Another year, another 3-0 start for University High.
This year’s perfect start, though, has been anything but ordinary.
The blowouts of the past have been replaced by a University team beset by injuries at key positions, forcing the Cubs to dig deep and display their resolve early in the season.
“The guys have not panicked and believe they can win,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “They’ve got some fight to them under less than ideal circumstances. They’ve stuck together.”
Second-ranked U-High (3-0) plays its third road game of the season, traveling to Brusly (1-2) on Friday for the start of District 7-3A play. Also in 7-3A, No. 7 Parkview Baptist (2-1) visits Baker (2-1) and West Feliciana (3-0) will be at Port Allen (1-2).
“We’re excited to get district rolling,” West Feliciana coach Robb Odom said. “We better be focused in.”
In other lower classification games featuring 3A-1A schools, The Dunham School (1-2) opens District 6-2A against East Feliciana (1-2) at Clinton Middle School, while Springfield (3-0) visits Northlake Christian (3-0) in 7-2A play.
“We’ve played some big teams and size-wise East Feliciana would probably be the biggest team we play,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said. “Our kids play hard and have a good perspective with that.”
U-High began the season with a character-building 36-35 win at Teurlings Catholic, a game in which the Cubs rallied from a two-touchdown deficit without starting quarterback Manny Miles.
U-High had to come back from deficits of 14-0 and 20-6 in the first half in last week’s game against Class 4A LaGrange in Lake Charles.
The Cubs tied the game at 20 at halftime, took a 27-20 third-quarter lead on Jalon Baker’s 16-yard TD pass to Will Keller and relied on Jordan Davis’ blocked extra point in a 27-26 victory.
“I think we’ve found out we’ve got a lot of areas we can improve in,” Mahaffey said.
West Feliciana looks to close a three-game road swing on a high note a week after leaving Lake Charles with a 28-21 win over St. Louis.
West Feliciana, which trailed 14-7 at halftime, tied the game on a 10-yard scoring run from LSU commitment Jazz Ferguson and got the game-winning score — a 1-yard run from Michael Johnson — in the fourth quarter.
“We’re not traveling as far, but we’re playing a real good football team,” Odom said. “Hopefully we’ll get in the playoffs and these trips will pay off down the road in giving us experience in how to travel, what to do and what to expect.”
A week after watching a fourth-quarter lead evaporate into a 24-23 loss to Ascension Catholic, Dunham presented Weiner with his first win at the school — a 34-22 triumph over St. John of Plaquemine.
Running back Chase Day, who rushed for 98 yards and a pair of TDs in the win, leads the Tigers with 40 carries for 291 yards and five TDs. Quarterback Jyron Walker has completed 40 of 64 passes for 559 yards and five TDs.
“In a sense we lost two heartbreakers because our kids played so hard,” Weiner said. “Maybe they deserved to win, but that’s not how it works in football. You actually have to finish and get it done. To come away with a win over St. John has us excited to go into district play.”