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Lewis sparks Wildcats past Terrebonne, 49-21

On his first run of the game, East St. John quarterback/defensive back Xavier Lewis showed everyone in Tom B. Smith Stadium on Friday why he is one of the state’s top junior recruits.

Lewis, who is a LSU football commitment, broke loose on a 80-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats second play from scrimmage, and that early score led to a 35-point first half barrage in East St. John’s 49-21 District 7-5A win over Terrebonne.

Lewis finished the game with 215 yards on 14 carries and three touchdown runs. He also completed 4-of-5 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. East St. John, which also got 104 yards on 14 carries and two touchdown runs from Nigel Anderson, racked up 433 total yards of offense against Terrebonne.

“We gave them some opportunities and they capitalized,” Terrebonne coach Gary Hill said. “Defensively, it’s hard to stimulate their speed and their athleticism. They took advantage of us.”

East St. John coach Phillip Banko said the running of Lewis and Nigel Anderson, along with the blocking of his offensive line, got things going for the Wildcats (6-3 overall, 6-0 in district).

“We’re getting better every week,” Banko said. “This was an overall team effort. Our kids played hard. This was a big victory for us. This was a playoff game for them, so we had to play well.”

Lewis struck again on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to make it 14-0 with 3:42 left in the opening half.

Terrebonne (225 total yards, 44 passing, 181 rushing) gained big yards on a 41-yard run from quarterback Colby Stewart (141 yards, 20 carries, two TDs), who later scored on a 13-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter.

It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to strike back. Lewis tossed a 33-yard pass Kyle Anderson to extend the lead to 21-7 with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Nigel Anderson added touchdown runs of 6 and 2 yards to put the Wildcats ahead 35-7 at halftime.

“Our main focus was to start fast and early and get a jump on them,” Lewis said. “If we didn’t, it was going to be a close game. We played well as a team.”

Terrebonne (4-5, 1-5 in district) recovered two Terrebonne turnovers in the third quarter to make a little comeback.

After Corey LeBoeuf recovered a East St. John fumble at the beginning of the second half, Terrebonne took advantage when Stewart connected with Devin Madison on a 34-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 35-14.

Terrebonne’s Phillip Coleman recovered the onside attempt on the ensuing kickoff, and it led to a 5-yard touchdown run from Stewart to make the score 35-21 with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter.

The Tigers recovered another onside kick when Charles Cook retrieved the ball at the Wildcats 37-yard line, but a chop block penalty call ruined the Tigers’ scoring chances on the drive.

Lewis added a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 42-21 at the end of the third quarter, and the junior quarterback hooked up with Kyle Anderson on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 6:11 left in the fourth quarter for the final touchdown. On the touchdown play, East St. John’s Sean Bailey dislocated his knee and was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Hill said the first half deficit put them in a big hole. Terrebonne’s Justin Theriot and Kasey Castle both left the game with leg injuries.

“I thought in the second half, we came out and tried to make a stand and got back into it a little bit,” Hill said. “The kids came out hard and fought in the second half. We’re proud of that. We just wish we would’ve had that effort in the first half as well.”

The Tigers will need a win over rival H.L. Bourgeois next week to hopefully earn a spot in the playoffs. Hill said the Tigers seniors have never enduring a losing record during their careers. 

“We’re going to play every game like it’s our last,” Stewart said. “We’re going out there against H.L. and we’re going to play like it’s a playoff game. We’re trying to get that one win to finish it out strong.”

Before the game, Terrebonne High honored its 2013 Hall of Fame class, which included Billy Juenke, David Neal, Kim Smith and Jimmy Trahan.