Southern Lab football coach Nick Mitchell has already seen the high school football version of “Both Sides Now.”
The 1970s song details the ups and downs of love. Mitchell can relate because there wasn’t too much to love about a 38-0 loss to Class 5A Scotlandville in the Coca-Cola Kickoff Classic Jamboree.
But the Kittens executed a complete reversal, ousting another Class 1A team, Ascension Christian, 34-0, to open the regular season last week.
What Mitchell seeks now is consistency. Southern Lab (1-0) hosts 2A Cohen-New Orleans (0-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Southern University’s A.W. Mumford Stadium.
The game is one of two in the Baton Rouge area Thursday night. Louisiana School for the Deaf (0-1) hosts rival Mississippi School for the Deaf (0-1) in an eight-man contest at 5:30 p.m.
“What we did after the jamboree was correct the things we needed to fix,” Mitchell said. “I thought we came out and played well last week. We have to continue to execute and improve every week.”
Mitchell is in his first year as a head coach following a stint as an assistant at East Ascension High. The former Southern University baseball player approaches games at Mumford with some reverence.
“Through the years I’ve gone to a lot of games at Mumford,” Mitchell said. “It’s an honor to be able to stand on the same field where so many great coaches and players have stood.
“I’ve told our team that, too. This game is another test for us. From what I understand, Cohen is a team that is on the rise. They’ve got some talent, including a shifty running back who has enough moves to go the distance. That’s where the consistency comes in. We need to be consistent in the way we tackle, block and execute this week.”
The Kittens compiled more than 200 yards of total offense with Maurice Aucoin leading the way. Aucoin ran for 97 yards on 11 carries and Naquille Snowden had 79 yards rushing.
SLHS also took advantage of five Ascension Christian turnovers — three interceptions and two lost fumbles. Jarrot Thomas returned a fumble for a TD, while Kameryon Brown returned an interception for a TD for the Kittens.
The game will be the season opener for Cohen, which is coached by Robert Welch. The Green Hornets took a 6-0 win over John McDonogh and then lost to O. Perry Walker, 18-0, in jamboree action two weeks ago.
Mississippi School for the Deaf leads its series with LSD, 10-1, dating to 1998 when LSD began playing eight-man football.
MSD senior running back Chrisanthony Frazier is a former LSD player. Frazier played quarterback for the Eagles in 2007.