Ehret, Chalmette and Landry-Walker now all with one loss. The Patriots ruined senior night for Chalmette (5-3, 4-1), ranked No. 9 in The New Orleans Advocate Large School Super 10.

After a scoreless first quarter, Chalmette took the lead on Masen Mitchell’s 5-yard run. It capped off a 12-play, 74-yard drive.

But it was all Ehret after that. They rattled off 44 unanswered points.

Ehret wasted little time responding to Mitchell’s touchdown, needing just three plays to march 66 yards. Harris did the damage, breaking loose for 54-yard run and then scoring two plays later on a 14-yard run.

On the next possession, Harris scored on a 2-yard run to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead.

Mitchell and Harris, the workhorses for their team, both eclipsed the 100-yard mark in the first half.

Mitchell carried 21 times for 119 yards and Harris had 140 yards on 14 carries through two quarters.

Ehret owned the second half though.

Senior running back Juwan Leonard picked up the slack in the third quarter.

Leonard finished with 154 yards, with 76 of those coming on a touchdown run that made it 21-7.

“We started feeding him the ball,” Lambert said. “He ran mad and with authority. He stepped it up as a senior. Today my seniors stepped it up and did what they were supposed to do.”

Leonard also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from freshman Travis Mumphrey.

Michael Divinity, who committed to LSU, scored on a 45-yard fumble return.

“I’m proud of my kids because they fought all the way through,” said Chalmette cocah Jason Tucker. “We had a timely penalty on the pass interference call on third-and-long that I thought was a questionable call. That was a momentum-changer because they scored there and went up 14-7 and then wore us down a little bit. ... Our kids know that all this did was tie up the district.”

The Patriots also scored on a safety on a night that left Lambert pleased.

“This is John Ehret football,” Lambert said. “This is what I look for with this team. Physical football. This is what we do.”