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Bulldogs attempt to knock off another Ascension Parish foe

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  • George Becnel
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  • September 26, 2018 - 8:45pm

File photosDwain Jenkins and his Lutcher Bulldogs can make it two-in-a-row over Ascension Parish teams with a road victory over the Dutchtown Griffins on Friday night.

Sometimes, watch game tape can actually hurt.

“It was painful watching that one again this week just getting prepared for Dutchtown. When you score a touchdown with 47 seconds and they get the ball back and drive it down the field in a couple of plays and it looked like early in the possession they were thinking overtime and then they bust a run and complete a pass, and all of a sudden, they have an opportunity to kick a field goal to win the game,” Dwain Jenkins said.

The Lutcher coach was referring to the Bulldogs’ game a year ago against the Griffins. Rondell Mealey scored with 47 seconds left in the game to tie things up at 21-21. The game seemed destined for overtime until Dutchtown quickly moved downfield to set up a 38-yard field goal by Cohen Parent to drop Lutcher to 1-4 on the season.

At 2-2 through four games this season, maybe the football gods are again looking a bit more favorably on the Bulldogs after Lutcher’s 31-28 double-overtime thriller over St. Amant last week.

Now, the Bulldogs face the Griffins again, this time in Dutchtown as Lutcher faces its second-straight Class 5A Ascension Parish foe and third since the start of the year after a season-opening loss to East Ascension.

“When you look at Dutchtown and you look at St. Amant, you feel like you are playing a team that’s the same but in a different colored uniform just with the guys they put on the field and the quality of players that they have,” said Jenkins.

The 3-1 Griffins use a spread formation on offense.

“They have a lot of success being able to run the football from that formation. They do have good receivers. They’ve had some big games from them in the screen game. I think as the quarterback gets more and more healthy, he becomes more and more of a weapon for them in the run game,” Jenkins said.

The receivers the Lutcher coach referred to include Terry Matthews, Dajan Watkins and Eric Coleman.

The Dutchtown quarterback is Dre Monroe.

“He has a big body. I think he dealt with an ankle injury early-on in the season and wasn’t able to play but as he’s getting more and more healthy, you can see he’s a big part of what they do offensively,” Jenkins said.

Blayden Louis is one of the Dutchtown running backs.

“They have a couple of good running backs but one that seems to be getting the ball for the carries now is Blayden Louis. He had a couple of good games,” said Jenkins.

The Griffins can add another element to the offense when they bring over their top defender to the other side of the ball.

“When they bring Jordan Jackson over from the defensive side to get the snaps that he gets on offense, it is always something dynamic,” Jenkins said.

Jackson is one of those do-it-all players for the Griffins.

“Jordan Jackson is probably their most dynamic football player. We have to be aware of him in all phases of the game. He’s played some wildcat quarterback for them and had some big runs in some tight games for them. He probably has five interceptions for them already at this point in the season as a safety. He’s played cornerback before. He can return kicks. He can return punts,” Jenkins said of Jackson, a McNeese State commitment.

Along with Jackson, other top defenders for Dutchtown include nose guard Shane Levy, defensive end Hayden Willis and linebacker Reggie Spears.

Like fellow Ascension Parish schools East Ascension and St. Amant, Dutchtown plays an odd-man front on defense.

“I think Dutchtown does a really good job of controlling things up front and I think their linemen do a good job of keeping their linebackers free and their linebackers make a lot of plays for them. The thing that kind of makes you a little leery about them is the number of takeaways they’ve gotten each and every week. They caused five turnovers against Covington, which was a close game and they’ve won close games all year,” Jenkins said.

A key to taking on Dutchtown’s defense, Jenkins said, is an ability to adapt to what the Griffins might be willing to give them.

“Sometimes, people want to take away the run and force you to throw the ball. Sometimes people don’t want you to beat them deep and they play a lot of back-off coverage and that means you have to get a lot of completions and throw a lot of things underneath and we’ve been able to adjust pretty well offensively. Hopefully, that trend will continue,” Jenkins said.

Another trend the coach would like to see is continued improvement from Lutcher’s defensive line.

“We know every week we’ve got to do a good job of being able to slow down the run to be able to get teams out of just being able to pound it every play so we need to continue to improve up front on the defensive side of the ball and create some negative plays so we can get in some favorable third downs and it’s not playing third-and-1 and third-and-2 all night long,” Jenkins said.

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.