ST. MARTINVILLE — When St. Martinville Senior High (2-0) travels to Carencro tonight to challenge the third-ranked team in Class 4A, the pressure will be on the Tigers’ defensive line.
Last year, Carencro halfback Kendrell Williams raced 70 yards to paydirt on the first play from scrimmage as the Bears walloped SMHS 58-19.
In that game, Williams and backfield mate Traylon Prejean combined for 464 yards rushing and seven TDs, and both halfbacks are seniors on this year’s Carencro squad.
“Carencro is a solid team with a lot of great athletes,” DeRouen said. “They have real good team speed. I’m just worried about us more than anything else. We have to eliminate the mistakes and the penalties.
“If we do that, I think we can make a game out of it. We have to tackle better this year. A lot of times last year, we were in position and we just didn’t make the play. The defensive ends and the linebackers have to tackle better. Last year, we didn’t tackle well.”
DeRouen said his front three on defense will need to stand their ground against a huge, veteran Carencro interior.
“We need Quinton Butler, Ahman DeRouen and Billy Ray Williams to have big games,” DeRouen said.
“Carencro is already great. They’re outstanding, but if you don’t tackle well, that can amplify it. We had a lot of mistakes last week against Northside. We moved the ball up and down but had some turnovers and penalties inside the red zone.”
Carencro shut out 5A power West Monroe 16-0 on the road in Week 1. Last Wednesday, the Bears rallied in the fourth quarter to dispose of 5A Southside High.
Southside junior receiver Edan Stagg (4-100, 2 TDs) had success vs. Carencro last week, which gives DeRouen hope that his two wideouts (Harvey Broussard and Cullen Charles) can do the same.
“We hope Harvey can do (what Stagg did vs. Carencro), but we’re planning on throwing to more than one receiver,” the SMHS coach said. “We’re hoping our combination of receivers can do a good job and we can make some plays.”
Broussard, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, hauled in nine catches for 150 yards and two scores vs. Northside.
At the end of the first quarter last year, St. Martinville trailed Carencro by only one score.
“It was good for a half,” DeRouen recalled. “In the second half, they ran away with it. We let them have a lot of big plays. We gave up a big throw at the end of the first half, and we had the (70 minute) lighting delay.
“It was a bunch of stuff. Offensively, Carencro is outstanding. But I do feel confident. We’re better upfront than we were last year. We just have to tackle well and come to play.”