A pair of huge interception returns that totaled 175 yards and two touchdowns helped the East St. John Wildcats knock off Hahnville 41-16 on Friday night. But it wasn’t just the Wildcats defense that came up big, their offense put on a clinic, mixing the run and pass to perfection on their way to the victory.
The Wildcats wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, with D’haquille Williams catching two nice passes from quarterback Darion Monroe that quickly brought ESJ down the field. The drive ended with another Monroe-to-Williams connection, this time for an 11-yard score.
Hahnville’s offense struggled throughout the first quarter, with the lone bright spot being a fake punt that Ahmad White ran for five yards to pick up the first down. However, the Tigers sputtered after that and it wasn’t until the second quarter that they finally tied up the score.
The Tigers’ scoring drive was set up by a 3-yard East St. John punt. On the ensuing play – a screen pass to White – the Wildcat defenders were flagged for a late hit on quarterback Brian Ensminger. White took advantage of the penalty by scoring a touchdown from 1-yard out.
The Wildcats would jump back on top thanks to a questionable pass
interference call in the endzone that led to a 3-yard touchdown by Monroe.
However, the Tigers stuck last in the half, with Austin Fremen kicking a 39-yard field goal to pull Hahvnille within four at 14-10.
But the biggest plays of the game all took place in the second half.
After the Tigers had put together their best drive of the game, Ensminger was pressured into lofting the ball into the path of Wildcat defensive lineman Dathan Thomas. The big man literally rumbled 75 yards in the opposite direction to give ESJ a 21-10 lead.
Hahnville clawed back into the game in the fourth quarter when Ensminger connected with Desvon Joseph on a 61-yard pass that brought the ball to the 3-yard line. White eventually pushed the ball past the goal line, but the Tigers failed on a two-point conversion try and still trailed 21-16.
That was as close as Hahnville would get.
ESJ’s Williams scored his second touchdown on a 19-yard catch on the ensuing possession to put his team up 28-16, but after that score the Tigers quickly drove down the field and got to the 5-yard line. That’s when Ensminger was intercepted by Nathan Anderson who returned the ball 100 yards for another score.
ESJ quarterback Monroe then scored on a 2-yard run shortly after to give his team the 41-16 win.