The Carencro football team will put the adage “defense wins championships” to the test Friday when it travels to Acadiana and looks to slow down the reigning Class 5A state champions with a new defensive system that has left its early opponents without answers.
In their first two games, the Bears (2-0) have allowed just seven points with a shutout victory in its opener against Westgate and a 19-7 win against New Iberia last week.
“Our secret to success is we’ve got a lot of guys running to the football, and we’re having fun,” Carencro coach Rip Eveland said. “We put in a new defense this year, and the kids are excited about it. The defensive staff has done a really good job.”
The new defensive scheme is a 3-3-5 that allows the Bears to take advantage of their speed and give different styles of offense different looks, Eveland said.
He added that the new look relies heavily on the linebackers. Bears linebackers Rashad Harding and Austin Gary in particular have shined in the new defense, averaging 12 tackles against Westgate and New Iberia.
“It’s designed in such a way that when offenses spread out, you can walk out all of those ’backers and cover people out,” Eveland said. “It’s really flexible. I like the way it’s working out.”
Not only has the new system been effective in Carencro’s first two games, but Eveland said his players’ excitement about it has translated well on the field.
Eveland said the Bears’ ability to get stops has energized the entire team and regularly given the offense a short field to work with.
“Everybody asked me how we scored so many points against Westgate,” Eveland said. “It’s easy to score when the defense keeps giving you a short field and the ball back every three plays. I hope we can get some three-and-outs against Acadiana this weekend.”
Eveland said his defense will face its biggest test of the young season against the defending state champions Rams (1-1), who put up 49 points against Northside during Week 1, but went scoreless in a 26-0 loss to Ponchatoula in Week 2.
Eveland said the Bears defense will have to hit its spots all night if they want to take down the program that has made six appearances in state championship games in the past decade.
“The Rams are going to be in a fairly basic offense, and they’re going to run off tackle over and over again,” Eveland said. “We will always have to be in the right spot or they are going to hit a seam or an option or sweep play will break. … Acadiana’s been doing that for a long time, and they do it well.”