Notre Dame has rolled to a pair of impressive wins over two Class 4A teams but realizes the steep incline of this week’s challenge — another Class 4A test against No. 2 Teurlings Catholic.
“It will be one of the bigger challenges we’ve faced in a long time,” Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook said. “What’s made them more difficult this year is because they have run the ball so well, which adds to the misery of any defensive coordinator.”
Notre Dame, the No. 5 ranked team in Class 2A, hosts Teurlings Catholic (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at Gardiner Memorial Stadium in Crowley in an evening loaded with premier matchups throughout the Acadiana area.
Two-time defending Class 5A state champion Acadiana (1-1) looks to rebound from its first shutout in nearly three years — a 26-0 setback at Ponchatoula — when the No. 10 Wrecking Rams host Class 4A’s No. 9 Carencro (2-0) at Bill Dotson Stadium at 7 p.m.
“We took a step back, and at this time of year you’re looking for improvement every week,” Acadiana coach Ted Davidson said.
No. 6 Crowley (2-0) travels to Cecilia (2-0), while Church Point (2-0) visits Kaplan (2-0) at Ed Douglas Stadium.
“I have a lot of respect for (Cecilia) coach (Terry) Martin, and I consider him a friend,” Crowley coach Josh Fontenot said. “We got together in the spring and looked at it and talked about playing and it worked out.”
TEURLINGS-NOTRE DAME: The emergence of running back Noah Harris has been the perfect complement for a Teurlings offense that relied heavily on the right arm of Arkansas quarterback commitment Cole Kelley a year ago.
Harris has carried 35 times for 242 yards and six TDs, while Kelley has completed 28 of 45 passes for 454 yards and five TDs for an offense that generates 437 yards per game.
Notre Dame counters with a ground game that averages 214 yards per game, paced by running back Gabe Petry with 36 carries for 137 yards. The Pios are led defensively by safety Hayden Bourgeois’ 17 tackles and one interception.
“It’s a solid football team coming into challenge you where it makes you have to be good in all areas,” Cook said. “That’s what you want early in the year, so you can go from there.”
CARENCRO-ACADIANA: Not since Nov. 16, 2012 had Acadiana been shut out since the Rams fell 24-0 to West Monroe in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Acadiana was limited to 78 yards rushing and 84 overall last week and committed three turnovers.
“You’ve got to make corrections on what you did in the past, fix what you did wrong and prepare better than we prepared last week,” Davidson said.
CROWLEY-CECILIA: Having scrimmaged each other the past three years the two veteran teams have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Cecilia features one of the state’s top game-breakers in running back Raymond Calais, who has carried 42 times for 376 yards and five TDs. Quarterback Landon Roberts has passed for 290 yards and 4 TDs.
Crowley boasts one of the area’s top offensives led by quarterback Pate Broussard (24-38-402, two TDs), running back Ty’Von Griffin (43-263, seven TDs) and wide receiver Terrell Thomas (9-128, two TDs).
“I wanted to play them,” Fontenot said. “We need to play in some big games against formidable opponents who are going to challenge us. Cecilia’s used to playing a challenging schedule in the past with the district they played in. It’s going to be a tough game.”