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Another rematch, different offensive style await Lutcher

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  • George Becnel
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  • November 18, 2016 - 1:24pm

File photosAnThe Lutcher Bulldogs of coach Dwain Jenkins face a playoff rematch for the second week in a row when they take on Wossman on Friday night.


When Lutcher hosts Wossman on Friday night in a second-consecutive playoff rematch from a year ago, at least things will be a bit more conventional.

Although the fourth-seeded Bulldogs came away with a 28-0 win over Avoyelles, the No. 29 seed, in their Class 3A playoff opener, it came in a most unusual manner.

Lutcher improved to 9-2 despite having the ball for less than eight minutes in the entire game against Avoyelles’ time-hogging double-wing offense. The Bulldogs had the ball for 22 offensive snaps the entire game. By contrast, Avoyelles had one drive that consisted of 21 plays.

“Style-wise, it’s a little better matchup than what last week was,” Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said. “It’s a little more conventional spread offense playing a lot of four wides and one back. They haven’t shown the tendency to hold the ball and do those things. They are averaging 23 points a game on offense and give up 14 on defense. It’s a very athletic team to have a second-round matchup with.”

Lutcher defeated Wossman 44-6 in the second round of the 2015 playoffs on the Bulldogs’ way to a state championship. This year, the 8-3 Wildcats advanced to the second round with a 26-22 triumph over Union Parish.

Tough competition is nothing new for Wossman.

“The teams they lost to are no slouches when you talk about West Monroe, Ruston and Carroll. They’ve played good competition, so you know that’s something they are accustomed to,” said Jenkins.

While Wossman’s offense is similar to that of Lutcher, the Wildcats really hand their hat on defense.

“Their linchpin is their defense. They played really well on defense most of the year. There three losses were the only games where they gave up more than two touchdowns,” said Jenkins.

One Wossman defender who played a key role in the Wildcats’ playoff win over Union Parish was linebacker Charles Ellis.

“He had a big strip-and-score against Union. Union was driving the ball and were up 22-8 and it was in control of the game and from the linebacker position, Union completed an out route, the guy kind of got stood up and Ellis came in and stripped the ball and ran it 55 yards for a touchdown and really gave Wossman life,” Jenkins said.

Other top defenders up front for Wossman include 300-pound Dalvin Hutchinson, Oteago Carter and Antonio Berry.

Berry, Jenkins said, is an exceptional athlete.

“He was a receiver once upon a time. He’s got a lot of skill. He also plays receiver. He’s made some great plays dropping into pass cover. His athleticism makes him a terror in the pass game,” Jenkins said of Berry.

Wossman lost several key players from its offense of a year ago, including quarterback Cameron Lewis, now a defensive back at LSU, and his brother, Brandon.

Playing quarterback for Wossman is Zach Smith.

“He has a good arm and really pushes the ball down the field,” Jenkins said of Smith.

A current Wildcat player has a bit of a pedigree. Jaterrius Turpin is the brother of former Neville star KaVontae Turpin, now at TCU.

“They line him up at quarterback, they line him up at receiver and takes direct snaps and runs it. Every once in a while, he throws the ball deep. A lot of times it’s to Smith, who lines up at receiver,” Jenkins explained.

A win Friday night would advance Lutcher to the quarterfinals against Marksville, a 38-22 winner over Carroll on Thursday.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.