Ouachita Christian (1-0) at Sterlington (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
As glorious as the 2016 season was for the Sterlington Panthers, there is one sour memory that sticks out. Winners of 10 straight, Sterlington hasn't loss since taking a 35-0 Week 6 shellacking at the hands of Ouachita Christian, its neighbors from three miles to the south. Though no longer district foes — Sterlington has moved up to Class 3A while the Eagles have dropped to 1A — the two sides will renew acquaintances Friday at 7 p.m.
OCS leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1977, with 22 wins in 36 meetings. Coach Steven Fitzhugh's Eagles have won five of the last six games, with the Panthers' lone win during that stretch coming in 2014.
First-year Sterlington coach Lee Doty downplayed the revenge factor.
"We hope our kids will be ready to play," Doty said. "Our kids don't seem to get too emotional about anything. This is about as laid back of a group of kids as I have ever been around. I just hope they go out there and play to the best of their ability."
Both teams are coming off of lopsided season-opening victories. OCS handled Arcadia 57-18 while the Panthers had their way with Class 4A West Ouachita 45-13.
Although the Eagles have a first-year starter at quarterback — junior Turner Carr — Doty says they are as diverse as ever offensively.
"Obviously, they have a lot of smart kids to be able to do everything they do, and they do a good job of coaching them," Doty said.
Bryce Wallace, a first-team All-District 2-2A selection as a junior, and senior Skylar Wilhite are among the Eagles' primary playmakers.
Wallace, who sees double duty in the secondary, leads the defense along with senior linebacker Reece Pitson and sophomore DB Will Fitzhugh.
"They have some really good players over there," Doty said of the OCS defense.
As for the Panthers, Doty saw significant room for improvement after Week 1.
"We have to go out and do what we do," Doty said. "We have a lot of things we can improve on. Hopefully, we'll be a lot better this week."
Sterlington will be without its starting tailback, C.J. Colvin, for the rest of the season. Injured on a punt return against West Ouachita, Colvin underwent surgery to repair a broken foot.
Colvin's backup, Malik Davis, has also missed practice time with an ankle injury.
"We're about as banged up as you can be at tailback," Doty said.
With Davis out, Austin Dupree has taken the snaps at tailback, with Luke Denman running in Dupree's fullback spot.
Dupree ran for 162 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and added a 33-yard kickoff return to lead the Panthers offensively vs. West Ouachita. Davis carried 11 times for 101 yards and three scores and caught two passes for 23.
Quarterback Carson Clowers completed 8-of-16 passes for 107 yards, including three for 57 to Brooks Rushworth.
Guard Trey Rugg scored the Panthers' first touchdown as a Class 3A school on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
Linebacker Dawson Snell topped the tackle chart with nine stops, followed by tackle Colby Rivera with five. End Chandler Moncrief recorded four tackles with a sack and two quarterback hurries and Trey Eddins added a pick.
Wrapping up a two-game homestanding, the Panthers entertain Oak Grove on Friday, Sept. 15, followed by a pair of Shreveport trips to Loyola and Calvary Baptist.