St. John pulls past Highland Baptist, 22-13
NEW IBERIA – A football season focuses on championships, but also on the smaller objectives that help them reach the pinnacle – and St. John accomplished one of those goals last week.
The Eagles notched a second consecutive victory last week when they overcame a halftime deficit for a 22-13 victory against Highland Baptist last week.
“We talked all week about winning two in a row,” head coach Coby Minton said. “We didn’t have the focus to put two great weeks back-to-back last year. We wanted to show that we have grown as a team, and we did.”
The Eagles (2-1) trailed Highland Baptist, 13-7, at halftime, but touchdowns by running back Andrew Kleinpeter and quarterback Maddox Bennett propelled the visiting Eagles to victory.
Kleinpeter put the momentum back in St. John’s favor when he scored on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Gabe Blanchard’s PAT put the Eagles ahead 14-13 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
SJHS knew it would take more to put the lid on Highland.
They accomplished that mission when Bennett raced 47 yards downfield on a keeper that stretched their lead. This time, however, the Eagles gained a little extra security when a Kleinpeter conversion gave SJHS an eight-point lead that sealed the victory.
“We challenged the guys to get the two-point conversion, and they converted,” Minton said. “That was huge for the guys to show that instinct to put the game away.
The Eagles needed the second-half rally to stave off Highland Baptist, which overcame a first-quarter deficit over St. John.
SJHS took a 7-0 lead when Bennett fired a 27-yard TD pass to Ahmad Wilson in the first quarter, followed by Blanchard’s PAT.
Highland tied the score on a TD in the first quarter and took the lead on a scoring run in the second,
A 300-plus yard offensive attack propelled the Eagle victory.
Kleinpeter tallied 188 yards on 34 carries, while Bennett carried 11 times for 83 yards.
Bennett also completed six of 16 passes for 54 yards.
The St. John defense held Highland to 160 yards –80 on the ground, 30 in the air.
The Eagles had 12 penalties for 114 yards. SJHS returns to Andrew Canova Green Devil Stadium Thursday night to entertain West St. Mary.