- Game Preview
- George Becnel
- October 17, 2018 - 2:33pm
When Lutcher lost 36-21 two weeks ago to previously winless Parkview Baptist, few from the Bulldog Nation might have been thinking of a district championship.
But with Parkview’s 34-15 loss last week to Plaquemine, coupled with Lutcher’s 49-0 domination of St. Martin’s, the Bulldogs are back in the hunt.
“Plaquemine is the only team that can go undefeated in the district,” Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said. “Plaquemine is the leader right now and you just have to take care of business. If we can take care of business against Woodlawn and next week against Tara, it will give us an opportunity to play Plaquemine and play for a share of the district championship.
“You have to get to Week 10 first, but that’s what that win last win by Plaquemine did. It gave us an opportunity to kind of control our own destiny again.”
Plaquemine is 5-2 overall and 2-0 in District 6-4A. Lutcher (4-3 overall, 1-1 in district), Parkview and Woodlawn all have one league loss.
Woodlawn (2-5 overall, 1-1 in district) is coming off a 33-8 win over Tara.
Tyrell Smith, perhaps the Panthers’ most athletic player on offense, played quarterback against Tara after having played most of the season at receiver.
Until last week, Woodlawn’s quarterback has been Josh Serio.
“I guess they were having some issues getting (Smith) the ball so you started seeing them doing some wildcat with him at quarterback. After the St. Michael’s game, their most success was probably when they were in that wildcat situation with Smith and (Jonero) Scott in the backfield together. It looked like last week against Tara that was their primary offense,” Jenkins explained.
Scott has topped the 100-yard mark each of the past two weeks.
“He’s the guy they want to get the ball to. He’s 5-11, 185 pounds and does a good job of running behind his blocks. He’s got the speed to really break the long ones,” said Jenkins.
Although Smith was at quarterback, the Panthers’ style of play didn’t change much, according to Jenkins.
“When Smith was in, they ran their normal formations with an empty (backfield), running speed sweeps, running power and counters off of it. He’s more of a running threat, although he did throw it a little bit last week and threw a touchdown pass. I think it gives them their best two offensive weapons, Scott and Smith, putting the ball in their hands on every play,” the Lutcher coach said.
Woodlawn boasted perhaps the best defense in the district last year but returned only one starter.
“Even though they finished fourth in the district, their defense was something that every team had issues with,” said Jenkins.
The lone returning starter is Kenneth Augustus.
“Last year he played defensive tackle against us. He’s played defensive tackle. He’s played linebacker this year. He’s really a good football player and has done a good job of being in on a lot of plays,” Jenkins said of Augustus.
Another guy who has moved around is Daylen Hardy.
“He’s played defensive end. He’s played defensive tackle. He’s played outside linebacker. He’s made some big plays for them. He has forced some fumbles,” said Jenkins.
Lanard Harris and Julius Bowie are two of the top Panthers in the secondary. Bowie also is a factor on special teams as a return man.
The Panthers’ most vital player, Jenkins said, is another special teamer – kicker Jacob Barnes.
“Last year, I think 47 of 49 kicks were touchbacks,” the Lutcher coach said of the Louisiana Tech commitment. “Anytime they cross the 50, they have an opportunity to kick a field goal.
“He averages more than 40 yards a punt. You know from a field position standpoint, they can flip field position no matter where they get the ball at. You give up a score and you are starting on your 20. There is no chance of a return because he is kicking the ball out of the end zone.”
Consistency, Jenkins said, is what Lutcher will need if the Bulldogs are two give themselves a shot at a district title in Week 10.
“We have been consistent offensively,” Jenkins said. “The issue that we’ve had is the games where we’ve turned the ball over, we’ve gotten ourselves in trouble. That’s the biggest thing again this week; avoid turnovers. Early in the game, we need to get off to a good start and continue to improve.
“Last week, I think we made a big step forward. Defensively, we came out and played the way you are supposed to play. We came out and dominated on that side (of the ball) and really limited St. Michael’s. They had 31 carries and only 50 yards rushing for a team that is going to run the ball on every play, it gives you a great opportunity to have a lot of success. It will be a different running attack this week but we have to be able to stop them from running the football.”