DeRidder wants early challenge, Many answers call

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, September 9, 2021

Many has fewer than half the number of students as DeRidder, but the Dragons know the Tigers are no ordinary Class 2A team.

Many beat Kinder 16-13 for the 2020 state championship and boasts many of the state’s top players, including the No. 4 ranked linebacker Tacket Curtis, who also starts at quarterback. But playing the Tigers (0-1) is all part of Dragons head coach Brad Parmley’s plan.

“They are a very talented group,” Parmley said of the Tigers. “They have all kinds of kids on their team that are going to be major college football players. They are well coached and one of the top teams in the state. I don’t care about classifications, they are an elite football team.

“We put them on the schedule to get the big ballgames early and see where we are at. Hopefully we get better from it.”

In addition to Curtis, the Tigers have four-star safety Tylen Singleton and all-state running back London Williams.

Many lost to defending Class 3A state champion Union Parish last week 42-32

“We are going to have to limit their explosive plays,” Parmley said. “They are a very talented, skilled bunch of athletes. They do a good job of getting their playmakers the football. The speed of play for them is very quick. We have to do a good job of tackling, make them earn every first down and not give up a cheap touchdown.”

DeRidder (1-0) is looking for its first 2-0 start since 2018 after beating parish rival South Beauregard 41-7 last week.

“It was great,” Parmley said. “The boys played well. You can definitely see the progress from the jamboree to Week 1. I think we are on the right track. It was a good way to start the season.”

DeRidder went solely with its ground game last week as Ronnie Crosby, Alex Archeild and Darian Castille combined for 323 yards and five touchdowns, but Parmley said he wants to see a more balanced offense.

“It was just the way it worked out,” Parmley said of Week 1’s offense. “I like that we have three guys that can tote the ball with Ronnie, Darian and Alex. They can share the load and keep them fresh for the second half. The offensive line did a really good job.”

Elsewhere

After a season-opening win over crosstown rival LaGrange, Barbe will host its first game since a first-round playoff loss to Mandeville in 2019.

The Bucs (1-0) will play Benton (1-0), which beat Woodlawn-Shreveport 12-7 last week.

COVID-19

Two area teams picked up wins this week due to a COVID-related forfeit, while one took a loss.

Oakdale and Oberlin improved to 1-1. Oakdale was supposed to play Ville Platte (0-2), and Oberlin was scheduled to play North Central (0-2).

Sulphur dropped to 1-1 after forfeiting to Notre Dame (2-0) due to a player testing positive and contact tracing.