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Wildcats continuing tuneup for district play

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 23, 1998

ST. JAMES – 36-0. It is a score that St. James fans probably have not forgotten. That was themargin by which West Jefferson defeated St. James last season, handingthe Wildcats one of their worst losses in recent years.

Both teams would move on after that loss. St. James would lose its nextgame to Crowly then run off eight straight wins on its way to a berth in the state semifinals. West Jefferson would also advance to the playoffsbefore being eliminated in the first round by South Lafourche.

That game fell during a transition period for St. James. The Wildcats werewithout their top two running backs, Elix Keller and Chad Jasmin, and the St. James staff was still in the process of plugging the right players inthe right spots on a young team.

That team is a year older now and ready to continue the Wildcats’ recent sting of excellence. And this week, they have a chance to erase thememories of that 35-0 defeat when they host the Buccaneers Friday at St.

James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.Leading the Wildcats is Jasmin who fully recovered from the injury that caused him to miss seven games last season in time to win District 10-3A MVP honors.

Jasmin has picked up where he left off last season, rushing for 406 yards already this season. Those yards and his eight touchdowns place himamong the leaders in the state in both categories.

Heading up the Wildcats’ wing-T offense is quarterback Corey Webster.

Webster is among the arae leaders in passing in Class 3A, completing 11 of his 27 passes for 108 yards. Webster has also rushed for over 150yards yards and two touchdowns. Rey Weber has been his main target,catching seven passes for 60 yards.

When Amite’s Brandon Wagner scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter Friday night, it was the first touchdown that the Wildcats’ defense had given up this season. St. James had held West St. John and assumption to198 total yards before giving up 238 yards to Amite but still held the Warriors to two offensive touchdowns.

St. James defeated Amite, 28-20, Friday night. Jasmin paced the victory,rushing 20 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Philip Jesse addedthe other score on a 1-yard run and the St. James defense held off a lateAmite drive to preserve the victory, moving the Wildcats to 3-0 on the season.

West Jefferson (1-1) is coming off a 35-19 victory over Comeaux Friday night. The Buccaneers lost to Carencro, 23-8, in the season opener and hadits second game against Hahnville canceled due to inclement weather.

The Buccaneers won the District 7-5A championship and finsihed with a 8-3 record in 1997. But West Jefferson must replace 13 starters fromthat team, including linebacker Chris Cooper who signed with LSU. Theoffense is led by senior quarterback Ivan Jefferson and running back Jerome Coleman.

The defense is a mix of old and new and should be the team’s strength once again. Senior linebacker Delton Glapion leads the old guard while thenewcomers are paced by linebacker Brian Guillot and a front four of Brandon Jones, Andre Payton, Anthony Reddick and Justin Robertson.

St. James hosts Crowley next Friday in its final tune up before District10-3A action starts.

West Jefferson travels to Grace King to open District 7-5A play.

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