BB-Cecilia battle Friday
With coaches and players hoping to get back to a “normal” schedule following swipes by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike that caused the cancellation of week one games and the shuffling of the week two schedule, fans are looking forward to the renewal of the heated Breaux Bridge-Cecilia rivalry on Friday night. This year’s game will be played at the BBHS stadium.
Meanwhile, St. Martinville wraps up its pre-district run by hosting the Westgate Tigers, also on Friday.
The Bulldogs are coming off an impressive win over the highly ranked Patterson Lumberjacks, a hastily scheduled foe after Plaquemine High School was unable to field its team last week.
The Bulldog offense rolled up 422 yards and six touchdowns that included scores by Orry Landry (12-117), Justin Zenon (7-80) and Marcus Wiltz (14-78) and well as TD bombs by Tyler Champagne and Devin Broussard.
“We decided to try and run right at them,” coach Terry Martin said Monday. “I was really proud of the way our offensive line performed. They executed their blocks and gave our quarterbacks good protection.”
The Bulldog coach was also pleased with his defensive unit, which pretty much held touted Patterson running back Kenny Hilliard in check and recorded seven sacks for the night.
“We’re very happy with the win against a quality opponent,” Martin added.
TE/LB Brad Norris is back in the lineup after shaking off a shoulder injury and Martin is hopeful that cornerback Mikey Courville will be cleared for action following off-season back surgery.
Looking at Breaux Bridge’s 14-12 loss to Notre Dame last week, Martin commented that “they just killed themselves” with turnovers. “Breaux Bridge looked really good on defense, they’re big and athletic. Offensively, they appear to be struggling a bit to find the right formula, but whenever they put it together they’ll be a really good football team.”
The Tigers fumbled three times and the opportunistic Notre Dame Pioneers converted two of them into touchdowns in a hard fought game played last Wednesday.
“Those mistakes are killing us,” lamented coach Mike Mowad Monday. “We’re a young team and we’re going through growing pains. Our offensive line needs to be more consistent ... right now they’re just not playing very well.”
The Tigers looked better on the defensive side, claiming two fumbles that also led to BB touchdowns. Missed extra points proved crucial in the loss.
“I was proud of the way our guys came through,” says Mowad. “But we’ve got a lot of talent, and I feel they can be so much better.”
The defense will definitely be challenged when Cecilia comes to town Friday.
“They’re probably as talented a Cecilia team as we’ve every faced,” says Mowad. “They’ve got three senior quarterbacks and all of their running backs have plenty of experience and are all great athletes.”
The veteran coach hopes all the bad weather is past and that the coaches and players can settle back into the usual routine. “We’re so inexperienced,” he remarked. “We need to be able to get in our practices and we need to play more. I think we’ll eventually come around, if the kids don’t get discouraged first. It’s gonna take more hard work and preparation.”
Mowad is looking forward to the predicted cooler and drier weather. “We should have a helluva gate on Friday,” he concluded.
While coach Marc Broussard was certainly happy to finally get a win in overtime (after three losses in his rookie season last year), it probably should have never come to that.
“We dropped two touchdowns passes and we had those missed extra points,” he recalled. “And we just had two many turnovers (four off of eight fumbles). But overall I was pleased with our offensive effort.”
The Tigers seem to be developing a triple threat in their running game, with seniors Bryson Mallery and Brandon Jacob, along with sophomore Lance Charles accounting for 244 rushing yards. Charles led the way with 130 stripes and two touchdowns on 19 carries while Jacobs turned in a 62-yard kickoff return TD along with a rushing score.
SM’s defense also appeared much improved, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime period, when they stepped up the pressure on Franklin’s quarterback. The secondary also notched three interceptions.
“We’ve really emphasized conditioning because we often seemed to just run out of gas late in the first half and towards the end of the game last year,” Broussard says.
This Friday’s opponent, Class 5A Westgate of New Iberia, has yet to play a regular season game as the hurricanes really disrupted schools in Iberia Parish.
“We do know that their quarterback is a returning starter and is probably one of the most gifted quarterbacks we’ll face this year,” says Broussard. “They’re a typical Westgate team, very big and very athletic.”