Prairie View (6-1) at Central Private (5-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
In a matchup of teams riding the momentum of big victories from last week, the Prairie View Spartans (6-1) visit the Central Private Rebels (5-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Prairie View won a closely contested 22-20 decision over Trinity Episcopal (Miss.) last week, while the Rebels outlasted District 5-3A rival Bowling Green 43-40.
Central Private owns wins over CHEF (42-18), Glenbrook (48-22), Porter's Chapel (41-0) and Amite School Center (23-14) with losses to Cathedral (44-19) in Week 2 and Centreville (36-16) in Week 5.
"They have lost to two of the top teams in 2A," Prairie View coach Bo Barton said. "They have really been playing well lately. I think they have found the personnel they were looking for. They are getting the right kids in the right places, and getting their playmakers the ball.
"We're going to have our hands full."
Prairie View's first order of business is to contain the Rebels' option.
"They run the option like Georgia Tech," Barton said. "They have a fullback who can hurt you, a quarterback who can hurt you, and both wingbacks can hurt you. We have to play assignment football this week. Everybody has to understand where they are supposed to be on a particular call. Sometimes when you stunt, the call changes, which puts a lot of pressure on the defense. That's why people run this offense."
Quarterback Kaleb Fontenot, fullback Cole Averette and Luke Restivo are the focal points of the Rebels' offense.
"I hope we can slow them down," Barton said. "They are very good at all three phases. The fullback totes it well, the quarterback reads it well, and they pitch it well. Usually, an option team does two of the three well. It's hard to find a team that does all three well, but they do."
Barton's other concerns about the game deal with his own team. First of all, he is anxious to see how the Spartans respond after an emotional win over a quality opponent.
"There were a lot of happy kids out here Friday night because had never beat Trinity," Barton said. "It felt good to win that game, but it's behind us now. We have to focus on what's next, and move forward. We still have three games left — this game, River Oaks for the district championship and Claiborne. Then, hopefully, the playoffs."
Secondly, the Spartans face a long trip to the Baton Rouge area.
"Any time you have to travel four hours, you have to have it all planned and worked out," Barton said. "The good thing for us is we traveled just about as far when we played WCCA, and I thought our kids handled the trip pretty good. So maybe we learned something from that trip. We're playing a different team this time, though."
Besides Trinity, the Spartans own wins over Union Christian (36-12), CHEF (42-6), Wilkinson County Christian (44-0), Acadiana Home School (42-0) and Glenbrook (42-0) with its lone loss coming against Class 3A Riverfield (34-20) in Week 5.
Senior wide receiver Tanner Caldwell led the way against Trinity. Besides catching a 14-yard pass for the Spartans' first touchdown, he ran 12 yards for the game-tying score, then made a diving catch on the game-winning 2-point pass midway through the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Hayes Crockett rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown as the Spartans rushed for 222 yards.
Linebacker Austin Carroll recorded a team-high eight tackles last week, followed by tackle Jacob Walker with five stops, a sack and a tackle for negative yardage, and end Kolton Farrar with five tackles and one tackle for loss.
In search of their third straight district championship, the Spartans return home to play River Oaks on Friday, October 13.