Gators

Week 3 is somewhat of a rivalry week on the Houma-Thibodaux prep football schedule.

Three games feature matchups pitting parish schools versus one another.

In Terrebonne Parish, it’ll be a battle of local powers when South Terrebonne plays Terrebonne. Also in Terrebonne, Ellender will take on H.L. Bourgeois with both teams in need of a win.

In Lafourche, it’s one of the oldest rivalries in our area when South Lafourche takes on Central Lafourche in a matchup featuring two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum so far in 2019. The Trojans are unbeaten and the Tarpons are winless.

All three games will be competitive and physical — all local rivalries are.

Local coaches said it’s always fun when there’s a little extra on the line.

“These are the games are why we love high school football,” Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard said. “The kids have a little extra energy and the community is fired up. It’s a fun thing to be part of.”

TIGERS WANT TO WIN AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AGAINST GATORS

Terrebonne got that feel good feeling back on Friday night when they trashed Ellender.

But South Terrebonne is a bit of a different animal and they’re hungry to show that they, too, can play among the elites.

In the matchup of Tigers and Gators, both sides think the winner will be the team that imposes its style of play onto the other.

Terrebonne is more of a quick-strike attack — an offense led by quarterback Ryan Williams and receiver Jakhi Douglas. South Terrebonne is more of a methodical ball control team with halfback Colby Chelette pushing forward a couple yards at a time.

If South Terrebonne can control time of possession and slow the game down, they’ll likely have an edge.

But if it’s a track meet and an offensive shootout, it favors Terrebonne.

“We know they have a powerful running game,” Terrebonne coach Gary Hill said. “We will have to try and put them back against the chains and try and take them out of their rhythm a little bit.”

Defensively, both teams are getting better.

Terrebonne struggled at times in the season opener against Jesuit, but pitched a shootout in Week 2 against Ellender.

The Gators allowed 28 points on Friday night against Berwick, but several of those points were aided by turnovers and Gators mistakes.

Richard Curlin said throughout the offseason that he thinks his defense can be opportunistic — a group that can give opportunities to the Gators’ offense.

“We like that group. They’re working hard and we have some kids who have a little experience there,” Curlin said.

TARPONS HOPE TO FIND RHYTHM AGAINST TROJANS

Fans are restless in Galliano right now.

South Lafourche’s triple-option offense is sputtering and the team is losing games, despite Herculean performances from a stingy defense.

Coach Blake Forsythe is urging patience, but also knows the Tarpons have to get right quick.

South Lafourche’s sputtering offense will take on Central Lafourche on Friday — a team that’s scored more points (112) than the Tarpons have total yards through two games this season.

Forsythe said the offensive problems are a combination of youth, execution and facing two good defenses. But he knows that things have to begin to click, and soon.

“We have to get rolling,” Forsythe said. “We’ve just been unable to keep a rhythm and be as consistent as we’d have liked to be.”

But Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard isn’t sipping the Kool Aid. He thinks the Tarpons will be more than a worthwhile foe, adding that he’s certain Friday night’s game will be a hard-fought, competitive affair.

Menard said he thinks the Tarpons’ ball-control offense presents challenges because it tests the discipline level of a defense.

The Trojans have to stick to their assignments or surrender big plays.

Menard also said that he thinks South Lafourche’s defense is challenging, and that the Trojans’ high-octane offense will be tested from their rivals.

“They’re going to come in here hungry looking for their first win. We know that,” Menard said. “We just have to focus on us and keep doing the things that have gotten us to the start that we have.”

PATRIOTS, BRAVES LOOKING FOR A SPARK

Both Ellender and H.L. Bourgeois need this one bad.

H.L. Bourgeois is 0-2 and Ellender is desperate to beat up on someone after Terrebonne beat them 60-0 on Friday night.

For the Braves, the key will be a faster start. In both games this season, the Braves fell behind big early, then never could catch up.

For Ellender, avoiding catastrophic, game-changing plays will be key. They allowed a kick return for a score against Terrebonne and also surrendered a score on a muffed punt snap.

Last year’s game between these teams was all Braves. H.L. Bourgeois won 34-7.

Ellender coach Dave McCormick said these types of games are the ones the Patriots have to start winning to get where they would like to — back to the playoffs.

“We weren’t satisfied with our effort all of the time last year. We thought some of the games we lost should have been closer and some of the closer games should have been wins,” McCormick said. “This year, we have to change all that around.”

Follow Casey on Twitter for more. 

https://twitter.com/casey_gisclair

Casey Gisclair is the Sports Editor at Rushing Media. A native of Cut Off and graduate of Louisiana State University, Casey is a lifelong sports fan who joined the Houma Times team in Dec. 2009 upon college graduation.

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