Eunice has exceeded its win total of a year ago but doesn’t have plans to stop there.
The Bobcats (6-1) became more goal-oriented, not only wanting to surpass last year’s four-win total, but to strive for the District 5-3A championship, the No. 1 seed in the nonselect playoffs and win the school’s first state championship since 1982.
“We’ve talked this year about the big picture and not just about wanting to win district,” said Eunice coach Paul Trosclair, now in his 21st season as the school’s head coach. “We talked about how far we wanted to go.”
Eunice finds itself on track to meet the first two objectives, owning a share of the District 5-3A lead along with Church Point and the No. 1 power rating among nonselect schools.
This week, the Bobcats, winners of three straight games, have reached a season-high No. 7 in the Louisiana Sportswriters Association’s statewide rankings released Tuesday.
“The kids talk about it, but we don’t make a big deal about it,” Trosclair said. “The biggest thing I was focused on in the big picture was coming out first in the computer (power ratings). It means a whole lot because of the bracket.”
Crowley (7-0) reached a season-high No. 2 ranking in Class 4A, which also features No. 3 St. Thomas More (6-1) and No. 3 Teurlings Catholic (5-2) with the latter two teams meeting Friday at Teurlings.
District 7-1A leader Ascension Episcopal (7-0) remained No. 2 in Class 1A, while Vermilion Catholic (5-2) swapped places and moved to No. 6 after its 48-30 win over Central Catholic (6-1).
Church Point (6-1), which hosts Eunice in a key District 5-3A game Friday, improved two spots to No. 5, and No. 8 Patterson (5-2) returned after an 0-2 start.
Some observers attribute the success of Eunice’s season to its dropping to 3A this season.
Trosclair said he felt better days were ahead because his team would be able to count on an experienced quarterback in senior Alex Richard, along with a solid wide receiver corps in Travis Godfrey and Terry Poullard.
Defensively, the Bobcats have steadily improved.
Eunice, which lost 34-10 to Crowley, had to rally to win its third straight game, overcoming a 19-14 halftime deficit to defeat Northwest 56-25. The Bobcats pulled away, outscoring the Raiders 28-0 in the fourth quarter.
Fullback Nick Powell sparked his team’s efforts, rushing 28 times for 165 yards and three TDs. Richard completed 11 of 15 passes for 203 yards.
“I thought we had a chance because we had skill people coming back,” Trosclair said. “I knew after the spring we had multiple receivers and we would be balanced. We had a pretty good running back (Darin Serie), and our fullback’s having a great season.
“We have weapons and the offensive line is gelling,” Trosclair said. “They’ve done well the last few weeks. It’s a balanced attack, and defensively we’re very aggressive. We’re just trying to harp on getting better each week.”