Jennings keeps fans on edge of their seats, Dogs have flair for dramatic in postseason

Warren Arceneaux

By Warren Arceneaux

warceneaux@americanpress.com

No one does playoff drama like the Jennings Bulldogs, who used three consecutive one-point postseason wins to reach the Class 3A championship game last season, and escaped Lutcher with a 50-49 win last week by converting a late 2-point conversion.

This week the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs (8-0) will host No. 9 Madison Prep in a quarterfinal game. The No. 9 Chargers (8-2) advanced with a 41-18 win over Donaldsonville.

Bulldogs head coach Rusty Phelps said the Chargers have a mix of size and skill.

“They have tremendous size on their offensive and defensive lines, big, strong kids, so we are going to have to hold up in the trenches or it is going to be trouble for us,” Phelps said.

“The quarterback (Zeon Chriss) is real good at scrambling around, moving out of the pocket and getting the ball downfield. If you don’t contain him he takes off with it and picks up big chunks.

“Their wideouts are really good. We are going to have to step up. Every round, we are going to have to play better and get better as a team.”

Phelps said discipline will be required to stop Chriss, who has thrown for 1,458 yards and 21 touchdowns while running for 617 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“Sometimes it can be hard because defenders are used to chasing the ball and going fast,” Phelps said. “But, if you can slow down a little bit, break down and keep him in front of you, you can keep your containment. That is something that we have worked on a lot this week. Chriss is very dangerous when he gets out of the pocket.”

The Bulldogs’ offense was in top form last week. Quarterback Lawrence Wilridge completed 9 of 14 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns and completed a 2-point conversion pass to Clay Broussard late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Running backs Trevor Etienne and Jalen Lewis each had more than 100 rushing yards for a fifth consecutive game. Each has run for more than 1,000 yards for a second straight season. Kicker Ian Mullen added a pair of field goals.

“We had really good balance, more than 200 yards passing and more than 200 yards rushing,” Phelps said. “Mullen making those field goals really bailed us out a couple of times where we had good field position but couldn’t score (touchdowns).

“Our defense made stops when they had to and our kids didn’t give up, they just kept playing.

“It was a tough place to play and they had a good team. It was a really good high school football game.”Jennings’ Jalen Lewis scores in a game against South Beauregard at Jerry Simmons Stadium in Jennings, Louisiana on Friday, November 13, 2020.

Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press

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