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Rams travel to rival St. James for annual opener

EDGARD — The season starts fast for the West St. John Rams, who travel to Vacherie Friday in a traditional opener against rival St. James High School.

“They run the ball really well with their quarterback,” Rams coach Brandon Walters said. “They do a great job of keeping the ball in his hands. The running back, No. 15, is pretty good, also. They do a great job of getting the ball to those kids’ hands. We have to stop them from running and be prepared for what they do up front.”

Walters said WSJH let St. James off the hook last season, surrendering a 33-15 lead in the final minutes for a devastating loss.

He doesn’t expect that to happen this year.

“We have a lot of key guys, and we’re expecting all of them to step up,” Walters said. “This is a really big game, so we need all men on deck. It’s always great to win your first game and come out of the gate swinging.”

The Rams defeated Donaldsonville 26-16 last week in jamboree action, led by a strong running game and opportune passing game.

Defensively, West St. John recovered two fumbles that were converted into scores.

“We need to be more consistent and be better executioners in the run game and in what we’re doing offensively,” Walters said. “We need to clean up some of our tackling defensively, and I want to see that we execute better on both sides of the ball. We have to do a better job with special teams.”

Many of the Rams can still remember 2017 ending with a state championship but a new year means a new goal — matching the success of last season.

Walters said that starts with week-by-week execution and a strong pre-district showing.