The St. Edmund Blue Jays took care of business this past Thursday with a 26-13 victory over an improved Westminster Christian Academy (Opelousas) Crusaders team led by first year head coach Byron Porter. Although the Blue Jays got the win, it certainly was not for the faint of heart as the Blue Jays did battle through a lot of adversity in this one.
The Blue Jays are led by one of the best running backs in the state in Ke’von Johnson, who already is the school’s all-time leading rusher. The star Blue Jays sophomore running back and former Gridiron Football Player of the Week is on a mission to win the Louisiana state rushing title this season as he currently leads the state with 1,863 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He had a productive game on the ground with 34 carries for 219 yards and a touchdown, and he only did so in three quarters as he was ejected in the third quarter after he got in a tussle with Westminster Christian Academy’s Joseph Brown, who was also pulled out of the game after the exchange.
Even though Johnson could not finish the game, his counterpart Henry Summerlin helped carry the load with some tough running of his own finishing with 80 yards rushing on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
“We lost Ke’von to a personal foul penalty, but Henry did an excellent job for us. He is the other running back that nobody really talks about a lot, but he is a tough North/South runner that does a great job of complimenting Ke’von. We got two great running backs.”St. Edmund Head Coach James Shiver
Westminster Christian Academy, which was a team that was coming off a two-game winning streak, scored on the first offensive play of the game with a 67-yard run by Joseph Brown to get an early 7-0 lead, but after that, the Blue Jays defense settled in as the defensive front put pressure on Crusaders quarterback Stephen George all night long with five sacks. Jay Lavergne and Copeland Miller led the way with two sacks a piece.
The Crusaders added a touchdown late in the third quarter with a Jamari White nine-yard touchdown run, but it was too little too late as the Blue Jays put up 26 unanswered points after giving up the early long touchdown run. Despite the loss, the Crusaders’ running back Michael Cunningham had a nice outing with 92 yards rushing on eight carries.
With Summerlin filling in for Johnson, the Blue Jays also got a big play in the passing game to give themselves some separation as St. Edmund quarterback Kane West threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Gradney to give them the breathing room they needed in order to get a win.
With the win, St. Edmund head coach James Shiver and the Blue Jays not only got a big victory on senior night but put themselves in position to get at least a share of the 6-1A district championship when they face off against the three-time defending district champion Opelousas Catholic Vikings next week.
“We got the lead and went into halftime. It was a close game at halftime at 13-7. We came out and scored on the first drive of the second half. We really pride ourselves on scoring first drives of the second half. We got another good drive and scored again. After that, we just held onto the lead, ran the clock out. That has been the game plan for us when we take a lead.”St. Edmund Head Coach James Shiver
As far as the status of Ke’von Johnson, it is still uncertain if he will be available for this week’s game, but we will provide an update once we know more. With or without their star running back, Coach Shiver is confident about his team matches up next week against Opelousas Catholic.
“We set it up next week where it is going to be for the district championship. It would be for a three way tie for district between us, OC, and Catholic Pointe Coupee. It should be a huge crowd and we are super excited for next week.”
Kane is a 1,000 yard passer this year for us. This is the second year in a row he has done that. We still have a great offense. I am pretty excited about next week. They are going to still have to stop us like we are going to have to stop them.”St. Edmund Head Coach James Shiver
St. Edmund improves to (7-2, 3-1) while Westminster Christian Academy (Opelousas) falls to (5-4, 2-2) and will wrap up the regular season at home against Catholic Pointe Coupee.
Check out some of the photos that were taken during the St. Edmund and Westminster Christian Academy (Opelousas) game!
Week 1: U-High vs. Woodlawn
Week 2: Madison Prep vs. Southern Lab
Week 6: Acadiana vs. Sam Houston
Week 7: LCA vs. Teurlings Catholic