Acadiana not looking back to last season _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Carencro's Tyriek Campell runs into Cecilia's Keldrick Zeno earlier this season.

NEW IBERIA — A 1-6 overall record in the District 3-5A standings can be tough to look at for those around the New Iberia Senior High football program.

However, the Yellow Jackets are trying to have a different mindset before their pivotal district matchup against Carencro on Thursday.

“It has been a long time since we have been in this situation,” New Iberia coach Rick Hudson said. “None of our players have been here before. I told them we need to practice and give effort as if we are 6-1.”

Junior quarterback Tim Declouet believes the key to that is focusing on the positives instead of the past.

“We have to keep moving forward,” Declouet said. “We are actually playing pretty good football as of late. The ball just isn’t bouncing our way.”

Despite the winless record, the Jackets have been competitive in district play, losing their first three games in a treacherous District 3-5A by a combined 15 points. New Iberia has had success thus far on offense, especially through the air.

In the Jackets’ first three district games, Declouet racked up 882 passing yards and six touchdowns. One of Declouet’s main targets has been wide receiver Brison Savoy, whom has collected over 100 yards in six of seven games this season, including 225 yards and a score against Sulphur.

“Our wide receivers make big plays after the catch,” Declouet said. “I also credit my offensive line. They have really improved throughout the season.”

While the New Iberia offense looks to stay hot, the defensive unit will have its hands full against a potent Carencro (5-2, 3-1) offense.

“We have to get better on pass defense,” Hudson said. “(Tyler Gaspard) is doing a great job of throwing the ball. When (Carencro) needs to run the ball, they turn to one of the best running backs in our area in Tyriek Campbell.”

Declouet expects a tough matchup as well against Carencro’s secondary.

“Their defensive backs run very well,” Declouet said. “They are going to be a tough challenge. We have one less day of practice, but I think we will be ready.”