Written by Kyle Valdez
According to multiple sports writers and coaches, many people expected the highlighted week 2 matchup between the St. James Wildcats and East St. John Wildcats to be a highly contested match. The game in Vacherie was the featured game of the week across multiple media outlets and included more than 10 players to have received at least one D1 offer. After all, both teams entered the game with a 1-0 record, beating their week 1 opponent by more than four touchdowns. Despite the hype for both teams, St. James proved to be the superior team by jumping out to a 23-0 lead and cruising the rest of the way.
The St. James defense stayed in control from the opening drive of the game. At the 10:47 mark in the first quarter, St. James junior Kaleb Brown forced a fumble, giving the offense the ball at the ESJ 36-yard line. The St. James offense scored their first touchdown after senior QB Shamar Smith (top offers include Air Force, Colorado, Houston, Navy, Memphis, and Tulane) ran the ball for a 10-yard gain to place the ball inside the one-yard line, followed by a keeper for the score.
The first half consisted of many turnovers by both teams. A fumble recovered by St. James late in the first quarter, an interception by St. James junior Keshawn Coleman, and a clutch pick by East St. John junior Travis Turner in the endzone. Amid the loose play with the ball, only St. James took advantage of the opposition’s mistakes.
Last week, St. James allowed zero points against West St. John, and continued the tight defense early in the first half this week. When asked about the St. James defense, senior safety Tyler Steib (offer from UTSA) said, “Forcing turnovers has been a big thing. We got four great defensive linemen and they rush the ball real fast. They get to the quarterback, and they either force turnovers, force fumbles, or force interceptions.”
After the Coleman interception, St. James marched down the field for a six play, 46-yard drive to take a 15-0 lead with 6:59 left in the half. The touchdown was completed by Shamar Smith to sophomore receiver Shazz Preston (2nd ranked player in Louisiana class of 2022, top offers include LSU, Texas A&M, Mississippi St, and Colorado) for seven yards. The next drive, East St. John was quickly put into a 4th-and-19 just 58 seconds into their drive. Setting up to punt from their own endzone, the snap was too low for the punter and trickled into the endzone giving the home Wildcats two points for the safety. Before the half concluded, each team scored a touchdown, giving St. James a 23-7 lead at halftime
The second half of play was dry for both teams. The defenses went to work, while the offenses severely struggled to put any points on the scoreboard. The only scores included a Shamar Smith two-yard run in the early stages of the 3rd quarter and an East St. John touchdown with 18 seconds remaining in the game.
Coming off a 47-7 win against West Jefferson last week, the hype for the 2019 Wildcats could have picked up some serious steam with a statement win over St. James. But nothing went right for ESJ all night. Maybe it was the much improved and suffocating St. James defense. Whatever the case, the offense found no rhythm from the start. They were penalized 12 times for 90 yards. They turned the ball over three times and gave St. James great field position too often. Although they ended up allowing 30 points, the defense was very respectable for most of the night; they forced a few turnovers and the offense’s turnovers didn’t make it any easier. Looking forward to their week 3 game, East St. John has a very good opportunity to hop back in the win column and gain some much-needed confidence against Sophie B. Wright on the road.
Heading into the game, St. James knew what they had to do. Shamar Smith described the team’s mindset, “We knew it was going to be a tough game, so it was just about discipline. We knew it’s a rivalry game and we hadn’t played them in a while, so we just wanted to play through this and do the small things to win.”
The statement win solidifies St. James as the favorite to win District 9-3A and possibly title favorites in Class 3A. Their offense looked great; Shamar Smith balled out, totaling 227 yards for one passing and three rushing touchdowns. Both sides of the ball were disciplined, resulting in just 3 penalties for 45 yards. Head Coach Robert Valdez discussed his team’s performance, “This is a program validated win, when you’re able to step up a class like that and be able to get a win. Just so proud of our kids, we work hard and it’s good to see them having a good time... We still have some things we need to correct. We had some turnovers ourselves, but we’ll get back into film, study and break it down, and try to get better.” Next week, St. James travels on the road to face Riverdale High before their huge week 4 home matchup against Destrehan.
Written by Kyle Valdez
Two nationally ranked teams. Two defending state champions. Two historic high school programs. John Curtis riding a 13-game win streak, and Edna Karr riding a 27-game win streak. Louisiana’s Week 1 matchup between the John Curtis Patriots and the Edna Karr Cougars was destined to be one of the most hyped up and anticipated matchups for the 2019 Louisiana season. In addition to Louisiana, it was also the featured game of the week across multiple national media outlets. Multiple representatives from LSU, Nicholls, Southeastern, and Louisiana-Lafayette came to scout talent from both of the highly talented rosters. Even Alvin Kamara was in attendance, standing along the Karr sideline. Among all the hype and expectations for both teams, the Curtis/Karr matchup did not disappoint one bit. When it was all said and done, Curtis outlasted Karr 42-39 in a memorable offensive shootout.
From the start, the Patriots were ready to play. On the opening kickoff, Curtis’ junior Caleb Spann returned the ball to the Karr nine-yard line, setting the tone for the Patriot offense. A play later, QB Kyle Guggenheim (Army Commit) scored on a 1-yard sneak to give Curtis a 7-0 lead just 1:37 into the first quarter. To make matters worse for Karr, they fumbled on their very first play of the game, giving Curtis the ball on their own 40-yard line. Although Curtis was unable to convert on the next drive, the mistake would foreshadow many crucial mistakes that the Cougars would commit later. The first two minutes of the game also gave John Curtis much confidence. Senior quarterback Collin Guggenheim discussed the fast start, “It was huge, it set the tempo. Turning the opening kick that far and giving the offense good field position to put it in the end zone really fast, let them know we’re here.”
At the 5:47 mark in the first quarter, Karr’s offense found a much-needed breakout play when senior QB Leonard Kelly (Offers from Nicholls and Northwestern St.) found Aaron Anderson (Offers from Colorado, Miami, and Virginia) for a 45-yard TD reception, tying the score at 7-7. Late in the first quarter, Curtis missed an opportunity when senior Shane Goins found a hole in the defense and ran for a 45+ yard run that was called back due to a penalty. In their very next possession, Curtis found a hole in the defense again, but didn’t commit a costly penalty that time. Running an option play, Guggenheim pitched the ball in last second to University of Georgia commit Corey Wren for a 33-yard run to take a 13-6 lead with 10:14 left in the second quarter. After Karr regained the lead by another Aaron Anderson reception, Corey Wren rushed for a 43-yard touchdown, giving Curtis a 20-14 lead with 1:49 in the half.
With under two minutes in the half to go, Karr quickly marched their way inside the 10-yard line, setting themselves up on the eight-yard line with 20 seconds left. However, the Karr offense failed to make a clutch play. Four consecutive plays resulted in a Karr receiver dropping a catchable pass in the end zone. In the first drive of the second half, Karr again failed to put the ball in the end zone from the six-yard line. Another Karr receiver missed an easy catch. Then, Tulane commit Angelo Anderson of John Curtis forced a fumble at the goal line, resulting in a touchback. Although Karr was down just six points during the whole sequence, and eventually took the lead just three minutes later, the missed opportunities made it feel like Karr was eventually going to pay for their earlier miscues in one way or another.
With 11:14 left in the fourth quarter, Guggenheim rushed for an 11-yard touchdown, giving Curtis a 35-21 lead. In the next possession, Karr’s Leonard Kelly hit junior receiver Destyn Pazon (Offers from Alabama, LSU, Colorado, Miami, Tulane) for a 52-yard touchdown reception, cutting the Curtis lead to 35-27 with 8:39 left. After holding Curtis to a three-and-out, Leonard Kelly led a 1:32 drive down the field, capped off by a big 32-yard rushing touchdown to cut the lead to 35-33, but the 2-point conversion resulted in an incomplete pass. With the clock approaching two minutes, Guggenheim sealed the deal when he found an open hole in the Karr defense and broke loose for a 16-yard touchdown, giving the Patriots a commanding 42-33 lead with just 1:50 left in the game.
For Karr, all their mistakes were self-inflicted. When they watch film on Saturday morning, they will see their own mistakes lead way for Curtis to capitalize. Five crucial dropped passes by receivers, a missed extra point, two missed 2-point conversions, and they only lost by 3 points to John Curtis? Karr had too many opportunities to take the lead in this game but simply couldn’t make the big play. Although there were many places to improve on, the bright spots from the contest included the insane performance by QB Leonard Kelly. He certainly proved why he should be viewed as one of the best QBs in the state. Kelly passed for 406 yards on 21/35 passing and contributed to all of Karr’s six touchdowns. Destyn Pazon also finished with a solid game: finishing with 3 catches for 151 yards, including 2 touchdowns. Looking forward to next week, Edna Karr will recoup, regroup, and be much more focused in their Week 2 matchup against McDonough 35.
When analyzing the Patriot’s performance, one can only tip their hat to the team that played a near error-free game. They performed just how you would expect a nationally ranked team to play. They showed explosiveness, confidence, and poise. Outside of the missed coverages on receivers and the 9 penalties, there is little you can ask for the Patriots to improve on. They got off to a good start, put up six touchdowns, and neutralized Karr’s damage by blocking extra points and stopping 2-point conversions. Although Curtis totaled just 14 passing yards on 4/6 passing, QB Kyle Guggenheim was arguably the MVP of the game. Guggenheim totaled 99 yards on 16 carries, but beautifully set up teammate Corey Wren for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots' option offense was just too much for Karr’s defense, leaving open holes in the defense for Wren much too often. When asked about his big game and his quarterback Kyle Guggenheim, Wren responded, “Those plays don’t happen without Kyle Guggenheim making the right checks, he had a phenomenal game... He’s been under this offense since elementary. He’s a great leader, and he led this team’s offense.”
In response to John Curtis now owning the New Orleans area “bragging rights”, QB Kyle Guggenheim made it clear that beating Karr wasn’t the team’s goal. “Yeah it feels great to beat them. But honestly, the biggest thing is to win a state championship for us. This is a great opening game, to win out here is a great thing for our team... We won’t see them in the playoffs. It’s a good thing to play a good team that early, but for us, the goal is a state championship. And if we don’t win state, then our season is a failure.” Looking to next week, the Patriots continue their quest for an undefeated season when they travel to Shreveport to face Westlake High.
The Thibodaux Tigers was in a dog fight on Friday night against a talented Riverside team. The Rebels led 25-14 at the half after a 82 yard kick return for a touchdown by 4-star prospect Ahmonte Watkins, a 65 yard pick six by Herbert Keys, & a blocked field goal 80 yard return by Cade Middleton.
The Tigers was able to put keep their composure & put together an impressive second half. The first drive of the third quarter, Luke Allemand would connect with 3-star receiver Kyren Lacy *UL commit* for a 8 yard touchdown along with a two point conversion.
Senior cornerback Karrick Harris would come up with a big interception on the ensuing drive to give the Tigers great field position in the Rebel’s territory. Senior running back Rimond Thompson would then have scoring runs of 12 & 7 yards to give the Tigers 36-25 lead with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
Riverside’s Ahmonte Watkins would make a house call & take a handoff for 72 yards to cut the lead to 36-31 going into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers defense would show up big in the fourth with two interceptions on Riverside’s last two drives by seniors Josh Holden & Tyren Young. Rimond Thompson would cap the game off with an explosive 96 yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 43-31.
Junior quarterback Luke Allemand was terrific for the Tigers finishing the game with (355 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, & 2 interceptions), senior receiver Darwin Davis was Mr. Reliable all night finishing the game with (10 receptions for 142 yards), senior running back Rimond Thompson finished with 162 yards rushing & 3 touchdowns.
In constructing our watch list, some of the important factors we assess is how significantly each player’s production from last year will impact his team’s success this season, how much better each player has gotten from last year, or what type of college prospect he is (although those three factors often have a way of lining up).
1.) Terrebonne ATH Ja’Khi Douglas C/O 2020- Douglas’s body of work over the last three seasons as a starter speaks for itself. His speed & elusiveness separates him from everybody on this list. Hopefully we get to see him play his natural position this season, which is receiver with transfer quarterback Ryan Williams in the fold now. The *Florida St commit* will probably be the best player on the field more often than not this season. Douglas holds over 20 offers & is currently ranked #8 in the state for 2020.
2.) Central Lafourche RB Deon Jenkins C/O 2020 -Jenkins had an incredible junior year rushing for 1,742 yards & 17 touchdowns. His patience & vision in the hole is one of a kind. He is really shifty & has a great burst when he gets to the second level. He is definitely somebody who defensive coordinators will have to game plan for this season. Nicholls St & Southern are showing interest.
3.) Terrebonne DL Maason Smith C/O 2021 - Smith is on track to be one of biggest recruits to come through the Tri-Parish. The 6-foot-5, 290 pound prospect is very light on his feet & he moves exceptionally well for a kid of his stature. Even though he is still a work in progress, I think you see him take that next step of being dominant this season. Smith is currently ranked the #1 prospect in the state for 2021 & #4 at his position in the country. He holds offers from LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, & a host of others.
4.) Thibodaux WR Kyren Lacy C/O 2020 - Lacy is a very unique talent that people better get familiar with if you’re not already. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound prospect is very long & athletic which makes him a matchup nightmare. His best football is still ahead of him & I see him solidifying himself as one of the state’s best receivers before season’s end. Lacy is a 3-star prospect that is verbally committed to the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns & holds offers from Virginia, LA Tech, ULM, & Nicholls St. He has been picking up a lot of steam as of late from schools like Tennessee, Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Utah, Wake Forest, Houston & Tulane. Don’t be surprised if some of these programs pull the trigger on Lacy soon.
5.) South Lafourche OL Jhy Orgeron C/O 2020- Orgeron plays with good aggressiveness that you look for in a offensive lineman. He’s very strong with long enough arms that makes him play with good leverage, & he plays with an attitude. His versatility being able to play guard or center also adds to this kid’s value as well. He is committed to Southeastern University and is receiving a lot of interest from UL, Louisiana Tech, & Nicholls St.
6.) Terrebonne WR A.J Walter C/O 2020- Walter is a transfer from Natchitouches-Central that has shown since he arrived that he can make a big impact this season. He is very well put together with pretty good athleticism. He has a chance to be a household name this season. Walter is committed to Southern for baseball, but I think he’ll receive a lot of late offers before it’s all said & done.
7.) E.D White OL Bordelon C/O 2022- Bordelon is definitely an impressive prospect that played a lot last season as a freshman. He’s already 6-foot-5, 235 pounds & he looks like he’s not finished growing. Of course he has a ways to go, but he has the tools & talent to be a power five prospect when it’s all said & done. UL & Nicholls St. are showing interest early.
8.) Terrebonne ATH D’Jon Scott C/O 2020 - Scott had a pretty solid junior season where he played on both sides of the ball at safety & receiver. Scott looked terrific in the spring & throughout the summer which caused him to get a lot of attention from schools. He’s a ball hawking long & rangy safety that can run. Scott holds offers from ULM, McNeese St, Lamar, Southeastern, & Arkansas-Monticello. Also, UL, Louisiana Tech, & Nicholls St. are showing interest.
9.) H.L Bourgeois DL Jameian Buxton C/O 2023- Buxton is a special talent that will be the next big time prospect to come out of the Tri-Parish. His violent nature to go with his athleticism is already off the charts & has the Braves coaching staff excited to have him aboard the next four years. He has already done something that has never happened in the area before & that’s land three power five offers in the eighth grade from LSU, Miami, & Virginia. When you watch him this season you’ll definitely see why.
10.) Assumption DL Tra’Mond Williams C/O 2020 - Williams is coming off of a hell of a junior campaign where he finished the year with 14 sacks. He is relentless when it comes to getting to the quarterback & he has the best get off on this list. He will definitely be a problem this season and I would not be surprised if his sack total increases. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds Williams will have to bulk some more at the next level, but he has the frame college coaches look for. He has zero offers, but Nicholls St. is showing interest.
11.) Thibodaux ATH Tyren Young C/O 2020- He is drawing interest from Lamar, Southeastern, Southern, & Arkansas Baptist.
12.) Vandebilt Catholic LB Chandler Rhodes C/O 2020- He is drawing interest from Nicholls St.
13.) Central Lafourche WR Jansen Folse C/O 2020
14.) Terrebonne DL Kadan Lewis C/O 2022 - Lewis is drawing interest early from Alabama, Mississippi St, Virginia, Nicholls St, Southeastern, & North Carolina Central.
15.) H.L Bourgeois DE Melvin Matthews C/O 2020 - He is drawing interest from UL, Lamar, & Southeastern.
16.) Thibodaux QB Luke Allemand C/O 2021 - He is drawing interest from Mississippi St, Georgia Tech, Tulane, UL, Nicholls St, Coastal Carolina, & Southern.
17.) Thibodaux Safety Rolaun Richard C/O 2021 - He is drawing interest from Purdue, Southern, & Nicholls St.
18.) Terrebonne CB Kwan Allen C/O 2020 - Allen holds one offer from Grambling St. and is receiving interest from Colorado, Southern, Lamar, Nicholls St, Southeastern, McNeese St, Hampton, North Carolina Central & Army.
19.) Thibodaux RB Ferronte Miller C/O 2021 - He is drawing interest from UL & Southern.
20.) Central Lafourche QB Ashtrein Duncan C/O 2020
21.) South Terrebonne RB Jamala Ricks C/O 2021
22.) Assumption RB Tyran Cassie C/O 2020
23.) Assumption OL Vernell Dorsette C/O 2020
24.) Ellender RB Tyshaun Hester C/O 2021
25.) Terrebonne DB Jakobe Carter C/O 2020 - Carter holds offers from Southern Miss, Air Force, Southeastern, & Austin Peay.
26.) Central Lafourche TE Logan Wilcox C/O 2020 - He is drawing interest from Nicholls St.
27.) Thibodaux WR Darwin Davis C/O 2020 - Davis holds offers from Arkansas Baptist & Rockford.
28.) Terrebonne RB Jahon Johnson C/O 2020
29.) Terrebonne WR Jaylin Lucas C/O 2022 - He is drawing interest from Southeastern, Lamar, Nicholls St, & Northwestern St.
30.) Thibodaux ATH Maurquel Price C/O 2020 - Price holds two offers from Arkansas-Monticello & Rockford. He is receiving interest from Lamar, Southeastern, & Southern.
31.) Thibodaux LB Hunter Trosclair C/O 2020
32.) Ellender LB Jared Whitrack C/O 2020
33.) H.L Bourgeois Safety Rontrell Holmes C/O 2021
34.) South Lafourche LB Austin Danos C/O 2020
35.) Assumption WR Jaden Tyler C/O 2021
36.) Thibodaux LB Khalil Brisco C/O 2020 - Brisco holds one offer from Arkansas-Monticello. He is drawing interest from Southeastern, McNeese St, & Southern.
37.) Terrebonne ATH Ryan Williams C/O 2022
38.) Central Lafourche DE Truvon Price C/O 2020
39.) Terrebonne ATH Chavez Brown C/O 2021 - Brown is drawing interest from Virginia & Nicholls St.
40.) Central Lafourche DE Trevor Allemand
41.) Vandebilt Catholic WR JaCorey Wells C/O 2020
42.) H.L Bourgeois ATH Javon Pharagood C/O 2022
43.) Ellender WR Tamaj Vergin C/O 2023 - Vergin is receiving interest from Alabama, Mississippi St, Houston, UL, & Nicholls St.
44.) H.L Bourgeois RB Demarcus Singleton C/O 2023
45.) South Terrebonne ATH Colby Chelette C/O 2021
46.) Terrebonne LB Justin Navy C/O 2020
47.) Ellender RB Daviante Scott C/O 2023
48.) Central Lafourche Center Gavin Adams C/O 2020
49.) South Terrebonne QB Christian Arceneaux C/O 2022 - Drawing interest from LA Tech, Northwestern St, & Nicholls St.
50.) Assumption WR Rashaun Jarvis C/O 2020
The last time the Cougars lost a game was September 15th, 2017 versus De La Salle 28-26. Over the last three years they have a record of 43-1 & 3 state championships.
This season presents a different challenge because of the youth on both sides of the ball & this might be the toughest non-district schedule in head coach Brice Brown’s era. “The fourth one should always be the most difficult,” Brown said. “Opening up week one against John Curtis is exactly what we wanted, & adding Wossman along with Catholic-Baton Rouge to our schedule will be a great challenge for our kids this season.”
No matter how the Cougars fair throughout their tough non-district schedule, you get the sense that they will be the favorites in 4A again. I think their defense will be the staple of the team this season unlike in recent years.
Senior QB Leonard Kelly is coming off a really good junior campaign where he passed for 2,817 yards, 28 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, & a 75.4% completion rate.
Sophomore WR Aaron Anderson made a huge impact as a freshman at receiver & in the return game finishing the season with 7 punt/kick return touchdowns along with 4 receiving touchdowns. Anderson will be the number one athlete in the state before it’s all said & done.
Senior CB Jamie Vance is as good as they come at the corner position throughout the state. The Arkansas commit has the ability to take away the opposing team’s best receiver any given Friday.
Sophomore DT Tygee Hill made his mark last season as a freshman in the trenches. He’s becoming a household name & should have a dominant second year.
Junior OT Kenneth Bannister will protect Kelly’s blindside this year. He has looked very impressive throughout the summer & leading up to week 1. He should be regarded as one of best offensive tackles in the state by season’s end.
Junior WR Destyn “Fatt” Pazon is emerging as the team’s best receiver. He’ll be who Kelly relies on when the team needs a big play this season for sure.
Senior LB Dylan Smith spot played a lot last season, but when his number was called he came up with some big plays. Look for Smith to play a huge role into why this Cougars defense is stout this season
Senior LB Joe Thomas will be the heart & sole of the defense. His versatility will be very key in the Cougars’ success this season.
Junior DE Con Mead has shown since the spring that he will be a impact player on the defense this season. His athleticism will give a lot of offensive lineman problems. Look for this kid to blow up this season.
Senior DE Josh Randall had one of best statistical seasons you’ll see in high school finishing the year with 26 sacks. He has one of the best get offs you’ll see in the state & I don’t know if he’ll eclipse his 26 sacks, but he should get close to it this season.
Junior safety Destin Refuge is probably the most improved player on the Cougars defense. This kid is very very instinctive & smart for sure. He should make a big impact this season.
Written by Kyle Valdez
In the first game of the TGMC Community Sports Institute High School Jamboree, the H.L. Bourgeois Braves hosted the South Lafourche Tarpons. Despite trailing the whole game, the Tarpons hung tough and found a way to win.
In HLB’s opening drive of the game, junior Jordan Rainey got off to a quick start with a 50 yard pass, followed by a 13-yard pass to freshman Demarcus Singleton to take a 7-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game. Although there were multiple turnovers throughout, neither team scored the ball until South Lafourche at the 1:13 mark in the first half.
After converting on a crucial 4th and 5, the Tarpons set themselves up inside the Braves’ 1 yard line. The following play, sophomore Patrick Gisclair ran the ball to tie up the game 7-7 going into halftime.
To start the second half, junior Rontrell Holmes recovered and returned a fumble to give the Braves a 14-7 lead just 47 seconds into the half. At the 7:57 mark, the Tarpons evened the score when Gislcair found senior tight end Eric Thibodaux. In the last 5:23 of the game, there were 5 possession changes
With 4 seconds left on the clock, and HLB’s setting up for a 39-yard field for junior Rodney Bouvier, the HLB offense was called for a penalty and moved 10 yards back. Coach Fournier took the kicking team off the field and gave Jordan Rainey one last opportunity for the win. However, it also gave the Tarpons’ defense another opportunity. On the final play of the game, South Lafourche’s Jake Pitre intercepted Rainey’s last second hail marry attempt and returned the ball 85 yards for the pick-6, to go ahead 20-14 as time expired.
“They (HLB) gave me an opportunity to make a play by throwing the ball up. I was in the right spot at the right time, read the quarterback… I had some good blocks, made a couple people miss, and I just saw open field” said Pitre.
South Lafourche head coach Blake Forsythe said, “In 15 jamborees, I’ve never seen anything happen like this….that’s about one of the most insane finishes that i can think of. A great football game between two teams… A really great game, great work for both sides.”
For a game that felt like HLB was in strong control for a majority of the game, they still dropped a tough one. Fortunately, it was just a jamboree and their record is still 0-0. Coach Fournier has many bright spots to take away from the scrimmage. Going into next week, they get an opportunity to fix their errors and show off their young talented roster against South Terrebonne at The Swamp.
Although South Lafourche won in dramatic fashion, their record is also 0-0. After finishing the season at 2-8 last year, the attitude and expectations must be elevated. They also showed off a much improved defense. After giving up nearly 32 points per game last year, they held HLB to just one offensive touchdown, and shut them out for the final 27 minutes of the scrimmage. Next Friday, the Tarpons get another chance to prove themselves against a very quality opponent in St. Charles Catholic for their home opener matchup
Written by Kyle Valdez
In the second game of the TGMC Community Sports Institute High School Football Jamboree, the Terrebonne Tigers hosted the EDW Cardinals. Although Terrebonne entered the game as heavy favorites with a strong home crowd behind them, EDW played stout defense all night and managed to to keep the game at 7-7 after completing the two 15-minute halves.
On the opening drive of the game, standout Florida St. commit Jakhi Douglas rushed for a touchdown, giving Terrebonne a 7-0 lead at the 12:42 mark of the first quarter. For the rest of the half, both defenses excelled. EDW’s junior Ben Toups intercepted a pass at the 6:22 mark. Terrebonne’s defense forced two fumbles: one fumble forced by senior Justin Murray and recovered by senior Jakobe Carter, the other fumble recovered at the EDW 22 yard line. With 1:02 left in the half, EDW’s defense kept strong and kept the score at 7-0 going into halftime.
In the 2nd half, EDW evened up the score at 7-7 when freshman Hunter Schexnayder scored the ball for a 1-yard touchdown run. With 3 minutes left in the half, Terrebonne had a golden opportunity inside EDW’s 5 yard line. After EDW’s line held Terrebonne out of the end zone three times, Terrebonne sophomore Wyatt Guidry booted an 18-yard field goal. In the final 30 seconds of the game, Terrebonne again failed to reach the end zone when EDW’s junior Trey Sternfels picked off a pass inside the Cardinals’ 15 yard line with just 2 seconds.
After the game, EDW’s head coach Kyle Lassiegne was very impressed with his team’s performance against a program like Terrebonne. “This was huge for us because we know the hype that Terrebonne’s got. We know they got some great athletes, and for us to play 7-7 is about everything I could ask for. I’m not sure many other teams are gonna have this much talent.” He also gave much deserved credit to his defense, “We had our backs up against the wall a lot, especially on defense. We made some big plays to get out of some situations.”
In the opening drive of the game, it felt as if Terrebonne was going to prove why they should be viewed as a top team in the state and the favorite to win District 7-5A. But after the first drive of the game, it felt like they weren’t focused, a bit uninterested, and not physical enough. Maybe they overlooked EDW, maybe it was “just the jamboree”, but for tonight: the far more talented and successful program didn’t show it. Not many teams have the talent, experience, and resume as Terrebonne’s roster. Not to discredit EDW, because they have a very well-disciplined and solid team, but the expectations for a team of Terrebonne’s caliber exceed the average. After the game, Coach Gary Williams didn’t overreact to his team’s performance, specifically pointing out that the team’s drives were very productive and that cleaning up a few penalties would change the outcome of tonight. “I thought we moved the ball down the field well, we just didn’t finish. And defensively, we played well at times but we extended their drives with some penalties. We had a great point return at the end of the game and picked up a penalty there. We gotta just do a better overall job at finishing things and making plays.” With sudden doubts about the legitimacy of the Tigers, they have the perfect opportunity to make a statement against a school like Jesuit for their home opener.
For E.D. White, they have much to be happy about coming away from the jamboree: they were competitive against one of the best 5A teams in the state from a year ago. Playing on the road and getting themselves out of tough situations, they proved to be a resilient and discipline team. A performance like this gives me confidence in the Cardinals to slowly emerge as one of the favorites to win District 9-3A over Lutcher and St. James. Of course it is only a jamboree, the game was only 30 minutes, and their record is still 0-0, but Coach Lassiegne can only be pumped looking forward to next week’s game against Vandebilt for the “Holy War” rivalry.
Last season the Tigers finished the season 3-7 after starting off 3-1. Part of that was because their starting quarterback Luke Allemand went down with a torn ACL mid season. With a deep talented senior class, the Tigers have high hopes for this season & head coach Chris Dugas has been adamant about making the most of this season.
“We all knew when this senior class came in as freshmen we would have a chance to be really good,” Dugas said. “They’ve been working their butts off all summer & you can tell they want to do something special this year.”
It’s no doubt that this Thibodaux team have the athletes & talent to beat the Destrehans, Terrebonnes, & Hahnvilles of the world. But will this be the the season that they finally put together is the question. “Even though our quarterback Luke Allemand went down with a torn ACL, he got some experience under his belt as a sophomore last year,” Dugas said. “He’s still maturing but I love his moxy & how competitive he is. And in this district you have to have good quarterback play & be good in the trenches if you want to have a shot to win it. And with our receiving core & running backs I feel we can matchup with almost anybody.”
The Tigers have a chance to be pretty good on defense as well with some key returning starters. “Our defense has made tremendous strides from last season,” Dugas said. “We made a few tweaks here & there like bringing Marquel (Price) over from offense to play corner. He played very well in the fall scrimmage & had a nice interception in the red zone. We moved Rolaun (Richard) from linebacker to safety this year & he has looked really good so far. We still have some things we need to clean up on both sides of the ball before we face Riverside, but I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction.
Senior DB/WR/QB Tyron Young will make a huge impact for the Tigers once again on both sides of the ball this season. Young is one of the best athletes in this 7-5A district.
Senior linebacker Hunter Trosclair is probably the heart & soul of this Tigers defense. He can run sideline to sideline & he’s tackling machine
Senior linebacker Khalil Brisco is a really tough in the box backer that is known for his brutal hits. He should have a big a senior year.
Junior Rolaun Richard has all the physical tools to be an elite safety. He’s transitioning from linebacker where he played last season, but once he figures it out he could end up being one of the better safeties in their district.
Senior DB/WR Marquel Price had a really good junior campaign where he led the Tigers in touchdown catches at receiver. He will be asked to play corner more this season & guard the opposing team’s best receiver every Friday.
Senior receiver Kyren Lacy is a very gifted athlete at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. The (UL commit) will be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams this season. Look for Lacy to have a hell of a senior year.
Senior receiver Darwin Davis probably is the most improved player on this Thibodaux team. Davis has tremendous route running ability to go with really good hands. He will be a tough cover in the slot this season.
Junior quarterback Luke Allemand will be the key to Thibodaux’s success this season. It’s evident he has the tools to be big time, but it remains to be seen if he can put it all together in this last run with this talented group of seniors.
Senior tackle Kobi Berger is a returning starter on the offensive line. He is as tough as they come in the trenches & he will play a huge role in keeping opposing defenders off his quarterback.
Junior RB/WR Ferronte Miller is very dynamic will the ball in his hands. He is definitely a home run threat that can take a five yard slant eighty yards at any given time. He will play more receiver this season after being a full time running back last year.
The Central Lafourche Trojans finished 6-5 last season & earned a trip to the playoffs, but fell short to Slidell in the first round. This season head coach Keith Menard feels good about his senior led group & how they have a chance to be better this year around.
“We have a lot of guys that have been starting or playing a lot since their sophomore year,” Menard said. “They’ve been through some tough battles that has prepared them so I expect us to have more of an edge this season.”
The Trojans offense should pickup right where they left off last season with majority of their big time weapons returning. They lose quarterback Jacob Barker, but senior Ashtrein Duncan has shown he has the tools to make this offense just as good if not better than it was last year. The Trojans averaged 26 points per game with Barker last season, but coach Menard is excited to see how much better his offense will look this year.
“We have some really good skill guys & Ashtrein (Duncan) has shown since the spring that he is more than capable of leading this offense,” Menard said. “Jansen (Folse) showed what he can do last year at receiver & Wilcox is a big bruising tight end that will play a major role in our offense. We all know Deon (Jenkins) is special & is one of the best running backs teams are going to face this year. We’re kind of the unknown in our district & everybody kind of forgets about us. Our offensive line is in tact & I really like our front seven on defense. Our front seven might be the best since I’ve been coaching here.”
Senior running back Deon Jenkins is the second best running back in that tough 7-5A district behind Destrehan’s Kyle Edwards. Jenkins rushed for 1,743 yards & 17 touchdowns last season.
Senior wide receiver Jansen Folse is very underrated & he’s definitely one of the better receivers in their district. He will definitely be somebody opposing teams will have to game plan for this year.
Senior tight end Logan Wilcox has been starting since a sophomore & he has gotten better every single year. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds Wilcox is a load to tackle when he catches the ball & he looks to be in for a really good senior year.
Senior quarterback Ashtrein Duncan comes in as a first year starter after playing receiver last season. Duncan looked pretty good in the spring & at a few camps over the summer. He will be a threat throwing the ball & a threat using his legs as well this season for sure.
Senior center Gaven Adams is the quarterback of the offensive line sort of speak. He is a very good run & pass blocker that will pay off for this Trojans offense this season.
Senior defensive end Trevor Allemand is a returning starter that is coming off of a pretty solid junior campaign. He should make a big impact this season to bolster that front seven.
Senior defensive end Truvon Price transferred in from Ellender & he should make an immediate impact on that defense this season with his high motor.
There is reason for optimism the next two to four years at H.L Bourgeois. The Braves finished 2-8 last season, but third year head coach Ryan Fournier is excited about his team this season & years to come. “I feel better about our team around this time this year versus how I felt last year,” Fournier said.
It’s evident that the Braves have some talented players on both sides of the ball, but many of those talented players are young. This season I can see the Braves being very competitive in the toughest district in the state in my opinion, but realistically speaking I think they are a year or two away from being able to compete for the district crown. “It’s no secret that we’re extremely young & we have a good bit of young kids that we’re going to have to rely on this season,” Fournier said. “I’m excited about our team because of the talent we have & we have tons of speed.”
The Braves will be tweaking their offense a little bit this season where they’ll be running the wing-t out of the spread. To give you an example, it’s very similar to what head coach Gus Malzahn runs at Auburn. “With the speed that we have I think this offense fits our personnel perfectly,” Fournier said. “Also bringing in a great offensive mind like coach Vitter has allowed us to tweak our offense. He has done a great job so far & the kids are buying in to what he’s implementing.”
Junior Jordan Rainey will be the starter at quarterback. The Braves new look offense should benefit Rainey’s skill set really well this season.
Junior Jordan Rainey will be the starter at quarterback. The Braves new look offense should benefit Rainey’s skill set really well this season.
Junior Will Babin will be the team’s bell cow at running back this season. Tough hard nose runner that thrives at yards after contact.
Junior Rontrell Holmes will be the heart & soul of the secondary this season. Holmes looks like he is in for a big junior year at the free safety spot with his ball hawking ability.
Junior Josh Mire will play a big role this season at the mike backer & he has shown glimpses that he could be one of the better players on this defense.
Senior Melvin Mattews should have a big year at the defensive end spot. He has the ability to rush the passer at a high level so he should finish the season around double digit sacks.
Freshman Jameian Buxton has the coaching staff & the Brave nation excited for these next four years. Buxton has proven to the coaching staff already that he deserves to start as a freshman at the defensive end spot. This kid will be the next highly touted prospect to come out of the Tri-Parish. He already holds offers from LSU, Miami, & Virginia.
Freshman Demarcus Singleton is another young prospect that has a chance to be special. He will split carries with junior Will Babin at running back this season, but I expect Singleton to make a impact early as a freshman.
Sophomore Javon Pharagood will be the Braves all-purpose player on offense. The speedster will make an impact at receiver, running back, & even in the return game this season.
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