Beekman (0-3) at Vidalia (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Finishing up the pre-district portion of its schedule, the Beekman Tigers venture to Concordia Parish to take on the Vidalia Vikings. Starting time for Friday's game is set for 7 p.m.
Vidalia has been through a coaching change since last season, but their head coach is hardly new. Dee Faircloth is now in his second round as the Vikings' boss. Hired as an assistant in 1968, Faircloth was promoted to head coach the following year. After 42 seasons, Faircloth resigned in 2009 while battling prostate cancer. Now cancer free, the LHSAA/LHSCA Hall of Fame coach is back on the sidelines.
Faircloth, who owns a 252-187-6 career record, is trying to revive a program which has fallen on hard times — the Vikings haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2004. Vidalia (3-0) is off to a good start with victories over Siciliy Island (34-6), Delhi (32-8) and Homer (42-8).
"They are a lot like Homer except they throw the ball around a lot more," Beekman coach Wade McDonald said of the Vikings. "They're not that big, but they're athletic. No doubt, they have some talent."
Junior quarterback Tristan Weatherly, now in his third season as a starter, has passed for nearly 400 yards through the first three games. DeMikal McCoy is Weatherly's favorite target.
Devin Green, a 5-4 scatback, leads Vidalia's rushing attack.
Josh Marsaw, a 6-2 wide receiver/free safety, is coming off of a big game against Homer as he returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown and ran 54 yards on a botched punt attempt.
End LJ Jones averages nine tackles per game to pace the Vikings on the defensive side.
Beekman is searching for answers offensively after opening the season with consecutive losses to Olla LaSalle (7-6) and back-to-back 28-6 defeats at the hands of Homer and Sibley Lakeside.
Many of the Tigers' offensive struggles — specifically turnovers and penalties — have been self-imposed.
"Hopefully, we can cut down on some of our mistakes this week," McDonald said. "If we can do that, I feel like we can move the ball on most folks."
Protecting the football has been a season-long problem for the Tigers.
"The fumblitis is getting old," McDonald said. "All you can do about it is drill, drill, drill."
Beekman came out in the I formation for the first time against Lakeside.
"I think going back to the I formation helped us last week," McDonald said. "We're still getting some kinks worked out as far as making sure we have the right personnel in at the right time. We're going to continue to be a work in progress with all the young kids we have."
Beekman is led offensively by tight end Ethan White, who beat double coverage for a 64-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brock Jenkins for the first touchdown in Beekman's new stadium.
Zeb Morgan averaged 11 yards per carry while rushing for 110 yards on 11 attempts vs. Homer. Johnny Gipson chipped in with 59 yards on 12 attempts, an average of 4.9 yards per try.
Defensively, the Tigers are led by linebackers Lucas Lara and James Foster, and cornerback Kobe Matthews.
Pierce Hayman and Aiden Cherry have been activated after missing last week with injuries. McDonald says lineman Dylan Gandy (knee) will sit out this week.
Beekman opens District 2-2A play at home next Friday vs. Mangham.