Through a start-and-stop regular season, the Kinder Yellow Jackets kept making steady progress and are now ready for a playoff charge.
The Yellow Jackets (5-2) are the No. 6 seed in Class 2A and open the high school football playoffs at home Friday against No. 27 Delcambre (2-5).
After scoring seven points in an opening-week loss to St. Louis, the Jackets have found their stride, averaging 45 points per game during a fourgame winning streak to end the regular season.
The Jackets ran for 286 yards in last week’s 48-7 win over Vinton.
“If you look from the St. Louis game (Oct. 1) to now, the offense is like night and day, especially up front,” said Kinder coach Bret Fuselier. “We made some changes to what we were doing and it has gotten better over the course of the season.”
Fuselier said the Panthers, who run the wing-T, will be tough to defend.
“It is no secret what they want to do, but they do it well,” he said. “They scored 54 points last week (in a win over Houma Christian). If you can score 54 you have to be a pretty good team. We haven’t seen that scheme all year.
“They pull the guards a lot. We’ll have to see how our practices translate to the game. They are a scrappy team. They have played some close games. They were close against No. 3 Loreauville until the second half.”
The Jackets will be looking to continue their recent run of success. Kinder has won at least one playoff game in each of the past seven season, winning two state titles and finishing runner-up once. Last year they reached the quarterfinals where they lost to Ferriday.
Fuselier said being at full strength is the biggest key to postseason success.
“The number one thing is staying healthy, particularly this year,” he said. “You have to win the turnover battle and not make penalties. When you’re playing good teams, you can’t do anything to beat yourself.”
No. 6 Oberlin (5-2), a semifinalist last season, and No. 3 Grand Lake (5-1) earned first-round byes in Class 1A.
In other area games, No. 10 Basile (3-2) will host No. 23 Magnolia School of Excellence (1-5) in Class 1A and No. 14 Rosepine (4-2) will host No. 19 Northeast (3-3).