On Friday, November 10, 2023, St. Augustine Purple Knights came up to Baton Rouge to face off against McKinley Senior High Panthers in the first round of the 2023 playoffs. In this Divison I matchup the 7-3 Panthers were ranked 11th while the 3-7 Purple Knights were ranked 22nd. St. Aug was victorious in this outing against McKinley and is set to play the 6th seed John Curtis Christian next week in the regional round of the playoffs.
The Purple Knights took the lead early in the game with quarterback Dawson Simmons throwing a pass on fourth and goal to the Indiana three-star commit Hubert Caliste Jr. for the first touchdown of the night. This would be the start of a high-scoring game for St. Augustine. Their passing game was explosive and a vital point of how they controlled this game. St. Aug did a fantastic job airing the ball out and downfield to move the chains and score points. This was a huge help by three-star receiver Joshua Jackson. Joshua had three scores in the game, two in the first half and another one in the second half. In between Joshua’s two touchdowns, running back Keith Hill broke the plane on a short run for another touchdown. With these four touchdowns scored by St. Aug, the half would end with a score of 25-0 (only one made PAT).
The second half continued the same way as the first half unfolded. With about half of the third quarter already gone, Joshua Jackson caught his third touchdown of the night, but this time it was a pass thrown by Vashaun Coulon, the backup quarterback. At this point, leading 31-0 the Purple Knights started to play more and more of their underclassmen and nonstarters. McKinley on the next drive was able to finally put some points on the scoreboard to cancel out the shutout. Quarterback Tyson Camel through a pass in the flats to running back Deonte Camel. Deonte ran through a couple of defenders to score a touchdown on a fourth and goal conversion. In the fourth Vashaun Coulon was able to throw two more touchdown passes to Jaroy Jackson and Bobby Kennedy. These scores would add up to the final score of the game 43-6 Purple Knights on top.
Throughout the game, the Panthers just couldn’t seem to find consistency on the offensive side. Quarterback Tyson Camel had a completion percentage of under 50% during the game. On the other hand, both quarterbacks on the Purple Knights side of the ball, seem to be connecting with all of their receivers, having a total of six touchdown passes thrown between the two of them. St. Augustine will try to keep this momentum going next week when they face John Curtis Christian.