St. John pulls past Northlake Christian in Walk-On’s Bowl
St. John may have not competed in a playoff game this season, but they made the most of a postseason bowl game that gave them plenty momentum for next season.
The Eagles pulled from a first quarter deficit and held Covington-based Northlake Christian scoreless until the final play of the game that ended the game with a 31-19 win in the Walk-On’s Bowl last Thursday at Andrew Canova Stadium.
The Eagles finished the season 4-7 under first-year head coach Coby Minton.
“We want to come in and learn to win,” he said. “We may be losing a few key players, but we have a lot of returnees for next year, and we have a chance to come back older, both offensively and defensively.”
Senior running back Joseph Schlatre powered St. John with three touchdowns in his final game with the program.
He led the Eagle rushing attack with 11 carries for 93 yards.
Schlatre scored on a 76-yard kickoff return for the Eagles immediately after Cameron Casanavay’s 10-yard touchdown gave Northlake a 7-0 lead.
Northlake Christian (1-8) responded with a 55-yard TD by Andrew Beshenich that put the Eagles behind 13-7 at the end of the first quarter.
St. John took control for nearly the rest of the game, starting with a Charlie Guidry 31-yard field goal that cut into the Wolverine lead.
Guidry succeeded on all point-after kicks for St. John.
Defense commanded the spotlight in the third quarter when Northake held firm to its 13-10 halftime lead for what it hoped would lead to victory.
“Defense played amazing in the second half, forced turnovers and offensively we did a good job of keeping it away from them, and we ran it right at them and gave ourselves a chance to be successful in that way,” Minton said. “Our defensive staff did a great job of getting those adjustments down ,and they have given us a chance to win every week.”
Schlatre’s 22-yard TD run lifted the Eagles from the 13-10 halftime deficit, while quarterback Maddox Bennett’s 8-yard keeper put SJHS ahead 24-13 in the fourth stanza. Bennett completed 10 of 17 passes for 118 yards and carried 10 times for 43 yards.
Schlatre struck once more, this time on a 1-yard sneak. He finished the game with 91 yard receiving off eight passes.
Beshenich reached the end zone at the final buzzer, this time on a 10-yard run. A pass conversion attempt failed.
He finished the game with 128 yards off 10 carries, while Casanavay tallied 97 yards off 16 carries.
Minton believes the victory will give the Eagles the confidence needed for success next season.
“And it’s not just in football, but in other sports, in the weight room and moving into baseball and basketball,” he said. “It’s a good positive look for all of them.”