Saturday night in New Orleans, there will be an old-fashioned smash-mouth football game at Joe Yenni Stadium.
Both head coaches wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rummel and Covington are set to kick off at 7 p.m. The top-ranked team in The Advocate Large School rankings, the Raiders (1-0) are coming off of a season-opening 24-7 road win University High last week. Meanwhile, Covington (1-0) enters the game as the No. 10 team in those same rankings after a win over Franklinton in their home opener.
Taking part in their first Saturday prep game in at least a decade, Lions coach Greg Salter said the schedule change forced his team to adjust their routine.
“The last scheduled Saturday game I can remember was actually when I was a player at Covington,” Salter said. “We were in a large 10-team district back then. It is definitely a different experience. It actually worked well for us being Labor Day was this Monday. It was the first Labor Day I have had off in the last 15 years.
“We gave the kids Monday off. We started our Monday practice actually on Tuesday so Thursday practice is like it is Wednesday. The only difference will be the kids not being in school on Saturday.”
Much like Rummel, the Lions under Salter are known for their smash-mouth approach. That begins with sophomore running back Devin Brumfield. Already offered a scholarship by Mississippi State, Brumfield is coming off a 96-yard effort on 25 carries against Franklinton.
“We haven’t tried to harp on the rankings and the prestige Rummel has coming into the game,” Salter said. “The name kind of speaks for itself. What (coach) Jay (Roth) has done with the program is impressive. Our kids know about Rummel. Everybody knows about them.
“It is going to be a great game. Two smash-mouth teams going at it and the tougher guy and the tougher team which plays the hardest is going to win. It will be a fun game to watch and hopefully we can grind a little bit more than those guys.”
Excited to return home for their only home predistrict home game, Roth also said he expects a hard-fought game.
“Greg has that program (Covington) headed in the right direction for sure,” he said. “They run a really good program up there and we expect a hard-fought effort and know we are going to have to fight hard ourselves if we want to come out victorious.”
When it comes to his own team, the longtime Raiders coach said consistency is what he wants to see starting to develop.
“What I don’t like right now is how we are out on the practice field,” Roth said. “We are a hot and cold practice team. One day we practice well, and then the next day we don’t. We have to bring our ‘A’ game every day. You don’t want to start seeing bad practices show themselves in games.”