Wossman (4-4, 1-1) at Bastrop (2-6, 0-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Coming off of a hard-fought 34-32 loss to top-ranked Neville, the Bastrop Rams seek to snap a three-game losing streak at home against Wossman on Friday night. Kickoff time for the Rams' Senior Night contest is 7 p.m.
Bastrop (2-6, 0-2) took Neville to the wire in a see-saw battle last Friday at Ram Stadium. With a chance to send the game into overtime, the Rams came up empty on a 2-point conversion with 10 seconds remaining.
Judging by the first two days of practice this week, Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman has seen no sign of a letdown following an emotionally-charged game last week.
“I think the kids have responded well the first two days of practice,” Bachman said after Tuesday's workout. “Kids are resilient. They'll find a way to get themselves ready.
“It's not just last week. We had the shootout with Parkway and the shootout with Franklin Parish. Then, you're in a back and forth game against Neville. It's like Tony Dungy said in his book, 'Quiet Strength,' 'Win or lose, you don't have time to dwell on it.' You have another game waiting.'”
Wossman (4-4, 1-1) opened the season with a 34-20 loss to Crowley, beat city rival Carroll 30-6, dropped a 14-12 heartbreaker to Richwood and fell to Ouachita 33-8. Since then, the Wildcats have won three of four, with a 13-0 decision over Northwest, a 26-25 victory over West Ouachita in the District 2-4A opener, a 49-0 loss to Neville and a 28-22 triumph over Rayville last week.
“They're very big, very athletic and very fast,” Bachman said. “In the past few years, they've played a lot of man and brought a lot of blitzes against us.”
Bachman says the Rams' first priority is stopping the run, though the Wildcats have a formidable weapon in wide receiver Brandon Martin.
“Offensively, they want to line up and run the ball,” Bachman said. “When they throw, it's usually down the field. I remember (Martin) from last year. He made the catch last week to beat Rayville late in the game.”
Bastrop opened the season with a 55-14 win over Huntington, lost to Byrd 63-8, Pearl, Miss. 41-21 and Parkway 79-56, beat Rayville 46-27 and lost to Union Parish 34-22, Franklin Parish 59-42 and Neville.
Despite the loss, the Rams played their best defensive game of the season against Neville. Unfortunately, three turnovers, a blocked punt and the inability to convert 2-point plays proved costly.
Two turnovers and a blocked punt led to three of Neville's five touchdowns.
Bastrop matched the Tigers' five touchdowns, but was 1-of-5 on 2-point conversions. Ironically, the Rams' lone successful 2-point try was from 18 yards in the aftermath of a holding penalty.
Bastrop is led offensively by senior wide receiver Jamari Payne, who has hauled in 62 passes for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last week's 14-catch, 144-yard effort was Payne's fifth straight game of 100 yards or more. He also has a 13-reception, 226-yard game vs. Parkway and a nine-catch, 148-yard outing vs. Franklin Parish to his credit.
Complementing Payne in the receiving corps are Isaiah Graham (27 receptions, 501 yards, 9 touchdowns) and Devin Brown (17-229-2).
Bastrop quarterback Christian Doaty has thrown for 1,906 yards with 18 touchdowns vs. 8 interceptions. He has also rushed for 245 yards and three scores and is one of five Rams with 200-plus yards rushing on the season.
Antwone Green (46 carries, 396 yards, 4 TDs), Jerry Powell (41-322-4), Travion Burks (45-308-3) and Kevin Heard (44-243-4) form a four-deep backfield.
Bastrop's leading tacklers are free safety Lester Lee (68 tackles, 4 tackles for loss), linebacker Kentreylus Hill-Pates (56 tackles, 2 TFL) and end Rufus Martin (37 tackles, 2 sacks).
Both teams close out the regular season on the road next week — Bastrop at West Ouachita and Wossman at Franklin Parish.