Bears off to running start

BY CHRIS QUEBEDEAUX

SPORTS EDITOR

CHURCH POINT – While most prep football teams struggled offensively last week, Church Point’s Bears thrived.

The Bears, running out of the

Wing T, posted an eye-popping 654 yards of total offense in a 28-21 road victory over Class AAAA’s Beau Chene Gators.

What made the performance even more impressive was the fact that 404 of those yards were gained on the ground. Three Church Point running backs - Joseph Carrier, Bruce Citizen and Von Duplechin – all rushed for over 100 yards in the contest.

“That has a lot to say about our backs, but it has more to say about our offensive line,” said Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux, whose team returned just one starter on the line from 2007. “We have four new starters on the line, three of them are seniors. Now that they are starting to get a little bit of experience, they are starting to understand the blocking schemes and who they are supposed to have.”

What also helps is having two experienced running backs in sophomore Von Duplechin and junior Bruce Citizen. That duo combined for 609 yards and five touchdowns on 106 carries last season.

Add in junior Joseph Carrier, a newcomer to the backfield, and Church Point has one of the most explosive offensives in the area.

“The biggest surprise this year has been Joseph Carrier,” said Arceneaux. “Coming into the season, we knew what we had with Von and Bruce because they both played last year. Last year as a sophomore, we kind of didn’t have a place for Joseph. In jayvee he played some on defense and he played a halfback. Going into the spring last year, we moved him to fullback and said let’s give him a try. We wanted to give him a chance and he’s made the most of it.”

Church Point’s trio of backs have shared the load in the first two games, each getting nearly equal totes. Carrier leads the team with 25 carries for 203 yards and a touchdown while Citizen also has 25 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Duplechin has rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

“Being in the wing, you have to try and be balanced and force people to defend the entire field,” said Arceneaux. “The whole basis of the Wing T is set up on being a three-back offense so if you’re not using three backs, you’re kind of limiting yourself. We want to try and force people to have to defend the run game from tackle to tackle on every play and you have to use all three backs in order to achieve that.”

The Bears have also shown that they can throw the football with quarterback Blake Boudreaux under center. Boudreaux has been consistent, completing six of his 12 pass attempts for 104 yards. He has also rushed for two touchdowns.

“The biggest thing that we need to fix right now is, we are just struggling a little bit with our protection,” said Arceneaux. “And we have had quite a few drops. The passing game...we’re close. We just have a few things we need to fix.”

The Bears will be put to the test Friday when they host Class AAAA’s third-ranked Eunice Bobcats.

“This is a huge game this week,” said Arceneaux. “We are going to find out exactly where we are because Eunice is very talented. They are a solid football team from top to bottom.”

Eunice is 2-0 with wins over Jennings (44-7) and Catholic High of New Iberia (42-0). In those two games, the Bobcats have averaged 381 yards of total offense and have given up an average of 165 on defense.

“This will be our toughest test of the season thus far,” said Arceneaux. “Anytime you outscore your opponents 86-7 in the first two weeks, you are a pretty good football team.”

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