Belaire High enters its game as the underdog. The shoe is on the other foot for Catholic-Pointe Coupee.
Two Thursday night football games with different implications for teams from different classifications. Could there be upsets on the eve of Halloween?
“We’re motivated and have the opportunity to win one or two more games and position ourselves for the playoffs,” Belaire coach Keith Woods said. “I think the key for the last two games is how well we put it all together to play as a team and a unit consistently for a whole game.”
The Bengals (3-5, 0-2) travel to play traditional power Lutcher (4-4, 1-2) at 6 p.m. in District 6-4A action. Belaire’s three wins are the school’s most in the past four years. However, BHS has never beaten Lutcher since the teams became part of the same Class 4A district several years ago.
Catholic-PC (3-4, 1-1) has the same number of wins but is the favorite going into a District 5-1A game with North Central (1-7, 0-3) at NRG Field in New Roads. Could there be a hangover from an emotional 55-51 come-from-behind win over Sacred Heart-Ville Platte last week?
“As coaches you guard against having a letdown,” CHSPC coach Rob Funderburk said. “We’ve talked to our guys about it. Last week we saw what a difference having one or two guys really step us can make for us.
“North Central is a much better team than they have been the last few years. Coach (Jacobi) Thierry and his staff have done a great job working with those guys. They have several guys who can be very dangerous and can make plays. We’ve had a good week of practice, but we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Belaire beat Class 2A Redemptorist 30-27 last week. The Bengals compiled 202 total yards won and scored on a 71-yard kickoff return with three minutes to notch the win. Belaire has had other chances. BHS was tied with East Feliciana in the fourth quarter but lost 20-8 in Week 2. The Bengals lost to Tara 26-24 in overtime.
“We’ve showed little spurts of being good but we have to be consistent,” Woods said. “For our team, we’ve played well in some games and other side of the ball we’re putting it all together.”
Lutcher is led by quarterback Jontre Kirklin, who ranks among area passing leaders with 1,380 yards and 16 TDs.
Woods added that his football program is finally keeping up with teams that beat Belaire, just in time for a matchup with Lutcher, a typically dominant Class 4A team.
Thursday’s game is part of a two-game homestand that closes out the season for CHSPC, which hosts New Roads’ rival False River next week.
Jonas Guichet scored the game-winning TD last week for the Hornets and ranks among the state’s passing leaders with 1,643 yards and 11 TDs. Gabe Vandegrift has 38 catches for 540 yards and four TDs.
North Central has lost four straight and is led by versatile Jacory Lamb, who has lined up in just about every spot in the backfield.