Rams butt heads with Broncos
Could be Sam Houston’s statement game
It should be a packed house tonight at Bill Dotson Stadium in Scott when undefeated and unranked Sam Houston takes on No. 7 Acadiana in the top District 3-5A showdown of the season.
Sam Houston (6-0, 3-0) is trying to improve to 7-0 for the first time in program history. “It is two good 5A teams,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “At the beginning of the season we set out to be at the top of our district and we wanted to compete for a state championship here one day. “Sooner or later you find yourself in a situation to make some noise in the district and see what happens in the future.”
<p class="indent">Acadiana (5-1, 2-1) is coming off a stunning 31-30 loss to Comeaux after blowing a 24-0 lead, something first-year head coach Matt McCollough said he does not want to repeat.
<p class="indent">“We have been working hard all year about playing well in the second half,” Mc-Collough said. “We had done a pretty good job of that until Week 6.
<p class="indent">“You have to continue to fight complacency and getting to a point where you are arrogant and inefficient. We have to do a better job of not playing the scoreboard and play the game.”
<p class="indent">Sam Houston, which beat Comeaux 35-8, got its first shutout of the season last week, but will need to play on a whole new level to stop Acadiana’s split-back veer. Acadiana has three backs with more than 300 yards in Dillon Monnette (820 yds., 10 TDs), Lucky Brooks (320 yds., 4 TDs) and Larryll Greene (548 yds., 5 TDs).
<p class="indent">“You have to put a lot of people up on the front line,” Paulk said. “We have a new plan going into this week offensively and defensively to attack what Acadiana does.
<p class="indent">“We have a hard time getting the kids used to the speed of it in practice.”
<p class="indent">Part of that plan is to use a handful of offensive linemen in McNeese State commitment Jerron Gilbert, Riley Humphery and Hunter Spikes to supplement a defensive line that includes two of the Broncos’ top tacklers in Jacob Humphery (47 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) and Tre’lon Garrick (33 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks).
<p class="indent">“We have talked about how well the defensive line has dome, but going into this week we are looking at some offensive line guys to get in to get some bigger bodies in there,” Paulk said. “Not that we are going to take anybody out. We have to make sure we take care of the dive and the sweep and make sure that everyone is going to their assignments. If everybody does that, we should be fine.”
<p class="indent">Acadiana’s defense is limiting opponents to 18.3 points and less than 300 yards a game, but McCollough said he isn’t expecting last year’s result. Sam Houston has the top running back and receiver in the district in Gerron Duhon (843 yds., 11 TDs) and Tavyen Grice (590 yds., 3 TDs).
<p class="indent">“We have faced good teams offensively,” McCollough said. “But I think they have the most all-around weapons. I think they had some injuries when we played them last year. But they have always been well coached and play hard. They have a little more speed this year. They are probably the best team we have played (so far).”
<p class="indent">Barbe (4-2, 1-2) will visit New Iberia (1-5, 1-2) after losing back-to-back games for the first time since opening the 2015 season 0-2.
<p class="indent">After his fifth 100-yard game of the season, senior running back Zene Chretien is second in the district with 832 yards and nine touchdowns on 106 carries.
<p class="indent">Sulphur (3-3, 2-1) is looking to build off its first win over Barbe since 2007 and will host LaGrange in its homecoming game. LaGrange (0-6, 0-3) is trying to get its first win after being shut out by Sam Houston last week. It was the first time the Gators had been shutout since Week 4 of the 2009 season when they lost 28-0 to St. Augustine.
<p class="indent">Sulphur quarterback Morgan Clark is the district’s top passer with 1,470 yards and 15 touchdowns. He needs 131 yards to break the school career passing yards mark of 4,239 yards set by current Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Byron Walker.