spdb_1011_st_louis_vs_jennings-13

St. Louis' Evan Joubert breaks the line of scrimmage for a touch down against Jennings during a 4-3A District matchup at Ward 3 Stadium in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Friday, October 11, 2019. 

There's a common theme running through every District 4-3A game this week with each of the three games featuring a team that won its district opener facing an opponent that lost last week.

St. Louis, Iowa and Westlake were last week's winners who will be looking to stay atop the standings, while Lake Charles College Prep, Jennings and South Beauregard will be looking to save title hopes by rebounding with a win.

The Saints (4-1, 1-0) will take on the Trailblazers (3-3, 1-0), Iowa (4-2, 1-0) will travel to Jennings (2-4, 0-1) and Westlake (1-4, 0-1) will make the trip to South Beauregard (2-4, 0-1).

At Jennings, the Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back from a loss to St. Louis against an Iowa team that has won two straight and allowed 16 points in the process.

Yellow Jackets head coach Tommy Johns said his team has matured as the season has gone on.

"I think we finally clicked defensively the last two weeks after not playing well the first three," Johns said. "Some of the guys who had not played before have gotten some experience and stepped up their games.

"Offensively it has been the same way. It is good to see. Our offensive line has come along and Gene Natali has done a good job at quarterback."

Receiver has been become a strength for the 'Jackets with the emergence of Curtis Deville, Cade Labuyere and Dezmon Dugas. The trio have combined for 55 catches, 783 yards and nine touchdowns.

"They all have a different skill set," Johns said. "Deville is long and lean and can go up and get the 50-50 balls. Cade is small but has the best hands on the team and has had a heck of a year. Dugas has sure hands and knows how to get open. Our tight end, T.J. Cormier, has started to come on and has played well the last few weeks."

Jennings was on a scoring tear until being slowed last week by St. Louis. Johns said the Bulldogs pose plenty of problems.

"As always, they have two good running backs who can go, and the (Trevor) Etienne kid is living up to the name and the hype," he said. Etienne is the younger brother of Clemson star running back Travis Etienne.

"They are throwing the ball a lot more than they have in the past and have a receiver (Ja'Corien Palfrey) who we didn't see in the jamboree," Johns said. "He is big and they have been getting the ball to him in space."

St. Louis' defense stood up to a test from the Jennings ground game last week, but faces a different style of offense this week in the Blazers. LCCP quarterback Dillon Simon has thrown for 1,259 yards and 12 TDs. Simon has run for eight TDs and the Blazers have four receivers with at least 150 receiving yards, led by Glynn Johnson (36 catches, 518 yards, 5 TDs).

"We will have to tackle well, take proper angles when we pursue because they have the type of speed to score from anywhere on the field," Saints head coach Chad Lavergne said.

"We have to pursue with 11 guys and help each other out. It is going to be a real challenge if we have to tackle one-on-one in the open field. That is what we are trying to avoid."

Running back Evan Joubert has led the Saints offense, running for 709 yards.

"We mixed it up pretty good last week," Lavergne said. "We had a little trouble running the ball early on but hit a couple of big plays. Jadon Johnson and Chase Miller had big plays over the top. We threw for about 200 and ran for a little more, so the balance was good. We turned it over a couple of times and can't do that."

At South Beauregard, the Rams will be looking to build on a dominant win over LCCP. The Rams blocked three punts to set up scores and the starting backfield of quarterback Drew Winn and RBs J.J .Ross and Jasia Simien combined to run for 338 yards and seven TDs in the game. South Beauregard features one of the area's top backs in Colby Hollier, who has run for 748 yards and three TDs.

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