SMSH must use good defensive technique vs. Kaplan

ST. MARTINVILLE — After a dramatic win over Abbeville last week, the St. Martinville Senior High Tigers look to stay unbeaten in district Friday at Kaplan.

The Tigers (4-2 overall, 1-0 in 6-3A) held a 15-point lead last Thursday before Abbeville mounted a second-half comeback. Mandrell Butler returned an interception for a touchdown to seal the 27-24 victory.

“We started off pretty good and we had the momentum the whole game, but at the end of the third quarter, it kind of went away.,” SMSH coach Vince DeRouen said. “We had some mental lapses. They fought back. At first, they couldn’t move the ball. Later, we couldn’t stop them, except at the end.”

Senior quarterback Tanner Harrison rushed for 109 yards and passed for 88 more with a touchdown toss to Harvey Broussard, who had four catches for 78 yards.

“Tanner always comes through in the clutch,” DeRouen said. “He always does. He didn’t throw the ball well in the second half, but he ran the ball well in the second half. He’s a gamer. We definitely rely on that.”

Running back Steven Blanco rushed for 80 yards and two TDs on 15 carries to bring his season total to 522 yards and 10 scores.

“He hadn’t practiced all week,” DeRouen said of the sophomore, who has been dealing with an injury.. “As the game went on last week, he started getting into the flow. This week, he looks to be full speed. Hopefully we can keep that going, keep treating him and he’ll be fine.”

Instead of practicing on its turf field, DeRouen had his team working out Tuesday in the grass adjacent to the football stadium.

“This will be our first time playing on grass,” DeRouen said. “We just want to get used to it where it won’t be a shock to us when we get out there. There is definitely a different feeling. Grass is a little slower than turf. It’s supposed to be raining, so we’re just trying to get them ready for it.”

Kaplan (2-4, 0-1), which lost to Erath last week, is led by fullback Caden Campisi (155-714, 4 TDs).

“Kaplan has played everybody close except for Church Point,” DeRouen said. “They’re a scrappy bunch that does some really good things. They broke some long runs at Loreauville. They control the ball with their offense, and we’re beefy up front on defense. We just have to play with technique.”

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