Fourth quarter rally pulls St. John past East Iberville

Staff Report

A hard-fought battle between two parish rivals came down to which team could seal the other’s fate in the fourth quarter.

St. John’s Michael Edwards (1) blocks a pass to East Iberville running back Travis Brooks in the District 7-1A opener for both teams.

St. John got the upper hand when it mattered most when the Eagles tacked two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to stave off the “hosting” East Iberville 26-14 in District 7-1A action last Thursday at Andrew Canova Stadium.

SJHS improved to 2-4, while EIHS remained winless after five games.

East Iberville was the “home” team in the contest because of the ongoing renovation to the football stadium, which is set for completion in mid-November.

Although EIHS was the “home” squad, it was not much of an advantage as St. John drew more than twice the number of fans for the game.

Colton Canella and Joseph Schlatre each scored two touchdowns to propel the Eagles to victory.

Neither team scored in the first quarter, and an Eagle TD was called back in the opening stanza.

But St. John broke the ice on Canella’s 1-yard sneak early in the second quarter, followed by a Charlie Guidry point-after kick for a 7-0 lead. A penalty called back a Tiger touchdown in the second quarter, but EIHS got on the scoreboard in the third off an 11-yard TD by Trey Perkins, who also ran the conversion for a Tiger lead. Perkins ran for the game-high 188 yards off 24 carries.

The advantage did not last long, as Schlatre broke loose on a 55-yard scamper that put the Eagles back in the lead. Schlatre finished with seven carries for 107 yards.

St. John seized another opportunity when Canella recovered an EIHS fumble in the Tiger end zone to stretch the lead in the fourth quarter. Canella tallied 12 carries for 81 yards.

It was a game of momentum, and when you get a game in which the momentum swings like it did, and you get a chance to take the momentum and keep and get a call that takes a would-be touchdown off the board.

“Our wounds were self-inflicted,” East Iberville coach Justin Joseph said. “Like I told my guys, I was proud of what they did, and I can’t see too much we could’ve done different. The self-inflicted things such as penalties are what hurt us.

“This was a game of momentum, and when you get a game in which the momentum swings like it did, and you get a chance to take the momentum and keep and get a call that takes a would-be touchdown off the board,” he said. 

Schlatre struck again with a 5-yard run, followed by a Guidry kick that put the Eagles ahead 26-8.

While St. John did not quit, neither did East Iberville. Quarterback Jarien Thomas connected with Troy Lodge on a 20-year TD pass in the fourth quarter, but the conversion run failed. A fumbled Eagle punt set up the TD.

“I think a lot of the reason behind the victory that our guys played supper hard and had that never-say-die attitude,” St. John Coach Coby Minton said “We could’ve let that get us down, but our guys competed and never panicked and used that to go down and score.

 “That was huge for us because it’s something we haven’t done in a few weeks, but it shows we’re growing up and learning to win,” he said.