By Peter Pasqua
VACHERIE – St. James High overcame an hour delay and held parish rival Lutcher scoreless in the second half to pull away 34-13 in the District 9-3A opener Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The Wildcats (6-0, 1-0), under coach Robert Valdez and ranked No. 1 in the LSWA Class 3A poll, trailed Lutcher (2-4, 0-1), coached by Dwain Jenkins, 13-10 at the half before scoring three fourth quarter touchdowns to pull away.
St. James quarterback Shamar Smith rushed for all three of those scores while Bulldogs’ counterpart Mekhi Patterson rushed for two of his own. Sean LeBeouf led the Wildcats with 114 yards rushing and Ra’Suan Storks had 105 for Lutcher.
Smith scored on runs of 5, 1 and 18 yards in the fourth quarter after Alec Mahler’s 37-yard field goal knotted it up to open the second half. Joel Cooper’s interception set up the final touchdown for St. James.
Patterson scored on a 1-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead at the half following an interception by Alex Martinez. Mahler’s 33-yard field goal gave St. James an early 3-0 lead before the weather delay.
LeBeouf then scored on a 17-yard run to put St. James back ahead 10-6 following a 10-yard touchdown run by Patterson.
The Wildcats continue district play traveling to another rival Donaldsonville (5-1, 0-1) Friday night at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium. Lutcher hosts Berwick (3-3, 1-1) in another district matchup at the Dog Yard also on Friday night.