The lone District 6-5A football team to host a bidistrict playoff game, 10th-seeded Mandeville, will be facing a familiar opponent Friday night at Sidney Theriot Stadium.
The Skippers (7-3) will take on 23rd-seeded Slidell (6-4) for the second time in 2014. Mandeville defeated Slidell 20-0 at Slidell on Oct. 24.
“We are just happy to be in the playoffs,” Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte said. “The kids are excited to be in the playoffs, and I’m sure both sides are going to play hard.
“I think it is going to be a good game.”
Paced by a stifling defense, which has not given up more than seven points since September, Lecompte said he doesn’t expect much to change when it comes to both teams’ game plans heading into the rematch on Friday.
“This is the not the first time this has happened,” he said of the rematch. “A couple of years ago, we played Covington back-to-back weeks. It has occurred several times since I have been at Mandeville.
“You don’t expect many changes from either team. We expect Slidell to keep doing what they are doing, and we are going to do the same.
“We are not going to change. You have to believe in what you do. As a coaching staff, you cannot expect to change in one week and then be better based on those changes. We have a game plan, and I’m sure they do as well.”
In their first matchup, the Skippers held Slidell to 91 yards, and Tigers running back Kain Mitchell to 22 yards on 18 carries.
“I think we are trying to figure out the same thing every team that has played Mandeville is trying to figure out,” Slidell coach Larry Farve said. “How do you score on their defense? Only two teams have really been able to do it all year long. That’s the challenge. (The Mandeville) defense is so outstanding, and you have to score points on them if you are going to be able to come away victorious.”
Having analyzed the game film from their first matchup as well as recent games Mandeville has played, Farve said he believes he and his coaching staff will come up with a game plan that has the chance to be more successful than the one in the first game between the two schools.
“When you play great programs, they expose your weaknesses,” Farve said. “That is what Mandeville did when we played them the last time. Some of the things we have done since then have been a reflection of that. We have gotten a little better, and I think we are headed in a good direction. We just have to keep moving that way quickly. I hope those changes will help us come Friday night.”
The Slidell-Mandeville winner will take on the winner of No. 7 Barbe vs. No. 26 Dutchtown in the second round.