SCOTT — It was an improbable run to a state championship in 2014 for Ted Davidson and his Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams.
The Rams struggled mightily in the regular season, finishing with an 8-4 record that included a 1-2 start and a loss to rival Carencro toward the end of the season.
Acadiana scuffled at quarterback and seemed to be destined for an early exit in the playoffs. But Davidson — as he always seems to do — pulled a rabbit out of his hat and inserted linebacker Kevin Moore behind center.
Moore wasn’t flashy or efficient. He didn’t make jaw-dropping plays that left onlookers in awe. All he did was manage the vaunted veer offense and made the plays he needed to make.
The result was a back-to-back state championship run that even the most loyal Rams fan could not have predicted.
“We were playing with house money,” Davidson told reporters after the state championship win in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
He was right — they were. But that was last year, and 2015 presents an entirely new set of problems, mainly an even bigger target than the Rams had on their backs following the 2013 state championship.
No matter the record or the performance, Acadiana won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this season. Moore will relinquish his quarterbacking duties to focus on being a linebacker — a position that has earned him offers from the likes of Arizona State, California, Miami and Louisville.
Of course, the running game will be the most important part of the Rams offense. Acadiana will have senior Ladathian Levine as the primary running back in 2015. Levine is fast and will get the first significant playing time of his career.
The offensive line will be physical, led by tight end Javonis Isaac and right guard Ethan Bellman. Bellman is back from last year’s team as the only returning starter and will be a key component to the Rams’ offensive success.
Isaac is an Arkansas State commitment who finally will get his chance to shine after the departure of LSU signee Bry’Kiethon Mouton.
The Rams don’t have a pass-heavy offense but surprisingly have produced stellar tight end prospects over the past several seasons.
The Rams’ old district opponent Carencro is gone, having moved down to 4A, but Acadiana still will see the Bears on the schedule: Sept. 18 at Bill Dotson Stadium.
The biggest game of the year may come against Lafayette High.
The Rams’ and Lions’ rivalry is stronger than ever, especially after the Lions nearly upset Acadiana in the opening week of district play last season. Lafayette will have its best team in a while, led by quarterback Dwight Youngblood.
Still, the Rams will do what they do. They will run the veer. And then they’ll run it again. And then they’ll run it again.
And they’ll probably find themselves somewhere near the state championship picture at the end.
Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams
Coach: Ted Davidson
2014: 12-4, 5-2
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (beat Destrehan for state title)
Looking back: The Wreckin’ Rams shocked the state with an improbable run to another title as the No. 15 seed.
Moving forward: Acadiana lost a lot from last year’s team but will still compete for the district championship.
Ask The Advocate: It would be foolish to pick against Acadiana High, especially with Kevin Moore returning at linebacker.
Sept. 4 Northside
Sept. 11 at Ponchatoula
Sept. 18 Carencro
Sept. 25 at Barbe#
Oct. 2 Sulphur#
Oct. 9 at Comeaux#
Oct. 16 at Lafayette#
Oct. 23 Sam Houston#
Oct. 30 TBA
Nov. 5 New Iberia#
Coach: Mike Cutrera
2014: 9-3, 6-1
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Mandeville in second round)
Looking back: Barbe lost only one district contest in 2014, a home game to eventual state champion Acadiana.
This is now: Barbe could be the cream of the crop in District 3-5A.
Ask The Advocate: Barbe is always in the district hunt, and 2015 will be no different.
Sept. 4 at Byrd
Sept. 11 Mandeville
Sept. 17 at St. Louis
Sept. 25 Acadiana#
Oct. 2 New Iberia#
Oct. 9 at Lafayette#
Oct. 16 at Sam Houston#
Oct. 23 at Comeaux#
Oct. 30 Sulphur#
Coach: Doug Dotson
2014: 3-7, 1-6
Last playoff appearance: 2013 (lost to Central in the first round)
Looking back: The Spartans struggled to find wins despite having as stellar a prospect as the school has produced in all-purpose star Hunter Register.
Moving forward: New coach Dotson will look to rejuvenate the program.
Ask The Advocate: Comeaux lost a lot from last year’s team and will look to start the rebuilding process in 2015.
Sept. 4 at Cecilia
Sept. 11 Westgate
Sept. 18 Northside
Sept. 25 Sulphur#
Oct. 2 at Sam Houston#
Oct. 9 Acadiana#
Oct. 16 at St. Martinville
Oct. 23 Barbe#
Oct. 30 at New Iberia#
Nov. 6 at Lafayette#
Lafayette Mighty Lions
Coach: Jay Domengeaux
2014: 4-6, 1-6
Last playoff appearance: 2012 (lost to Rummel in first round)
Looking back: Lafayette High showed promise early but finished the season on a five-game losing streak.
This is now: Lafayette High should be much improved with a power running attack.
Ask The Advocate: This group of Mighty Lions could be the best team the school has fielded in the past 20 years.
Sept. 4 at Peabody
Sept. 11 Opelousas
Sept. 18 Woodlawn
Sept. 24 at New Iberia#
Oct. 2 Cecilia
Oct. 9 Barbe#
Oct. 16 Acadiana#
Oct. 23 at Sulphur#
Oct. 30 at Sam Houston#
Nov. 6 Comeaux#
New Iberia Yellow Jackets
Coach: Rick Hutson
2014: 2-8, 1-6
Last playoff appearance: 2013 (lost to Zachary in the second round)
Looking back: New Iberia struggled last year despite boasting significant firepower offensively.
Moving forward: The Yellow Jackets will have a dynamic air attack.
Ask The Advocate: New Iberia will have a solid enough offense to win a few games this season, and the Yellow Jackets won’t be afraid to air it out.
Sept. 4 at Breaux Bridge
Sept. 11 Carencro
Sept. 18 at Westgate
Sept. 24 Lafayette#
Oct. 2 at Barbe#
Oct. 9 Sam Houston#
Oct. 16 at Sulphur#
Oct. 23 Cecilia
Oct. 30 Comeaux#
Nov. 5 at Acadiana#
Sam Houston Broncos
Coach: Vaughn Eggleston
2014: 6-5, 3-4 District
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to West Monroe in the first round)
Looking back: Sam Houston finished with a winning record but lacked the talent to compete in a tough district.
Moving forward: Not much has changed for Sam Houston, and the Broncos can probably expect a similar season as last year.
Ask The Advocate: Just not on the talent level as the Acadiana-area teams.
Sept. 4 St. Louis
Sept. 11 at LaGrange
Sept. 18 Catholic-BR
Sept. 25 at Carencro
Oct. 2 Comeaux#
Oct. 9 at New Iberia#
Oct. 16 Barbe#
Oct. 23 at Acadiana#
Oct. 30 Lafayette#
Nov. 6 at Sulphur#
Sulphur Golden Tors
Coach: Jeff Wainwright
2014: 6-5, 5-2
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to East Ascension in the first round)
Looking back: Sulphur was lost in the shuffle of a tough district race.
Moving forward: The Golden Tors will be improved defensively and will look to make a run at the postseason.
Ask The Advocate: Sulphur will compete in the district race and will steal a few victories.
Sept. 4 at St. Thomas More
Sept. 11 at Washington-Marion
Sept. 18 Iowa
Sept. 25 at Comeaux#
Oct. 2 at Acadiana#
Oct. 9 Brother Martin
Oct. 16 New Iberia#
Oct. 23 Lafayette#
Oct. 30 at Barbe#
Nov. 6 Sam Houston#
# — district game