Seven parish footballers take part in Red Stick Bowl Saturday

Tryve Brackin
St. John High senior receiver Shelby Hemenway was named the Most Valuable Skill Player for the winning Black Knights’ squad in Saturday’s U.S. Army Red Stick All-Star Football Bowl Game. Hemenway nabbed a 27-yard TD pass in the 22-20 Black Knight victory.

Iberville Parish was well represented Saturday in the annual U.S. Army Red Stick All-Star Football Bowl Game, held at Baton Rouge’s Olympia Stadium.

Seven seniors from the parish took part in the all-star bowl game, which included the Metro Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes high schools.

St. John High senior receiver (tight end) Shelby Hemenway made the most of the invitation as he was selcted the Most Valuable Skill Player for the winning Black Knights’ squad. Hemenway scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Black Knights with a diving nab of a 27-yard pass from University High quarterback Barrett Bailey in the third quarter.

The SJHS senior was joined as a starter for the Black Knights squad by Plaquemine High quarterback Ryan Travis and SJHS Eagle teammate Guy Morgan on the defensive unit. St. John lineman D.J. Pearce and linebacker T.J. Williams also saw extensive duty for the Black Knights. The five players alternated on two different units. Also playing in a backup role was North Iberville High’s Nikita Woolfolk at the linebacker position.

White Castle High’s Jyruss Edwards played slot back as a starter for the Rough Riders’ squad, which was coached by former PHS-WCHS coach Gary Adkins of Donaldsonville High and former SJHS-East Iberville-Brusly mentor Ron LeJeune of Tara High.

Henenway led the Black Knight receivers with three catches for 72 yards and the TD. Travis hit on 4 of 11 passes for 88 yards in the contest. Morgan came up with two big defensive stops. He kept Tara High QB Paul Harris from scoring on a long run with a tackle. And, he assisted on a stop of Catholic BR receiver Marcus Thomas on a long reverse run at the one-yard line.

Travis hit on a 5-yard pass on the opening drive of the game for the Black Knights, but their drive was stalled. Later in the first period, the Knights garnered a fumble recovery and scored on a field goal to take an early 3-0 leader.

Harris, who was named the Rough Riders’ MVP Skill Player, drove his team in for a touchdown, hitting Christian Life standout Shane Andrus with an 18-yard TD pass.

The Black Knights, who were coached by Central High’s Sid Edwards, went into a passing attack mode on their third offensive series. Travis showed off his arm with a pair of long incompleted, well-defended passes. One came on a flea-flicker from Bailey to the PHS senior lined up at the slot position. Travis caught Bailey’s pass, but his throw up field was incomplete.

The Knights attempted a fake punt and did not get the necessary yardage, giving the Rough Riders great field position. Harris threw his second TD pass of the first half, hitting Tara teammate John Stutts from 24-yards out.

A bad center snap gave the Black Knights a quick shot at getting back in the game. Travis completed a short pass, but then missed on a long throw to the end zone. The Knight eventually kicked a field goal and the half ended with the Riders leading 14-6.

Hemenway led a third-quarter comeback for the Knights with his pass catching, while Travis added to his passing yardage. The Knights turned in an 80-yard drive later in the third period to score again to take a 22-14 lead.

The Rough Riders battled back and Harris capped a drive with 50-seconds left in the game on a 1-yard sneak. Harris attempted a two-point conversion pass to tie the score, but it was tipped away to give the Knights’ their 22-20 win margin.