Eagles pull past Central Private

Staff Report

One week after St. John lost its season opener against Hanson Memorial, the Eagles knew they had something to prove.

They accomplished that mission Friday night when they rallied past Central Private for a 14-10 come-from-behind win. It marked the first victory in Coby Minton’s era as the Eagles mentor.

A Colton Canella 8-yard scamper in the third quarter pulled the Eagles ahead of the Rebels for the victory.

“This was very important for our program,” Minton said. “We have similar programs and about the same number of guys who dressed out, but they were battling injuries on the offensive line.

“Our guys showed up and played well, penalties on offensive line that got us out of rhythm in the first half, and again at the fourth quarter, but when we calmed down and played well, we capitalized well off of things they gave us.”

Senior Maddox Bennett threw a touchdown pass to put St. John on the scoreboard against Central Private in the 7-0 Eagle victory last week.

The Eagles led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter after Maddox Bennett connected with Braxton Whittenberg for a 25-yard touchdown.

Bennett finished the game 12-of-16 for 129 yards.

Central Private got on the scoreboard off a Zack Landry 30-yard field goal in the second quarter, but the Eagles held the 7-3 lead at intermission.

A 2-yard sneak put CPHS ahead 10-7 before the Eagles tacked on the winning TD later in the third quarter.

Members of the St. John senior class who led the Eagles to their first win of the season last week against Central Private were, from left: John Merritt Bueche, Joseph Schlatre, Colton Canella, Charlie Guidry, Joshua Daigle, Braxton Whittenberg, and John Dylan Clark.

After the Eagles pulled past the Rebels, clock management became the biggest focus.

“We really challenged those guys at the end of the game. we needed two first downs to run the clock down, and we stepped up and that’s what we really like to see as far as being a well- disciplined team.”

Andrew Kleinpeter led the Eagle ground attack with six carries for 41 yards, while Joseph Schlatre ran five times for 36 yards and Bennett carried four times for 34 yards.

Schlatre notched 69 yards on the receiving end, including a 33-yard reception. Whittenberg had three catches for 46 yards.

The Eagles tallied 249 total yards and held CPHS to 154 yards.

St. John returns home for Week 3 action when the Eagles entertain New Iberia-based Highland Baptist. Kickoff at Andrew Canova Green Devil Stadium is 7 p.m.

“They’re a good ballclub, very well coached, and the head coach there used to be at New Iberia Senior High,” Minton said. “They’re going to come in be very strong on offense and defense, with a ton of experience back on offense and defense.”