ABBEVILLE — The sixth-seeded West St. John High School Rams were not the favorites to win Friday’s night Class 1A semifinal game against the No. 2 seed Vermilion Catholic Eagles.
While they may not have been the favorites, the Rams (12-2) did have a favorite weapon named Kylum Favorite. He rushed for an impressive 227 yards on 27 carries and scored four touchdowns in the Rams’ 54-41 victory.
West St. John will play No. 1 seed Ouachita Christian (14-0) at 3 p.m. Friday in the LHSAA Class A final in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“It is exciting be going to the Dome,” said Rams coach Robert Valdez. “It is like a dream. We are glad to still be playing, and now we are going play for a state championship. Every coach in the state talks about going play for a state title, and only a couple of them do it each year.”
The Rams had 252 yards rushing and 193 yards passing for a total offensive production of 445 yards of offense.
At halftime, with the score tied 27-27, Favorite only had 58 yards on 13 carries and one score. His final two runs of the night were late in fourth quarter when he had a 40-yard touchdown run to put his team ahead by six and added an 35-yard yard.
Vermilion Catholic (13-1) took its first lead of the game on its opening second-half drive. The Eagles marched 70 yards in 10 plays. VC quarterback Aaron David found wideout Emile Chiasson in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard TD completion.
That touchdown looked to give the momentum to VC early in the third quarter, but that quickly changed when VC snapped the ball over punter Ben Desormeaux’s head, and the Rams got the ball deep in VC territory. On the next play, from the 18, Favorite scooted 18 yards for a TD that tied the game 34-34.
The Rams took advantage of another VC turnover to go ahead. David, who came into the game with 3,000 yards passing on the year, was intercepted, killing an Eagle drive.
The Rams cashed in the turnover by marching 80 yards in nine plays. Jeremy Jackson, a senior, was in the game for Favorite, who went out with an injury. Jackson had six carries, including a 3-yard run for six points on the drive. Steven Brignac nailed the extra point that put West St. John ahead 41-34.
Back came the Eagles on their next possession, tying the contest at 41-41 with 5:41 to play in the game.
The Rams answered with a scoring drive of their own. They marched 62 yards behind the legs of Favorite. He had his longest run of the night, covering 40 yards for a touchdown with just under four minutes to play in the game.
Favorite added another 35-yard TD run with 1:23 play.
Vermilion Catholic was paced by Jacoby Davis who had 18 carries for 58 yards. He came into the game with 2,200 yards rushing.
“I tell people all of the time how blessed I was to inherit the caliber of kids that we have,” said VC first-year Trev Faulk. “We had good kids who were great to be around. I enjoyed coaching them.
“I am disappointed I was not able to do enough to help them get over the hump tonight.”