Bogalusa travels to St. James tonight

Published 8:07 am Friday, September 9, 2016

Bogalusa’s Lumberjacks are taking to the road this week to face St. James.

“St. James is ranked in the top 10 for sure,” Bogalusa coach David Roberts said. “They’re athletic. They’re a good team. We’re going to go out there, try to compete and give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. We’ve got to limit the mistakes. We had three (mistakes) against them last year and I think that’s why they beat us.”

Bogalusa comes in at 0-1. This week is the Lumberjacks’ opener. They had to forfeit last week’s game, because of a fight that occurred at the end of their playoff game against Amite last year.

“Obviously we didn’t get to play last week, so we’re raring to go. The kids are excited. That’s a good venue to play a game in. It’s a good opportunity to see how much we’ve improved since the jamboree,” Roberts said.

Bogalusa played in the Covington Jamboree two weeks ago and lost to Northlake Christian, 20-8.

Bogalusa’s points came on a touchdown pass from Thomas Turner to Sal Pittman. Javon Tate ran in the two-point conversion.

The rest of the wide receivers are Dominique Tillman, Jay Baham and Jymon Jackson.

The top defensive players include defensive backs Tillman and Jackson, linemen Cody Sumrall and Joemon Roberts, linebackers O’Trevious Gatlin and Jamyren Ladner and strong safety Tyrese Cotton.

All of the defensive players listed are returning starters except for Roberts.

St. James topped Bogalusa in last year’s game, 20-15.

St. James enters this week with a 1-0 record after defeating West St. John, 33-8, in last week’s opener.

“Our biggest challenge is battling complacency without the rivalry factor,” St. James coach Robert Valdez said. “We have to go out and carry out the fundamentals. When I look at Bogalusa on film, I see they have great athletes and real good size. They have a good scheme on offense and their 3-5 defense allows them to have more athletes on the field.”

The team is playing this season without quarterback Lowell Narcisse, an LSU commit, because of a left knee injury he suffered in the jamboree. Narcisse missed most of last season because of a right knee injury. Last year’s injury happened in the spring game. Narcisse came back during the playoffs last season.

Demarcus Williams is the quarterback. Last week, he threw a touchdown pass to Dontaze Costly. He also ran for 36 yards and a touchdown.

“He’s steady,” Valdez said. “He’s a kid that was a starting receiver for us. He’ll probably play receiver or defensive back for us. He gives us some consistency. We’re not asking him to throw it as much as we did with Lowell, but enough to keep people at bay. He throws it good enough to give us some balance.”

Last week, Curtlan Johnson ran for 116 yards on 10 carries (11.6 yards per attempt) and scored a rushing touchdown.

The top defenders are inside linebackers Eltonary Oubre and Camrin Grows.

Valdez said Oubre anchors the defense. Last week, he had 11 tackles, including two for a loss, a forced fumble and a blocked punt.

Grows recorded two tackles for loss, had a sack, and forced a fumble that he recovered and took in for a touchdown.