West Ouachita (2-6, 0-1) at Bastrop (4-3, 1-0), Homecoming, Friday, 7 p.m.
Bastrop continues District 2-4A play Friday night against the West Ouachita Chiefs. Kickoff time for the Rams' homecoming game is 7 p.m.
Provided the weather cooperates, Bastrop coach Adrian Burnette expects a big crowd.
"We should have a good atmosphere with all the different classing coming in," Burnette said. "Everybody seems to be high-spirited about homecoming. I think we forget that homecoming is the one time of the year that everybody comes together. It's a big deal for the community to have a successful homecoming. Homecoming gets people in town which generates revenue for everybody."
Like Bastrop, West Ouachita (2-6, 0-1) started out 0-2 with setbacks at the hands of Sterlington (43-14) and Loyola (20-14). After a 32-21 Week 3 victory over Class 5A Pineville, the Chiefs dropped three straight to North Webster (34-17), Ruston (32-21) and DeRidder (34-23), defeated Buckeye (36-8) and lost o Neville 43-14 in Week 10.
West Ouachita is coached by Matt Middleton, a former University of Arkansas Monticello offensive coordinator who spent the past two-plus seasons as Prairie View's head coach.
"At the end of the day, Matt is a heck of a coach and a great play-caller," Burnette said. "When your kids are motivated and 100 percent buying into what you are trying to do, the results can be truly amazing. This is Matt's first year at West Ouachtia, and it's my first year here. He's trying to change the culture over there just like I am trying to change the culture here to what I think it needs to be.
"Until the kids buy in 100 percent, we're going to be a work in progress."
West Ouachita is led offensively by quarterback Peyton Parker and running back Tobias Owens.
Bastrop's defense is seeking to bounce back from a disappointing outing following last week's 53-52 victory over Franklin Parish. Lining up in the Wing-T, the Patriots piled up 416 yards rushing on 70 attempts.
This week, the Rams will see a completely different offensive scheme.
"We went from a bye week to an offense we are not only not used to seeing, but theoretically, don't want to see. Franklin Parish got us on our heels," Burnette said. "Matt will line up in some different formations to give us a different look, but his heart is in the spread."
Prior to the Franklin Parish game, the Rams allowed their previous season high point total in a 45-30 Week 3 triumph over Calvary Baptist.
"Again, I feel like everything has to happen for us to be complete," Burnette said. "A defensive performance like last week was needed to keep us grounded. We have such a young team, and I don't want us to get away from the aspect of learning."
On the offensive side, the Rams are coming off of their best game of the season after scoring on every possession vs. Franklin Parish.
"(Quarterback Quaterius) Hawkins did a better job of controlling the offense," Burnette said. "We should be at a point now where the kids have a full understanding of what we are trying to do and how we see ourselves. We're a spread team that likes to throw it around yet still likes to run between the tackles."
Hawkins completed 16-of-21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns, and added a 31-yard TD run vs. Franklin Parish.
With left tackle Noray Robertson, left guard Maleek Mays, center Carter Ellison, right guard James Carter and right tackle Chancelor Johnson leading the way, the Rams amassed 408 yards of total offense, including 160 rushing, last week.
WEEKLY HONORS: Hawkins was the Rams' Week 8 Offensive Player of the Week. Tackle Quandarious Rhodes was chosen as Defensive Player of the Week.
NEXT WEEK: Bastrop hosts Neville next Thursday in the regular season finale. Senior Night ceremonies will be conducted before the 7 p.m. game. (Note: the game was originally scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3).