The Bridge celebrates homecoming by hosting another winless team, the Istrouma Indians from Baton Rouge, while The ’Ville returns from two rough road trips to take on the unbeaten Yellow Jackets of New Iberia Sr. High.
Meanwhile, Cecilia’s 2-0 Bulldogs face another long road trip as they head south to Patterson to test the 1-1 Lumberjacks.
Notre Dame scored on the first play from scimmage last Friday and it seemed the Tigers never could recover, falling 17-0 to the Pioneers.
“It was a bit embarrassing,” commented coach Mike Mowad Monday. “We got off to a slow start, and it’s really hard to catch up against a team like Notre Dame, especially on a wet field. Our special team play just fell apart.”
Still, the veteran coach says there were some bright spots. “We did show a lot of improvement, especially on defense. We’re moving in the right direction.”
The mistakes made on offense are “things that can be corrected” added Mowad. “A lot of positive things came out of the game and I’m confident we can turn things around.”
Breaux Bridge’s last 0-2 start occurred just two years ago, and against the same two teams – Westgate and Notre Dame. But the Tigers went on to a 6-4 finish and earned a spot in the playoffs.
Istrouma, Friday’s opponent, started its season with a 63-8 blowout loss to Catholic of Baton Rouge and fell to East St. John last Friday by a 33-14 margin.
So the Indians have given up 96 points in just two games. “They’re not as bad as that,” Mowad insists. “They’re playing a lot of young people who are gaining experience with every game.”
Kenneth Bell piled up 197 yards and scored both Istrouma touchdowns last Friday. “They’ve got some good athletes,” reports Mowad. “They’ll run from both the spread and the I formation and that’s gonna present some problems for our defense.”
The Tigers haven’t lost their first three games since the disastrous 1996 season when Breaux Bridge struggled through a 1-9 season, so this year’s team has plenty of incentive to win Friday’s homecoming game.
A defensive lapse on one play led to Franklin’s only score of the night, but that was enough to tag St. Martinville with its second loss of the young season.
“It was a blown assignment on our part that gave then the touchdown,” says coach Marc Broussard.
And the Tigers, who have not scored in two games and the jamboree, had several opportunities but just couldn’t punch it in. “We were inside their 15 twice and didn’t score,” recalled Broussard, “and then we had a big touchdown run called back due to a penalty.”
Junior running back Justin Penn produced 68 yards on 16 carries and was “a pleasant surprise” to the coaching staff. “He is deceivingly quick at hitting the hole and certainly adds to our options on offense.”
“Our offensive line showed some improvement in blocking for the run, but didn’t get the job done on pass protection,” added Broussard. “We’ve got receivers who run good routes and can catch the ball, but we’ve got to give (QB) Alex (Oubre) a little time to throw.”
Oubre finished with just two completions on 15 attempts with three interceptions.
Things don’t get any easier for the Tigers as they prepare for New Iberia, winner of its first two games against Tara (41-6) and Byrd (21-12).
Jacket QB Jordy Joseph was nearly perfect through the air against Byrd, completing 14-of-17 attempts for 204 yards and all three of NI’s touchdowns.
“They use lots of play action, and they run it extremely well,” says Broussard. “Our defense definitely has its work cut out for Friday.”
Despite the poor start, Broussard says his team will “keep plugging away, doing what we can” to improve.
Coach Terry Martin was happy to get back from Lake Charles with a 27-25 win over St. Louis.
“They were very physical running the ball,” he says. “We didn’t expect that from them. And we just didn’t tackle very well. We work on that every week, but we’re going to really focus on it this week.”
The Bulldog offensive line was pretty physical itself last Friday, helping the ’Dogs crank out more than 300 yards. Justin Zenon rushed for 100 and a TD while also catching 53 passes for 53 yards. “He had a really good game,” says Martin.
And first year quarterback Adrien Noel continues to make progress at his new position. He ran for 54 yards and a touchdown while completing 7-of-13 passes for 127 yards and a TD, hitting four different receivers. “He needs to keep working to improve his throwing,” says Martin, “but he’s showing a knack for making the right decision.”
The Bulldogs will have to do a good job of tackling this Friday if they hope to slow Patterson tailback Kenny Hilliard, considered one of the best in the state. He rushed for 261 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries in last Friday’s 38-27 loss to East St. John. Starting quarterback Nick Nolan sat out the game after suffering a concussion in the season opener (a 35-14 win over Westgate), but Martin expects the senior to be back in the lineup by Friday.
“They’re a very athletic team,” observes Martin, “ and it’s another long trip for us. We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us again.”