Carencro finished the 2014 season with four straight victories, including a 24-17 win over eventual Class 5A state champion Acadiana.
The furious finish to the regular season also gave the Bears a share of the District 3-5A championship but the title’s afterglow was short-lived after a 34-0 first-round home loss to Covington in the Class 5A state playoffs.
Third-year coach Roland “Rip” Eveland said last year’s abrupt end to the season has been more of a source of motivation with the coaching staff than the players.
“We talk about it all the time,” Eveland said. “The players said that wasn’t their team; that they had a new team. I think we’re ready.”
Time will tell.
Carencro, which dropped to Class 4A, worked itself into a three-way tie for the District 4-4A championship. The Bears closed with three straight wins that featured a 33-21 victory over then fifth-ranked Teurlings Catholic.
No. 16 Carencro (7-3) looks to ride the wave of its late season momentum, hosting No. 17 Woodlawn-Baton Rouge (6-4) in the first round of Friday’s Class 4A nonselect state playoffs at 7 p.m.
“Woodlawn’s good,” Eveland said. “They move the ball around. They do a lot of things we’re not used to. It looks like they have a lot of athletes. I’m hoping we play like we can.”
Woodlawn, which finished second to Plaquemine in District 6-4A, features a spread attack directed by quarterback Jamari Nelson, whose thrown for 1,620 yards and 19 touchdowns, and running back Javin Myers, a 1,259 rusher with 10 TDs.
Eveland would like slow down Woodlawn’s offense with a healthy dose of ball control, courtesy of running back Tyriek Campbell, the Bears’ leading rusher with 1,508 yards and seven TDs.
“I hope that’s what we can do,” Eveland said of keeping Woodlawn’s offense on the sideline. “I’m hoping we have a few big plays and do a good job of controlling the ball.”
NORTH VERMILION-CHURCH POINT: For the first time in five years North Vermilion and Church Point weren’t able to schedule a game during the regular season.
The LHSAA took care of that, matching the No. 5 Bears (7-3) in a home game with the No. 28 Patriots (4-6) in a Class 3A first-round playoff game at 7 p.m.
“This group of kids have played them the last two years,” Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux said. “The faces and numbers change, but the system doesn’t change.
“It’s a little easier to prepare for. Our kids will be ready to play. It’s the playoffs, and they want to try and make a run.”
Church Point snapped a two-game losing streak with a 34-6 victory over Ville Platte.
Running back Frederick Williams tops Church Point’s offense with 113 carries for 1,080 yards and 15 TDs to go along with 14 catches for 344 yards and 2 TDs. Kylance Castille has rushed 103 times for 622 yards and 7 TDs, while quarterback Troy Matte has completed 50 of 102 passes for 867 yards and 7 scores.
North Vermilion, which had lost five of six games after a 2-1 start, reached the playoffs on the strength of its 17-7 win over Berwick.
Quarterback Dade Dieterich has thrown for 1,233 yards and 10 TDs on 75-of-155 passing and rushed 108 times for 769 yards and 8 TDs. Connor Dupuy (35-569, 3 TDs) leads the Patriots in receiving.
“They’re talented at quarterback and really good at wide out,” Arceneaux said. “They present some problems in certain areas.
“We just have to show up ready to play.”