Oak Grove (2-0) at Sterlington (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Something has to give as Oak Grove and Sterlington try to continue their winning ways Friday night at Panther Stadium with the Mayor's Cup at stake. Kickoff time is 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Power 92.7 FM (Sterlington) and KWCL-FM (Oak Grove).
Sterlington Mayor Vern Breland is currently in possession of the Mayor's Cup as the Panthers won last year's matchup 19-6. Oak Grove Mayor Adam Holland, a former Tigers' center during the Vic Dalrymple era, is hoping to return to West Carroll Parish with the coveted trophy Friday night.
Oak Grove (2-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class 1A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, while the Panthers (2-0) stand at No. 5 in Class 3A.
Coach Ryan Gregory's Tigers topped Delhi Charter 23-20 in Week 1 before knocking off Wossman, Sterlington's District 2-3A rival, 26-6 last Thursday.
"They've had two really good wins," Sterlington coach Lee Doty said. "They are going to come in here ready to roll."
As always, the key to success against Oak Grove is containing the option.
"They do what they do, and they are good at it," Doty said.
Sophomore Kameron Holloway is the Tigers' triggerman.
"Their quarterback is slippery," Doty said of Holloway. "He's an elite athlete, who is going to put a lot of pressure on us. We're trying to figure out how to stop him."
Sterlington must also account for All-State tailback Donald Gray and fullback Wyatt Rawls, who doubles at linebacker.
Center Isaac Cupples and tackle John Bolding anchor an offensive line, which averages 249 pounds per man.
"They are a lot bigger than we are across the offensive and defensive lines," Doty said.
End Kenny Turner and linebackers David Bruce and Fred Middleton are among the Tigers' notable defenders.
"Defensively, they line up and come get you," Doty said. "They tackle real well. They have a big defensive line that is going to present some challenges for us."
Sterlington, which owns wins over Class 4A West Ouachita (45-13) and Ouachita Christian (35-0), presents its share of challenges, as well.
"I don't know how good we are right now, but it's fun watching our kids play hard," Doty said. "I feel like we are going to get better."
Doty's biggest concern at this point is injuries, particularly at the tailback position where C.J. Colvin (broken foot) is out for the season and Malik Davis (ankle) is expected to be out for at least two more weeks.
"We just have to hang on until everybody gets healthy," Doty said. "We're mighty beat up for the third week of the season."
Fullback Austin Dupree (35 carries, 266 yards, 2 touchdowns) has filled in admirably at tailback, producing back-to-back 100-yard games. Luke Denman (21-93-1) has taken over as the starting fullback. Against OCS, Dupree generated 104 yards and one TD on 23 attempts, while Denman picked up 76 yards and a score on 14 totes.
"Austin Dupree is a great tailback. He's doing a heck of a job for us. We knew he was capable of carrying the load. We just didn't know he would have to do it this soon," Doty said. "Luke Denman is starting to fill the fullback role for us."
Dorian Eddins, who doubles at cornerback, is the backup tailback with Jordan Townsend as the No. 2 fullback.
A year after being shutout 35-0 by OCS, Sterlington put up 362 yards of total offense (215 rushing, 147 passing) en route to reversing last year's final.
Quarterback Carson Clowers completed 10-of-14 passes for 147 yards. Tight end Brooks Rushworth caught four passes for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Freshman quarterback Brody Green scored the first touchdown of his varsity career on a 1-yard run.
Defensively, the Panthers limited the Eagles to 144 yards (45 rushing, 99 passing).
"Our defense played lights out," Doty said.
Linebacker Dawson Snell was responsible for 13 tackles, one stop in the backfield and a quarterback hurry. Ends Chandler Moncrief and Tanner Coley were next with seven and six stops, respectively.
"Chandler Moncrief played with more effort Friday night than he has since I've been here," Doty said. "We are going to need a big game from his this week, as well."
Cornerback Trey Eddins had three tackles and picked off a pass for the second straight week, while Tyler Kaffenberger, Justin Fuller and Bailyn McCoin contributed sacks.
POWs: Players of the Week for the Panthers from the OCS game were Rushworth (offense), Moncrief (defense) and Chase Carter (special teams).
NEXT: Sterlington closes out pre-conference play with back-to-back trips to Shreveport against Loyola (Sept. 22) and Calvary Baptist (Sept. 29).