(Brad Puckett / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:58 PM
This Friday’s games will mark the halfway point of the regular season, and for most teams, the final tune-up before district races begin.
We’ve already had a couple of districts get under way. The perennial powers — Barbe, Acadiana and Carencro — took care of business in District 3-5A.
In District 4-2A, defending champion Kinder lost a heartbreaker at Welsh and Rosepine picked up a big road win at Lake Arthur in the opening week. Through four weeks, four teams — Kinder, Lake Arthur, Vinton and Welsh — stand at 3-1 while Rosepine is 2-2, with both losses coming to teams from higher classifications. With such a high number of quality teams, running the gauntlet as Kinder did last year seems unlikely. Being able to get wins on the road and in close games will separate the leaders from the rest of the pack. Rosepine has already stolen one road game and announced it will be a factor in the race.
Elsewhere, the first four weeks have provided some answers to questions about teams coming into the season as new stars have emerged.
At Sulphur, Kale Breaux won the quarterback derby and has thrown for 733 yards. The Tors have a bevy of talented skill players, but have struggled to slow down the kind of high-powered offenses it will face in district play, giving up an average of 36 points over the first three weeks before producing a shutout of Leesville in Week 4. For the 2-2 Tors to get back into the district title mix, Breaux and running back Brian Walker will have to keep putting big numbers on the board. The opening-week 35-28 win over St. Thomas More might have to be the template for Tors victories against the elite teams in the district.
Washington-Marion has found a pair of additional offensive weapons to take some of the pressure off two-way star Melvin Jones. Demond Delahoussaye has made big plays receiving and running, and Rawlin Guillory has emerged as a workhorse running back. Diversifying the offense will help the Charging Indians, off to a 3-1 start, survive what is shaping up to be a tough District 4-4A race with LaGrange, St. Louis and DeRidder poised to challenge.
Iowa is undefeated, and like Washington-Marion, has unleashed a plethora of playmakers to assist quarterback Austin Theriot. Chaz Key has returned a kick for a touchdown every week and is a threat out of the backfield along with D’Juan Rigmaiden. DeQuian Mathews is a threat at receiver and the Yellow Jackets defense has allowed 33 points.
District 4-3A mates Jennings and Westlake are also off to good starts. Jennings had to replace a pair of 1,000-yard backs and an all-state tight tend, but Jarquis Brown and Lamontay Mouton have assumed the leading roles in the backfield, quarterback Jaylon Boutte is throwing the ball well and sophomore Curtis Bell has been an able replacement for Khris Watkins at tight end.
Westlake is 2-1, with the one loss coming at Class 2A state runner-up Winnfield. New head coach Shawn Demeritt has made the transition from longtime head coach Max Caldarera a smooth one, and the Rams have looked dangerous on offense with a pair of dynamic receiving targets in Tyler Johnson, who is also a threat as a wildcat quarterback, and Jacory Washington.
In Class 1A, Basile is undefeated, in large put due to the play of Kendrick Ceasar, who was an all-state kick returner as a freshman last season. Ceasar has taken to a larger role on offense, producing 616 yards in his first four games.
Warren Arceneaux covers high school athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org