The Loreauville Tigers are undefeated heading into Friday’s District 7-2A game at Catholic High, which has lost three straight, but LHS coach Terry Martin isn’t about to let his team get overconfident.
“I wouldn’t say they’re struggling at all,” Martin said of the Panthers (2-3, 0-2). “They’re a really good football team. The score (29-0) of their game last week against Ascension Episcopal isn’t a true indicator of how that game went.
“They moved the ball really well with a really good rushing attack. People have said their downside was the lack of a passing game, but at the end of last week’s game, they threw it well — the best I’ve seen them throw in two years.”
After Kaplan had two 100-yard rushers last Thursday vs. Loreauville, Martin is concerned about his defense’s ability to slow down CHS backs Marco Austin and KK Reno, who have rushed for 479 yards.
“Their linemen come off the ball so well,” Martin said. “Our run defense has been our Achilles’ heel. These running teams know they have a great chance to keep our offense off the field. Last week, Kaplan was comfortable getting 3-to-4 yards a pop where, even if they had a fourth down, it was a manageable distance.
“We played Catholic High’s junior varsity Tuesday. They’re very similar to Acadiana in that you can’t simulate in practice how fast they come off the ball. My biggest concern is stopping them. Their fullback lines up so close to the line of scrimmage and then they hit the whole so fast with a group of experienced linemen.”
Likewise, the LHS offense has proved difficult to contain for opponents. Quarterback Calep Jacob is averaging more than 10 yards per carry with eight rushing touchdowns, and the senior has passed for 572 yards with seven scores and only one interception. His favorite target has been twin brother Collin Jacob (19-329, 4 TDs).
“That one interception was at the end of a half,” Martin explained. “It was a play where we threw it up to the end zone.
“I don’t like to harp on it too much when it comes to telling our kids not to fumble or throw an interception, because then it will inevitably happen right after that. I do continuously talk about taking care of the football. We fumbled two or three times last week.”
Running back Ethan Simon is out for at least two weeks, according to Martin, with an arm injury the senior suffered in the fourth quarter last week.
“Ethan was having a great year,” he said. “This past week, his brother (Evan Simon) kind of took over and did well. Our offensive line has also gotten a little more consistent each week.”