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Start of district play allows Lutcher to hit reset button on 2017 season

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  • George Becnel
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  • October 03, 2017 - 4:53pm

File photosDwain Jenkins and his Lutcher Bulldogs get to hit the reset button with the start of District 8-4A play Friday night against visiting Parkview Baptist.

When the District 8-4A schedule was first announced the Week 6 league opener had the looks of gridiron classic in the making.

Lutcher, the two-time defending Class 3A state champions, made the move up Class 4A and was placed in the same district as Parkview Baptist, a team that had reached the Division II state championship game for three-straight years.

The road leading up to a new classification and league has been a bumpy one for the two powerhouse programs.

Lutcher enters Friday night’s game against visiting Parkview at 1-4 on the season. The Eagles also sport a losing record at 2-3.

Last week’s games maybe show that one team’s fortunes may be turning around in time for district play while the other is still looking for a bit of luck.

Parkview was clinging to a 23-20 lead with Southern Lab driving in the closing moments of the game. With six seconds left and no timeouts remaining, the Kittens were deep in Parkview territory. Southern Lab quarterback Quincy Filmore took a knee instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock. With no timeouts remaining, the clock ran out, allowing the Eagles to hold on for a three-point triumph.

“The kid makes an incredible play on fourth down to pick up the first down. They had the ball inside the 5-yard line. It’s one of those things that remind you that it’s kids playing a game. Nobody feels worse than that kid. He had a great game and for it to come down to that, he took a knee and they were out of timeouts and the clock ran out,” an empathetic Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said.

The result was in stark contrast to Lutcher’s fortunes. The Bulldogs came up with a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game to tie the contest 21-21 against Dutchtown and appeared to be headed for overtime. Instead, the Griffins quickly moved the ball to set up a 38-yard Cohen Parent field goal and a three-point loss for Lutcher.

“We haven’t been consistent in a lot of ways but we continue to play hard. We continue to find some things we can do well but we just have come up on the wrong side of different things at different times. It’s no one thing you can point your finger at,” Jenkins said of his team’s ongoing woes.

Lutcher and Parkview has been a victim of their respective successes, according to Jenkins.

“That’s the price you pay for being a successful program. You don’t get schedule some of the games that other people get to schedule. You kind of have to take the games that you can get. When you’ve had success, the only teams you can schedule are teams that are going to be pretty good. You take it as a complement but it still doesn’t help deal with the fact of the matter that you are 1-4. Nobody likes it and all we can do right now is keep trying to find ways to improve over the next couple of weeks and get things going in the right direction,” said Jenkins.

While both teams have struggled, one thing that is certain is that the Eagles like to run the football.

“One of the things that you know with Parkview is they will play in their double slot and they will run the option and they will be disciplined and they will have a really good offensive line, especially in the middle. Their guys in the middle are the typical Parkview-type linemen at 6-2, 260. Their offensive tackles are taller and leaner,” said Jenkins.

Connor Joffrion, one of Parkview’s top runners, has been out with an injury but has been capably replaced, according to Jenkins.

“Since Joffrion has been down, a couple of guys who have stepped up have been Dustin Philippe. He scored a couple of touchdowns last week against Southern Lab. Darrel Cyprian is a player that has made plays on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback, Alexander Aucoin, is one of their top guys,” the Lutcher coach said.

Cole Mayet and Parker Kirby are two other runners who have missed time. Mayet also plays linebacker on defense and Kirby plays defensive tackle.

“One of the things they’ve been able to do is they play a lot of guys. They play guys both ways, but they play a lot of guys. It’s not like they are playing just 22 guys or just these four skilled guys on both sides of the ball. They play guys on both sides of the ball but they play about the same number of snaps that you would play if you were only playing one side. They do a good job of getting guys on the field and spot playing them in different places,” said Jenkins.

Couple with a strong running game, the Eagles like to hang their hat on defense, according to Jenkins.

“Defense has been one of their hallmarks for probably the last 17 or 18 years since that coaching staff kind of came into place. Coach (Jay) Mayet was the defensive coordinator for a long time before he took over as head coach and that’s still where he has been heavily involved. They have been one of the best teams to run the 3-3 Stack. They are kind of the team to go see if you want to run that defense,” Jenkins said.

Along with Cole Mayet and Kirby, other top defenders for Parkview Baptist include Colton Jumonville and Kenneth Peyton.

“They are not these 270, 280 down guys that we’ve seen at times this year but they are 6-foot, 6-foot-2 guys that are 220-pound linebackers and can kind of erase things in a hurry,” said Jenkins.

Although Lutcher is an uncharacteristic 1-4, the beginning of district play can serve as a reset button for the Bulldogs.

“One of the things we have talked about throughout the week is we set goals at the beginning of the year and every goal we set is still ahead of us,” Jenkins said. “All is not lost. We still have a chance to accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish. It’s just the road we have to take is not the one we anticipated or is the one that we like but sometimes those difficult times and situations help you forge for better things to come.”

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.