St. Mary’s suffocates Montgomery in return to district action 

St. Mary’s football coach Aaron York (at left) and his coaching staff showed distinctive style Friday night for the Tigers’ visit to Montgomery. (Courtesy photo)

By MATT VINES, Journal Sports

MONTGOMERY – Perfection may be an unachievable standard, but St. Mary’s performance Friday came about as close as possible. 

the Tigers scored all 49 of their points in the first three quarters and scarcely surrendered a first down before the younger players rolled in to finish a 49-0 obliteration of Montgomery on the road. 

Quarterback Mixon Bankston completed all 10 passes for 208 yards and two scores while also leading the Tigers’ (6-1, 2-0 District 3-1A) rushing attack with 58 yards and another touchdown. 

St. Mary’s first drive stalled and resulted in a missed field goal, and the Tigers weathered some early Montgomery offensive success. 

But Connor Jordan sacked Montgomery on fourth down to halt its first drive, and Montgomery didn’t gain another first down on the next four drives. 

Meanwhile, St. Mary’s scored touchdowns on its next four drives to build a 28-0 lead. 

“Mixon Bankston threw the ball really well tonight, and he was very effective overall,” said St. Mary’s coach Aaron York. “Our defense settled in after the first series and really excelled. 

“It’s great to get back to district play, and we look forward to contending for a district title over the next two weeks.” 

Montgomery (4-4, 2-1) entered the contest on a three-game winning streak and were victors in four of their last five contests. 

But St. Mary’s quelled any thoughts of a Montgomery upset by holding the hosts to three yards or less on seven of their 10 possessions. St. Mary’s hasn’t allowed a point in district play with shutouts of LaSalle and Montgomery. 

Montgomery gained just 74 offensive yards before piecing together a 70-yard drive on its final possession against backups, a drive that ended on a failed fourth down. 

St. Mary’s early offensive outburst started with a Ben Bienvenu 4-yard touchdown run followed by three Bankston scores. 

Bankston connected with Ethan Busby (38 yards) and Bienvenu (53 yards) before rushing in a 4-yard touchdown to construct the 28-point lead. 

Once Montgomery finally gained another first down late in the second quarter, Nathan Slaughter crushed that momentum by returning an interception 82 yards for a touchdown. 

St. Mary’s added two third-quarter touchdowns on a Normand Braylin 2-yard run and a Tilly Preston 15-yard pass to Cole Yopp. 

Bankston wasn’t the only perfect passer as Preston completed his two attempts and Godfrey Jackson completed his three passes. 

St. Mary’s 15 completions overall went to nine different receivers with Bienvenu (2-64), Busby (3-55) and Payne Williams (1-49) leading the way. 

The victory comes after St. Mary’s 14-game regular-season winning streak was snapped last week at Peabody. 

If the Tigers are to start another winning streak, it’ll come with a district title in hand as St. Mary’s hosts Logansport this week. 

Logansport (7-1, 2-0) has won seven straight games after playing Calvary Baptist closer than most to open the season. These Tigers won their first two district games by a combined score of 120-6.