Church Point hosts Notre Dame
BY LANCE REED
LSN STAFF WRITER
CROWLEY – The Notre Dame Pioneers and the Church Point Bears have tremendous respect for each other. Like the other Acadia Parish schools, a lot of the players and coaches know each other and are friends. Tonight at 7 o’clock, those feelings will be put on hold as the two platoons collide at Church Point High School.
The Bears are coming off of a one-point victory over Catholic High of New Iberia. The 13-12 victory put the Bears at 6-2 on the year and helped them move to the 10th slot in the unofficial power ratings.
Notre Dame comes into this game sitting at the top spot in the unofficial power ratings. A victory Friday night will solidify their position and perhaps put them in a good position to make a strong run in the Class 3A playoffs. A victory would also give the Pioneers their second straight outright District 5-3A championship.
The Bears bring their classic wing-T offense to the table. A strong running game has allowed the Bears to put up an average of 22 points per game. Senior fullback Joseph Carrier, junior wing back Bruce Citizen and sophomore Von Duplechain are the work horses for the Bears. Carrier gets a lot of carries, especially in short-yardage situations. Carrier brings a load through the hole at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds. Citizen and Duplechain get equal amounts of carries. Both backs are shifty and agile and can score from any where on the field, if they break loose.
Quarterback Blake Boudreaux is back for his senior year. While the Bears do not throw the ball a lot, they are proficient. Look for Boudreaux to roll out on most passes and look down field.
“They have had more success than most of the teams we have faced,” Notre Dame Head Coach Lewis Cook explained. “They always do a really good job on offense. They execute the wing-T better than anyone and it can give us trouble.”
The CHPS offensive line averages close to 210 pounds and is very senior heavy. Center Cody Prather anchors the line at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds. Junior tackle Zack Paul gets the bulk of the pulling assignments. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Paul is a force when he gets the call to pull down the line.
The NDHS defense pitched a shut out last week against a very talented Crowley High School team. This week, the goal of the Pioneers will be to stop the running attack of Church Point and force them to go to the air.
Senior John Graf leads a talented defensive line that continues to dominate up front. Junior linebacker D.J. Welter and senior linebacker Seth Fruge flew around the ball last week, forcing the Gents to go to the air. The NDHS secondary continues to get better and better each week. Senior cornerback Jordan Comeaux picked off a few passes last week. He and the other members of the pass defense squad will welcome the challenge of trying to stop the Bears’ passing game.
The NDHS offense found a way to grab four touchdowns last week. Junior signal caller Ryan Leonards orchestrated several good drives that led to scores. Senior wide receiver Nick Zaunbrecher seems to be the go to guy in clutch situations. Zaunbrecher pulled in passes to convert some big third and long situations against the Gents.
“Ryan’s ability to throw and our ability to block for him gives us another dimension on offense,” said Cook. “Last week was a good example. We had more passing success than we did running the ball.”
The CPHS defense gives up an average of 20 points per game and has not pitched a shut out yet this year. The D-line features senior nose guard Quinton Clark (6-2, 320) and senior tackle Torey Boudreaux (6-2, 220) who do a good job of stopping opponents. However, the Bears look to junior Derrick Garrick (5-9, 225) for big plays up front. He plays full speed and has a motor that goes for 48 minutes.
The Bears’ secondary features three seniors, including Boudreaux at the safety position. Junior Nathan Berwick leads the linebacker group. The youngster tips the scale at 210 pounds and stands at 5-foot-11 for the black and gold. Seniors Kayne Rollins and Caleb Stanford are the other two linebackers, along with junior Ben Prosper.
“The one thing people don’t talk about a whole lot is their defense,” Cook remarked. “They have been playing very well. We will have to find a way to move the ball. Their defense kept them in the game last week. We will have to get some drives together and come away with some points. We need to get points each time we get into the red zone.”
Tonight’s contest has a lot on the line for both squads. Notre Dame wants to keep up their strong power rating and take the district title. Church Point would like to get into the top 10 of the Class 3A power ratings. Tomorrow night’s contest takes place at Church Point High School at 7 p.m.