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Action heating up for Lake Area's Class 3A teams

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 03, 2012 10:09 PM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

The District 4-3A football race is starting off with a bang, with a pair of top-10 ranked teams set to battle in Jennings Friday when the Bulldogs host Notre Dame.

The Bulldogs (4-1) have had a host of new faces produce customarily explosive results on offense, while the Pioneers (3-1) have shown some firepower of their own the past couple of weeks. No. 9 Jennings averages 35 points per game, while No. 4 Notre Dame has scored 89 points over the past two weeks while picking up wins over St. Louis and Catholic-New Iberia.

“In all three phases of the game, they are very talented,” said Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps. “They have an excellent passing game, a solid and physical running game. They have a big offensive line. Defensively, if you get a first down, you earn it. They have a very good kicking game.”

Phelps said the Bulldogs have slowed the pace on offense to good effect.

“We are getting back to the old style of sustained, clock-eating drives,” he said. “We are throwing the ball downfield more and getting big plays there. Early in the season, we were in a hurry, but now we have slowed things down and are grinding out the first downs.”

Drama has been in short supply in Iowa over the past five weeks, as the Yellow Jackets have rolled up a string of blowout wins while going undefeated in its five nondistrict games. This week, the Jackets make the first of back-to-back road trips to open the district schedule.

Iowa will face Crowley (1-4) Friday before returning to the town to play Notre Dame next week.

Iowa enters district play as the sole undefeated team, the highest-scoring team and has allowed the fewest points. Iowa has scored 225 points and allowed 47 over the last four weeks after opening with a 21-14 win at Abbeville.

Crowley has lost four straight since opening with a win over Patterson. The Gents have allowed 34 points per game. Iowa averages 45 per game.

Westlake (3-1) visits South Beauregard (2-3) tonight. Rams head coach Shawn Demeritt led South Beauregard to a 31-12 record over the past four seasons before moving on to the Rams. New South Beauregard head coach Dwight Hudler was the offensive coordinator at Westlake last season.

Demeritt said the game is a big one for he and his team.

“We are excited about having the first game of district. It will be emotional for me and my wife, we had a great time there, coached some great kids had a lot of success and met some great people,” Demeritt said. “It will be nice to go back and see some kids I coached.”

Demeritt said he is satisfied with where the team is, but is looking for more consistency.

“We are playing pretty well,” he said. “We still have not put together four straight quarters of good football. We are very pleased with our defense, they only gave up seven points in the second half. A lot of what they do offensively starts with (running back Joe) Ledet. They flex him out at receiver and move him around some.

“It is a shame they lost (injured starting quarterback Zack) Brady. They are mixing it up a lot with Matt Trahan, who starts at receiver and does some wildcat-type things at quarterback, and Brandon Hare, who is more of a pocket passer. We will have to see who is playing where. It is going to be physical. Defensively they have made the switch to the 3-4 and do a lot of blitzing.”

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