The Eagles of St. John School gained the advantage over the Merryville Panthers with a touchdown in the first quarter last Friday and never trailed in a 33-15 away game.

St. John effectively attacked Merryville with passes, three for TDs and an impressive 262 yards on its way to improve to 2-0.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers dominated on the ground, with 66 carries for 254 yards, but could only score twice on the ground.

One of those rushing touchdowns was in the first quarter, followed by a PAT, and another in the fourth, punctuated with a 2-point conversion.

But the Eagles shut down Merryville’s passing game, holding them to a mere five yards with one completion of the seven passes the Panthers attempted.

The end-of-game offensive stats are deceiving – St. John put up 296 while Merryville’s total offensive output was 250 – but the game was never as close as those numbers make it appear.

The Eagles are playing under their third new coach in as many seasons, Eric Holden, who brought a new philosophy to the team that seems to have led to a winning attitude for its players.

Last Friday, St. John broke a 0-20 losing streak with a 59-0 domination over Ridgewood.

The Eagles struck first with a 13-yard run by quarterback Adam Blanchard, followed by a blocked point after attempt.

Before the first quarter was over, St. John lit up the scoreboard again, this time with a demonstration of its passing game, a 56-yard completion to Peter Anderson from Blanchard. After a failed 2-point conversion pass, the score was 12-0 at the end of the quarter. 

Merryville responded with a touchdown of its own, a 7-yard rushing score for six points and a PAT to change the score to 12-7, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.

The Eagles added another six points before the half ended on an 8-yard run by Cobie Lockett, but again St. John was unsuccessful with a 2-point conversion, leaving the score at 18-7 at halftime.

Lockett was the workhorse in the Eagle ground game with 59 yards but the air attack was split between three receivers, Justin Rivet caught five for 115 yards, Anderson caught two tosses for 71 yards and a touchdown and Adam added another TD, seven receptions and 67 yards.

Blanchard finished the night with 175 yards pass with seven completions out of 15 attempts.

After a scoreless third quarter, Merryville scored first with a safety caused by a holding penalty in the end zone to change the scoreboard to 18-9.

But a couple of touchdown passes from Blanchard to Theriot of 28 and 2 yards slammed the door for good on the Panthers who would pick up another TD before the game’s end, the scoreboard reading 33-15.

St. John will face another undefeated team on Friday at home against Catholic High of Pointe Coupee, who will bring a 2-0 record to Plaquemine. The game will begin at 7 p.m.