Undefeated Pelicans give Dogs a district break
By: LANCE REED
After a huge emotional victory in the Tee Cotton Bowl IX, the Bulldogs now have to move on to face a new challenge.
Can they get up to play a larger opponent after that big emotional contest? They will have to as the undefeated Port Allen Pelicans (3-0) are next on the agenda for Ville Platte. Port Allen is coming off of a 25-0 victory over winless Lee. In Port Allen’s three victories, only their 19-15 victory over Class 4A Tara was an impressive win. This means the Dogs have a excellent shot of winning this contest if they can play at the same level they played last week against the Trojans.
Ville Platte’s highly-balanced offensive attack seemed to keep the Trojans off guard. It was hard to predict when the Dogs were passing or running the ball for the most part. That balance will go a long way in tomorrow night’s road contest against a bigger and tougher opponent. Marcus Wilson and Darnell Towns took turn dicing up the Trojans’ defensive unit. The running duo will have to do the same tomorrow night, but they need the offensive line to repeat its performance as well. The VPHS tackles were called “men” by Sacred Heart Head Coach Dutton Wall and rightfully so. They held down the SHHS defensive ends which allowed Towns and Wilson to move the ball with effectiveness.
Another big factor was the performance of freshman Cody Jones. The young quarterback played an excellent game last week. Even after getting banged up for a play or two, the youngster kept coming back and making big plays. He completed four crucial passes on third and long situations. Jones has to keep improving if the Dogs are going to make it back to the Class 2A playoffs. A win tomorrow night could be huge as far as the power points are considered. A victory means 10 points, plus one point for playing up and all of the other victories the Pelicans may acquire over the season.
The Pelicans average nearly 30 points a game this year, including 54-point game against Point Coupee Central. The offense runs a multiple option type offense with just four starters back this year. The most dangerous of those starters is running back Jonathan Johnson and Jeremy Taylor. The duo is responsible for over 50 percent of the PAHS offense.
The biggest problem Port Allen has is trying to run the ball up the middle. The Pelicans are lacking in size on the offensive line this year. They are much smaller than they were last year. The largest offensive lineman is 200 pounds and stands at an even six-feet tall. The line usually focuses on quick-hitting plays due to the lack of size.
While the Pelicans do not throw the ball a lot, they do have the ability to. First-year quarterback L.J. Parker has the arm and Ernest Bynum is definitely the man to be hit downfield. The senior stands a 6’3” and tips the scale at 170 pounds. He is a big target anywhere on the field.
The VPHS defense gave up 27 points last week, but it came on some awkward situations. The Dogs were in situations with their backs to the wall several times. Blocked punts and fumbles forced the Dogs to have to play with a short field rather than the distance of a normal drive. With all that said, LeBryan Washington and company played very hard the entire game. The Dogs hit harder in TCB IX than they had yet this year. The Dogs had a host of players that did very well on defense. They will have to step it up one more time, if Ville Platte is going to pull off the upset over the Class 3A school.
Game time is scheduled for tomorrow night at Port Allen High School.