St. Augustine’s defense and special teams carried them to wins in Week 1 as well as in the jamboree, and this time the Purple Knights’ offense joined the party.
“Big Purple’s” offense racked up 480 yards while scoring six of St. Aug’s seven touchdowns as the Purple Knights cruised to a 44-6 non-district win over Landry-Walker Saturday afternoon at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Junior quarterback Kendell Sampson Jr. had his best outing of the early season completing 14 of his 20 passes for 174 yards with three touchdowns, and he also tacked on a rushing touchdown to start the second quarter that put St. Augustine ahead 20-6 just as the second quarter began.
“We watched the film against (McDonogh) 35 and just corrected our mistakes,” said Sampson Jr., whose team topped the Roneagles, 24-13, in Week 1 but scored just two offensive touchdowns despite favorable field position throughout the game.
“I give all the credit to my o-line, my receivers and credit to the defense getting the ball back to us and we got the win.”
The Purple Knight offense was on point from the opening drive marching 70 yards in 14 plays to get themselves on the board first. Sampson completed five of his seven passes on the drive including a 19-yard completion to junior Tylie Keasley early in the possession, and senior Mahmood Bailey capped off the drive with back-to-back runs of 8 and 1 yard with 7:14 left in the opening period for a 6-0 lead following the blocked extra point.
St. Augustine’s (2-0) defense and special teams kept the momentum going on the ensuing drive forcing a 3-and-out before senior defensive back Kenneth Rivarde Jr. burst through the line of scrimmage to block the punt.
Junior defensive lineman Byron Turner Jr. scooped up the ball on the run at the 3-yard line and waltzed into the end zone for a 13-0 Purple Knight lead just over midway through the first quarter.
The Purple Knights have now blocked a punt in three straight weeks dating back to the jamboree, and have surrendered just 20 points in those three matchups against Booker T. Washington, McDonogh 35 and Landry-Walker (1-1).
“It’s really about teamwork,” said senior defensive lineman Kendal Rowan, who had one of St. Augustine’s five sacks on Saturday. “My tackle next to me Future Lee, Byron Turner on the other end and Bishop Thomas at the other tackle — we all depend on each other. We correct each other and anytime we do something wrong we correct ourselves.”
St. Augustine’s only big mistake came after they forced another 3-and-out after the blocked punt. The Chargin’ Bucs got the kick off this time and recovered a muffed punt at the Purple Knights’ 40-yard line.
It looked the St. Aug defense would make a stand forcing Landry-Walker into 4th-and-4 from the 24, but junior quarterback Justin Hudson came up with a clutch throw hitting Ramon Coleman over the middle of the defense for a touchdown.
The two-point conversion was no good leaving the Chargin’ Bucs down 13-6 with 2:20 left in the first period, and it was all Purple Knights from there.
St. Aug responded immediately on its next drive covering 84 yards in 10 plays to extend its lead to 20-6 just 34 seconds into the second quarter. Sampson Jr. found pay dirt this time on a 4-yard scamper and Bailey followed his lead on the next drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with six minutes to go until halftime.
Bailey’s second score capped a 10-play, 52-yard drive and St. Augustine was able to squeeze in one more touchdown before the break after an interception by Tahj Adams late in the quarter.
The Purple Knights took over at their own 45-yard line with 40 seconds left after the pick, and were assisted by a pass interference call before Sampson Jr. lofted a 40-yard bomb to senior receiver Jaheim Walters for a comfortable 32-6 lead going into halftime.
“Everyday after practice we throw routes and get our chemistry down,” said Sampson Jr., who hit seven different targets Saturday including touchdowns to three different receivers. “We watched the film (on Landry-Walker’s defense) and they were giving us all the looks that we wanted and we just made the easy completions.”
“We just tried to ‘KISS it’ — keep it simple,” St. Augustine coach Nathaniel Jones said. “We just wanted to stay within our framework and win each play as opposed to getting too far ahead of ourselves. I think the guys did a good job of executing the plays.”
Senior Khi Mathieu and sophomore Javen Nicholas were the recipients of Sampson Jr.’s last two touchdown passes of 31 and 18 yards in the third quarter.
The Purple Knights also had success on the ground with three running backs rushing for at least 57 yards led by junior Keilon Pritchett’s 112 yards on nine carries. Bailey was just short of the century mark totaling 99 yards on the ground on 13 carries before exiting early in the third quarter with what appeared to be cramps.
“It was about execution,” Jones said. “Last week we didn’t feel like we did a bad job, it was just one or two guys not executing on a play, so we went back and studied and said ‘how can we do things better?’ The whole process throughout the week was good so you get the results of the process.”
St. Augustine will look to remain undefeated Friday against Kennedy (0-2) in a road matchup at 7 p.m.
Landry-Walker will look to regroup and get back in the win column Friday at 7 p.m. at Behrman Stadium, but have a significant challenge ahead facing John Curtis (2-0).
“Some of these games you’re going to win and some of them you’re going to lose,” said first-year head coach and former New Orleans Saint Kennan Lewis, whose team defeated Kennedy, 18-6, in Week 1.
“But it’s about how you rebound and my coaches always taught me how to rebound. So we’ll be going back to the drawing board and going over the simple things and just try to come out fighting.”
Landry-Walker: 141 yards of total offense (12 rushing, 129 passing)
St. Augustine: 480 yards of total offense (306 rushing, 174 passing)
Rushing: Johnkeem Mosley, 6-13; James Phillips, 4-12; Henri Curtis, 1-6; Belvin Baker, 1-(-1); Justin Hudson, 11-(-5); Dywante Griffin, 1-(-10); Jakobe Bryant, 3-(-10).
Receiving: Ramon Coleman, 3-65, 1 TD; Dywante Griffin, 2-24; Johnkeem Mosley, 1-18; Gerald Martin, 1-16; Justine Williams, 1-6.
Passing: Justin Hudson, 6-13, 116 yards, 1 TDs, 1 INT; Jakobe Bryant, 2-4, 13 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.
Rushing: Keilon Pritchett, 9-112; Mahmood Bailey, 13-99, 2 TDs; Albert Quest V, 9-57; Shan Brooks, 6-37; Kendell Sampson Jr., 3-6, 1 TD; Dylan Devezin, 1-(-5).
Receiving: Jaheim Walters, 2-57, 1 TD; Javen Nicholas, 3-31, 1 TD; Khi Mathieu, 1-31, 1 TD; Tylie Keasley, 1-19; Mahmood Bailey, 2-14; Carl Singleton, 2-11; August Banks Jr., 2-11
Passing: Kendell Sampson Jr., 14-20, 174 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs.
St. Augustine — Mahmood Bailey 1 run (kick blocked), 7:14, 0-6.
St. Augustine — Byron Turner Jr. 3 blocked punt return (Jaron Marks III kick), 5:52, 0-13.
Landry-Walker — Ramon Coleman 24 pass from Justin Hudson (run failed), 2:20, 6-13.
St. Augustine — Kendell Sampson Jr. 4 run (Marks III kick), 11:26, 6-20.
St. Augustine — Bailey 6 run (kick failed), 6:00, 6-26.
St. Augustine — Jaheim Walters 40 pass from Sampson Jr. (kick blocked), 0:19, 6-32.
St. Augustine — Khi Mathieu 31 pass from Sampson Jr. (kick failed), 7:36, 6-38.
St. Augustine — Javen Nicholas 18 pass from Sampson Jr. (kick failed), 0:11, 6-44.
NEXT UP: Both teams will suit up against Friday at 7 p.m. St. Augustine will be on the road against Kennedy while Landry-Walker hosts John Curtis at Behrman Stadium.