Gene Natali

Iowa’s Gene Natali throws a pass down field against DeRidder at Vinton High School on Friday, Oct. 16.

Iowa is set to restart football play, again, tonight when it plays Westlake in a District 4-3A game after sitting out the past two weeks due to COVID-19 quarantine rules.

The good news for the Yellow Jackets is that they’ll be playing on campus for the first time this season after repairs were made to the lights at Jesse Cady Memorial Stadium.

Iowa head coach Tommy Johns said his team is still trying to develop a groove after having to pause the season twice, once for Hurricane Delta and then because of COVID.

“It’s starting over for the third time,” he said. “It has been hard to get a routine going, but the kids and coaches are excited to be playing again. Hopefully we can establish a routine for the rest of the season.”

Johns said Iowa has shown good signs when it has played.

“We played really well at Marksville, then Delta hit,” he said. “We came back and didn’t play very well against DeRidder — and DeRidder had a lot to do with that. They are a good team, but I think we have done some really good things considering what’s happened. It is just hard to establish anything because there’s been limited practice.”

Johns said Westlake is a dangerous opponent.

“They have some weapons out there, especially offensively,” Johns said.. “The quarterback (Jamaal Guillory) can go, everything runs through him. They have a good running back and a couple of good receivers. They are definitely going to be a problem for us.”

The Rams caused plenty of problems against South Beauregard last week, piling up more than 300 yards of offense, but failed to convert the production into points in a 20-14 loss. Westlake allowed 153 yards, but South Beauregard scored on a kickoff return and capitalized on Rams mistakes such as turnovers, penalties and missed fourth-down opportunities.

Elsewhere in District 4-3A, St. Louis (1-3, 0-2) will play South Beauregard at 2 p.m. Saturday at DeRidder’s Cecil Doyle Memorial Stadium.

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