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Top seed St. James powers past Mansfield in first round


St. James’ Shamar Smith

By Peter Pasqua

VACHERIE – Top seed St. James High made easy work of Mansfield in a 28-0 Class 3A bi-district round playoff victory Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.

The District 6-3A champion and undefeated Wildcats (11-0, 5-0), coached by Robert Valdez, jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead forcing four first-half turnovers.

St. James senior quarterback Shamar Smith accounted for three total touchdowns completing 9-of-13 passes for 71 yards and rushing for 66 yards on 13 attempts. Running back Sean LeBeouf also rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries.

Joel Cooper returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown to put St. James ahead early. Kaleb Brown also had a fumble recovery and Tyrin Bastain had an interception for the Wildcats.

Smith’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Logan Gravois made it 14-0 on the final play off the first quarter as Alec Mahler connected on all four point after touchdown attempts for St. James. The quarterback then leaped into the end zone from 1 yard with four seconds remaining in the half.

Smith added a 3-yard touchdown run with nine seconds remaining in the third quarter to reflect the final tally over the Wolverines (4-7).

The Wildcats will travel to 17th seeded Green Oaks (5-6) for the regional round in Shreveport. The Giants upset No. 16 Jena 26-6 in the first round.