St. Thomas More coach Jim Hightower hasn’t noticed a big difference in his team’s preparation for Teurlings Catholic this week.
“Our kids always want to win and they want to win against Teurlings,” Hightower said. “Other than that, there’s not too much difference.”
Not even a hint of talk of last year’s 56-46 loss to Teurlings, a game in which STM led 43-17 midway through the third quarter?
“I haven’t notice any effect,” Hightower said. “We kind of put that one behind us pretty quick.”
Fast forward to Friday, where not much other than the venue has changed when No. 3 St. Thomas More (6-1, 2-0) visits No. 4 Teurlings (5-2, 2-0) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The two highly ranked teams will ultimately decide the winner of the District 4-4A race with the possibility of having to meet again in the Division II select playoffs next month.
“I think it’s a big deal and something we talk about,” Teurlings Catholic coach Sonny Charpentier said of the district title. “As long as they give you an opportunity to win something, you should try to win it.”
The STM-Teurlings clash highlights a competitive evening in the Acadiana area where the inside track to two other district titles can be reached.
No. 5 Church Point (6-1, 2-0) hosts No. 7 Eunice (6-1, 2-0) in District 5-3A, while Erath (5-2, 2-0) visits No. 8 Patterson (5-2, 2-0) in a key District 8-3A encounter.
“This is a big one for us and the winner’s definitely going to have their foot halfway in the door for being the district champion,” Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux said. “That’s one of our goals we set and we’ve given ourselves an opportunity.”
STM-TEURLINGS: While Teurlings mowed through its second league opponent STM outlasted Carencro 28-19.
“Last week was a good game for us,” Hightower said. “Carencro’s good and we had to play well to survive.”
STM generates 338 yards per game on offense, led by senior quarterback William Bellamy (96 of 156, 1,342 yards, 20 TDs) and top targets in Trevor Begue (42-687, 13 TDs) and Griffin Hebert (27-410, 4 TDs).
Teurlings offers an offense averaging 328 yards and topped by Arkansas quarterback commitment Cole Kelley (105 of 190, 1,435 yards, 15 TDs).
Leading rusher Noah Harris (79-471, 9 TDs) has recently been hampered by an injury. Jansen Lormand (28-300, 5 TDs) leads the Rebels in receiving, while Jonathan Fontenot is tops in tackles with 43.
“They’re not going to beat themselves, but if they do you have to take advantage, like we did last year,” Charpentier said. “We still have some question marks. This is a game we have to play our best to have a chance to win.”
EUNICE-CHURCH POINT: Eunice has rebounded from its loss to Crowley (34-10) with three straight wins, including a come-from-behind 56-25 effort last week over Northwest.
Fullback Nick Powell was among the catalysts in helping the Bobcats rally with 28 carries for 165 yards and three TDs. He’s rushed 111 times for 711 yards and 13 TDs for the season.
Quarterback Alex Richard has completed 71 of 112 passes for 1,0690 yards and nine TDs with Terryl Poullard (32-311, TD) and Travis Godfrey (22-413, six TDs) leading the way.
“We have to execute what we do,” Eunice coach Paul Trosclair said. “They’ll be a good amount of people there. They always play real hard against us. That’s probably one of their favorite games. I think it’s going to be a good environment.”
Frederick Williams, who is also valuable on special teams and defense, leads Church Point with 75 carries for 792 yards and 12 TDs to go along with 13 catches for 337 yards and two TDs.
Quarterback Troy Matte (41 of 79) has thrown for 774 yards and five TDs.
“You’ve got two community based schools playing one another and both communities really get behind their schools,” Arceneaux said. “We expect there to be a packed house.”