Head coach Ryan Antoine and the Westgate Tigers could make history with a win at home Friday vs. St. Thomas More in the District 5-4A opener.
The 4-1 Tigers have never defeated STM, which is also 4-1 and ranked no. 1 in Class 4A.
“We’ve never beaten them,” said Antoine, whose team knocked off Teurlings Catholic for the first time last year in league play. “Our guys are treating it as another regular game. We know it’s a district game. We see these guys every year.
“We also know one game is not going to define us, either. We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket, and then all of a sudden if things don’t happen like we want them to happen, our season is shot.”
Last year’s matchup also took place at WHS with the Cougars prevailing 70-21.
“It was a battle of attrition towards the end in that game,” Antoine said. “I think it was 29-20 with six minutes to go in the third. It felt like we were still in the ballgame, and then the bottom just fell out. It was a tough loss for us, a loss that we learned a lot from, as well. We’re expecting our guys to come out and play a better game this year.
“We know we have a tough game this week and more tough games the next few weeks. We feel our district is one of the top districts in the state, and our records are showing that. We just want to make sure we take it one game at a time.”
After a 7-0 loss at Lafayette Christian in Week 1, the Tigers have pounced on their next four foes and won by an average margin of 44-12.
Last week, LSU wide receiver commit Kayshon Boutte scored five touchdowns in a 71-20 rout at Denham Springs.
“We played pretty well defensively in that game,” Antoine said. “I like where we’re at right now. I like the way we came out of the first half of the season. Now, we just have to do the same thing in the second half.”
The Tigers will have their hands full with STM senior quarterback Caleb Holstein and junior receiver Jack Bech.
Holstein, who is committed to Harvard, leads the state in passing (118-175, 1,683 yards, 17 TDs, 4 INT).
Bech, meanwhile, is the state’s second-leading receiver (46-700, 9 TDs).
“STM always has talent,” Antoine said. “Holstein is a great quarterback, throws the ball well. He does some things and they’re coached well. They’re going to take what you give them. Those guys are going to play well.
“They have another good quarterback behind him in (sophomore) Walker Howard, as well. We’re going to go out there and play football.
“Last year, I felt like we focused more on the pass and gave up a lot of yards in the run game. I think their running back had over 200 yards.”
WHS sophomore quarterback Brennon Landry is seventh in the area in passing with 957 yards and 11 touchdowns. His only two interceptions came in the opener at LCA.
“Brennon is playing well,” Antoine said. “He’s getting better every week, which is what you want to see. You monitor a young guy to see how he plays and the small things that he does, but he’s doing some things early-on that are real impressive.
“We need to limit turnovers, tackle well and use Connor (Scott) to flip the field. Connor has been doing a great for us on kickoffs, getting touchbacks to make them go 80 yards every time. Also, he flips the field at punter and makes field goals. We’ve been using him a lot.”
Boutte is also among the state’s leading receivers with 24 catches for 416 yards and six touchdowns.
“I feel like the way we’ve been playing for the last month, we’re going to have a shot,” Antoine said.