Tonight, the E.D. White Cardinals marched into Vacherie for a matchup with the St. James Wildcats. This game was between two undefeated teams in-district, and the winner would take the 3A District 8. The Cardinals also entered this matchup 9-0, hoping to finish undefeated in the regular season and earn a first-round playoff bye. It was an exciting, competitive matchup, but in the end, a late Wildcat surge wasn’t enough as the E.D. White Cardinals were able to win, 27-19.
St. James received the ball to start the game, and marched down the field in just over three minutes, and Brayden Williams was able to complete a screen pass to Kobe Brown for a long touchdown. Brown made several defenders miss on his way to the endzone, on the 45-yard play. St. James missed the PAT, and the score sat at 6-0 after the game’s opening drive.
E.D. White put together a nice possession of their own, but turned the ball over on downs on the St. James side of the field, at the 29 yardline. The Cardinal defense was able to force a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and the first quarter came to a close shortly afterwards, with the score still remaining at 6-0, Wildcats.
The Cardinals were able to score on their next possession, with sophomore Carter Douglas punching the ball in on the ground from around 7 or 8 yards out, but after the PAT was missed, the score was tied at 6-6 with around 9 minutes to play in the second quarter. St. James punted on their next possession, and after a quick drive for the Cardinals, Douglas was able to pick up his second rushing touchdown of the night and make it a 13-6 ballgame with 5:06 left in the second quarter. This was the first time the Cardinals took the lead in this ballgame, and they never looked back, not surrendering the lead again.
The following drive for St. James was very quick, just around 1:45 long. Brayden Williams, on a quarterback keeper, was able to find some room and make a man miss en route to a 6-yard rushing touchdown, believed to be his 10th on the season if the MaxPreps stats are correct. After a low snap and a low quick, the PAT was missed by St. James once again, and the score was 13-12.
The Cardinals took possession once again, and were able to run a methodical drive down the field and get to the goalline with around 0:20 left in the half. Quarterback Jake Sternfels took a carry and appeared to cross the line with the ball on a “brotherly-shove” type of play, but he was ruled just short. A very questionable call. On the following play, Sternfels rolled out a bit and then lunged the the endzone, and although it appeared his knee was down before the ball went over the line, the play was ruled a touchdown. St. James fans were upset, and rightfully so, but you could say this call made up for the previous play for the Cardinals. Nonetheless, E.D. White took a 20-12 lead into halftime. I’ll let you, the fans, be the judge of the scoring play, shown below:
The third quarter started and both teams punted and ran out the clock, and other than a Cardinal interception by Matthew Escher, the quarter was pretty uneventful. Jakias Villanueva did make some plays that are worth noting, like the one below:
Early in the 4th quarter, St. James found themselves sitting in Cardinal territory, with the down and distance being 4th and 7. Williams wasn’t able to find an open receiver, and scrambled around in the backfield for what seemed like ages, but noting materialized and Williams took a sack.
The Cardinals moved quickly, picking up a lot of air yards on a 42-yard pass from Sternfels to Paxton Lafont which set up the offense at the 2. Carter Douglas was able to score for a third time from not far out, and E.D. White took a 27-12 lead, early in the 4th quarter.
St. James was able to pick up 56-yards on a long pass from Williams to Trenton Ester. The set the Wildcat offense up at the Cardinal 13-yardline, and after a couple short plays, Williams was able to run it in for his second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from 3 yards out. The PAT was successful this time, and the Wildcats brought the score to within one possession, at 27-19.
St. James forced a crucial punt with 5:25 left in the game. After another chunk-play by Villanueva, the Wildcats were in a good position to make something happen. On a fourth down play, though, a pass intended for Kobe Brown was broken up, and E.D. White only needed one first down to seal the game.
On a 3rd and 1 situation, the Cardinals converted the first down, and kneeled it out. The celebration ensued, and E.D. White finished an unbelievable regular-season run.
After the game, there was a media swarm of winning coach Kyle Lasseigne. Coach Lasseigne is extremely proud of his teams hard work. He mentioned that this isn’t the most talented team E.D. White has ever fielded, but is the most dedicated and hardest-working, and now this team can say they’ve gone further than any other team in school history.
Carter Douglas finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 37 yards of rushing. Jake Sternfels completed 4-9 passes for 89 yards, headlined by the 42-yarder to Lafont, and also added exactly 100 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown.
For the Wildcats, Brayden Williams passed for 212 yards and a touchdown, and ran for two more, and threw one interception.
The playoff schedule will come out very soon. Stay tuned for that, and for game coverage from the first round of the LHSAA playoffs!