Beating an opponent twice in the same season by a combined score of 96-45 may suggest University High School football coach Chad Mahaffey has his work cut out this week.
Mahaffey said his team’s season-opening and Division II state quarterfinal victories over Teurlings Catholic — both of which were at home — were two of the team’s high water marks of the season. He also cautioned that the results of a year ago have no bearing on Friday’s season opener when Class 3A’s No. 2 ranked U-High travels to Lafayette to meet Class 4A Teurlings at 7 p.m.
“The negative of that is whether our guys or people think that team wasn’t that good, and they are,” Mahaffey said. “They’re always very good. The challenge is getting your guys to understand not to look at those scores. Going over there to play will be a total different challenge. They have a good home atmosphere.”
Another of the highlights featuring local/area schools Friday night will be a border battle with West Feliciana hosting East Feliciana at 7 p.m. Ascension Catholic entertains Catholic-Pointe Coupee at Floyd Boutte Stadium in Donaldsonville, while Class 1A’s No. 4 Southern Lab visits Class 3A’s No. 5 St. Charles in LaPlace.
“There’s been talk in both communities the entire summer,” East Feliciana coach Cedric Anderson said. “What’s bad is it won’t make or break your season but a win would surely help you to move forward through your season, especially against a rival.”
UHIGH-TEURLINGS: The first four weeks of the season will be a task in itself with U-High playing three of those games away from home and all against teams that were in the playoffs a year ago.
“It’s a good playoff test for us and we’ll have to handle it,” Mahaffey said. “As a player it was something I enjoyed, getting to go on the road. It’s not in your comfort zone, and you’ve got to be able to handle those things.”
Senior quarterback Manny Miles passed for 131 yards and overcame a pair of interceptions with two touchdown passes to Jake Wharton and Florida commitment Tre Jackson in the Cubs’ 21-7 jamboree win over McKinley.
Teurlings, which lost 21-14 to Catholic-New Iberia in its jamboree, debuted new starter Cole Kelley at quarterback with the 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior passing for more than 200 yards.
EFHS-WFHS: West Feliciana coach Robb Odom didn’t put much stock in his team’s 38-7 jamboree setback to Class 5A Zachary.
The Saints, who took a 7-0 lead on quarterback Ryan Reed’s 4-yard TD, had an interception returned for a TD, allowed a kickoff return for a score and at one point in the second half had eight underclassmen playing defense.
“We tell the kids we want to win but they don’t count for anything,” Odom said of jamborees and scrimmages. “We were trying to play a lot of kids and Zachary’s a good ball club and put it to us. We did some things we wouldn’t normally do in a regular game.”
Conversely, Anderson was encouraged by his team’s performance in a 20-14 jamboree loss to Class 5A Denham Springs.
The Class 2A Tigers led 6-0 on Tyriece Flowers’ 1-yard run and regained a 14-13 margin before the Yellow Jackets scored in the final four minutes of play.
“It was a very good test and tune-up for us,” Anderson said. “It showed us what to work on and tweak some. Hopefully we can keep building from that and go forward.”