The next time District 3-4A foes Rayne and Crowley see each other — Nov. 6 — they’re hopeful that matchup to close the regular season in Rayne will have huge implications concerning the district race and playoff seedings.
But that’s not to suggest, though, Thursday’s Acadia Parish Jamboree at Gardiner Memorial Stadium in Crowley between the archrivals won’t carry some early season relevance of its own.
“Our kids like to play Rayne no matter what, and it will be the same thing for Rayne,” Crowley coach Josh Fontenot said. “They’re going to want to play. Usually some of the more physical games I’ve been a part of have been the games with Rayne.”
The jamboree’s first game features Church Point facing Iota at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Rayne-Crowley contest, which will have two, 12-minute halves.
“It is (big), but you also have to put it in perspective,” Rayne coach Curt Ware said. “I’m watching film and thinking we can do this or this and then I thought why? At the end of the night you’re going to be 0-0 and you’ve got to play them when it counts down the road. We will be vanilla and try and work on execution and doing the little things right.”
Expectations are high for both teams that reached the Class 4A state playoffs last season, with Rayne reaching the regional round.
The Wolves were 9-3 last season and return four starters on both offense and defense, led by junior quarterback Jaylon Reed and junior running back Trey Wilridge.
Ware said he was pleased with most aspects of last week’s scrimmage with Opelousas, commending the play of his offensive line that led to eight touchdowns and four scores in a 15-play stretch.
“That was a question mark experience wise, and they did a real good job technique wise, took the right steps, their heads where they’re supposed to be,” Ware said. “We had some big plays.”
With 10 of 11 starters back on offense, Crowley expects to field another productive unit again led by senior quarterback Pate Broussard, senior running back Ty’Von Griffin and senior wide receiver Jacq’co Price, a Tulane commitment.
Fontenot said Broussard was 11 of 18 for 240 yards and three TDs in last week’s scrimmage with St. Louis. Wide receiver John Marceaux caught two TDs, while Price the other.
“We’re playing somebody else, and we’re going to compete as hard as we can,” Fontenot said. “We have to play as hard as we do in any game. I don’t want them to get in the habit of not approaching it that way. I don’t care if we win or lose.
“I want to see them play hard, play emotional, play fast and everything will take care of itself.”