Difficult tests ahead for some area teams
We’re headed to the midpoint of the high school football regular season, and appropriately, many local teams will be facing difficult exams in Week 5.
Before we get to those let’s give a gold star to the Sam Houston Broncos, who picked up a statement win last week with a 28-19 win over Sulphur. The Tors were among the district’s tri-champions last year.
Beating them to start league play this season announces Sam Houston as a legitimate contender for the title.
The Broncos’ juggernaut of an offense continued to roll, piling up more than 500 yards of offense against the Tors. Running back Gerron Duhon showed he was up to the 5A challenge with a second straight game with more than 200 yards on the ground.
Not to be lost among the offensive fireworks is improved play by the Broncos defense. In each of last year’s five district losses, the Broncos allowed at least 34 points, including 56 in a loss to Sulphur.
Given all the firepower the Broncos possess on offense, they should have a chance to win any game where the defense can hold opponents to 28 or fewer points.
This week, the other two teams that shared the district title last season, Barbe and Acadiana, will meet in Lake Charles in another high stakes game. Each team enters undefeated and coming off relatively easy district openers, with the Rams beating New Iberia by 20 and the Bucs defeated Lafayette by 21.
The Rams have won five of the last six games in the series, with last year’s 28-14 win the only margin of greater than 10 points in the last seven games between the teams. The game always features an interesting contrast of styles between Barbe’s high-powered spread offense and Acadiana’s methodical veer attack. Last week, Barbe allowed more than five yards a carry against Lafayette, a number than will have to improve against Acadiana, which will gladly nickeland-dime their way down the field if allowed. The Bucs are both small and inexperienced up front, not the best combination against the Rams.
The Bucs have few questions marks offensively, with quarterback Luke Richard capable of moving the ball by ground and air. The Bucs also feature a pair of capable running backs in Zene Chretien and Dylan Lewis. Eight different players caught a pass last week, giving Richard a host of targets to choose from.
With a loss in the first week of district play, three straight losses overall and a big injury to running back Jaiven Creary, the Tors are likely facing elimination from the title race each week from here on out. The Tors still have the ability to pile up the points behind a passing game featuring quarterback Morgan Clark and receiving targets Branden Walker, Gage Rapp and Hayden Hagler.
The District 4-3A race is still up in the air. Perennial contender Jennings got back to .500 overall and started district play with a dramatic win over Iowa, winning on a field goal as time expired. The Bulldogs picked up their first win a couple of weeks ago by dominating on the ground with Brandon Jones and Darrian Achane each going over 100 yards. Against Iowa, QB Kole Myers took a starring role, completing 8 of 9 passes for 122 yards.
The Bulldogs may need all areas of the offense in high gear this week, when it travels to face a Washington-Marion team that has also won two straight. The Charging Indians have scored 44, 58 and 54 points over the past threeMarQuez Chagois, RB Carrington McClinton and WR William Carswell lead one of the area’s top set of skill players.
Chagois, a senior, has overcome past struggles with turnovers, tossing 10 TD passes with no interceptions over the past three weeks.
In another intriguing 4-3A game, St. Louis and Lake Charles College Prep meet. The Saints got into the win column last week, while the Blazers continued their torrid start to the season with a 50-14 win at Westlake.
The Saints were finally able to establish a consistent running game last week, with Evan Joubert gaining 197 yards and scoring a trio of touchdowns. The Blazers continued to spread the ball around on offense, getting more than 170 rushing yards from the Orenthal Lewis/ D’marcus Miller tandem while quarterback Dillon Simon had a combined 150 yards of offense with a touchdown running and throwing.
The Blazers also added touchdowns on defense and special teams.
Perhaps most importantly, the Blazers had a reduction in penalty yards, a problem that plagued them early in the season.