By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
After just a single half, St Thomas More QB Walker Howard was already out of the game, on the sidelines, cheering for his teammates.....no, the Lafayette-native did not suffer another injury, he was merely rested after a rampant first 30 minutes....a delectable opening salvo where the country's #1 overall quarterback reduced Evangelical Christian Academy to a pile of desecrated rubble:
Tossing 4 TDs, 242 yards and completing 11 of his 17 attempts, Howard cut ECA apart with a strong underneath / intermediary rhythm punctuated by violent advertisements of Walker's dynamic long-ball.
Thanks to the wheels of junior WRs Christian Mcnees or Hayes Moncla, Howard looked down field for a pair of early 45 & 55 yard long touchdowns and never looked back, icing the game through his surgical red zone artistry by the 2nd quarter.
Mcnees, the MVP of the game, already had 3 TDs to himself by halftime, according to STM Lead Sideline Reporter Christopher Gossen; The 2023 receiver reeled in a pair of TD catches after opening proceedings with an 82 yard kickoff return TD, setting the stage for a maniacal evening from the Lafayette squad.
Following Mcnees' brilliant showcase of pure speed on the opening kickoff, Howard went to work feeding Mcnees the ball once again, this time for a 55 yard howitzer down field, beating double coverage for the long touchdown.
Just 5 weeks after fracturing his fibula, Walker, taking low snaps all game, handled the thigh-high snap, lifted his head as he settled back into his drop, then, without a moment's hesitation, the LSU commit stepped forward, leveled his arm back and unleashed a bomb leading Christian Mcnees into space, utilizing his receiver's burner pace to a devastating degree.
14-0.....just like that.
However.........only a drive later, Walker's frisbee-looking teardrop touchdown to Hayes Moncla was a thing of peerless beauty....unstoppable in its range of fluid motion, rotating in mystical orbit over the top of another flailing DB's shoulders, before landing smack dab into Moncla's stride for the 3rd quick score of the game.
It was a pass which underlines exactly why I say such hyperbolic things about Walker Howard.......even the hyperbole doesn't fully represent his talents.
Next up, Howard finished off a drive near the goal-line with a gutty slant toss to Brandon LeBlanc, bamboozling the defender on the inside.
Riding the legs of St Thomas More's impressive running back Charlie Payton, Howard finished off his final drive of the night with his 4th touchdown, picking out Moncla yet again.
Hayes beat the corner off the line, fought through the jam, and turned to meet the football with his untouchable grasp, scoring his 2nd TD of the evening, the two-time state title winner posting a multi-TD game once again in 2021.
Taking a resounding 28-6 lead heading into the half, Coach Hightower's wisdom always prevails, resting his starting quarterback for the entire second half and entrusting his second stringers to finish off the game, which they did in properly bullish fashion: tacking on another 28 points during the final two quarters to end it 56-12.
After the game speaking to Christopher Gossen, STM's Lead Reporter & LSUODYSSEY.COM's official lead source on all things STM, the legendary championship-winning Head Coach called the performance "STM's best game" of the 2021 season........and to a team who've gone through trials, tribulations, doubts, injuries, criticism...while suffering in blood, sweat & tears on as well as off the field, nothing could feel better than peaking at the right time.
The gang's all here....
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
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SHOUTOUTS: Thank you to Christopher Gossen for his exceptionalism, his mastercraft & his friendship, he's been a huge support and a great guy to get to know. Please, Check Out His Work HERE