Union Parish (5-3, 1-2) at Sterlington (8-0, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Renewing a once-intense series, the Union Parish Farmers visit the Sterlington Panthers in District 2-3A action Friday night. Senior Night ceremonies will precede the 7 p.m. kickoff.
Former District 2-2A rivals, the two schools haven't played since 2010. Union owns a four-game winning streak over the Panthers, including a 41-20 result in the most recent encounter in 2010. The Farmers also won a pair of memorable games in 2007 (14-13) and 2008 (51-50 in overtime). Sterlington's last victory in the series occurred in 2006 (48-13).
"I think the people that were here when we used to play them and the people over there that were around when they used to play us are vey excited about getting things kicked back off," Sterlington coach Larry Doty said.
Doty expects the series to pick up where it left off, especially after the Farmers (5-3, 1-2) dropped a 20-19 verdict at Carroll last week.
"They are tough, physical and mean, and they are going to be in a bad mood when they get here," Doty said.
Union dropped its season opener to Class 5A Airline (30-0) before closing out pre-district play with four straight wins over Calvary Baptist (32-25), Rayville (27-8), Many (27-24) and Franklin Parish (34-8). Moving on to district play, the Farmers lost to Richwood 14-6 in Week 6 and beat Madison Parish 62-14.
"They do a good job over there," Doty said. "It could easily be 7-1 against 8-0."
Last week's loss was particularly frustrating for the Farmers.
"Carroll is a good team," Doty said. "In my opinion, they are very underrated. Union had the ball first-and-goal inside the 5 and fumbled."
From a tactical standpoint, the Farmers have made minimal changes since 2010. Union averages 292.4 yards per game (194 rushing, 98.4 passing).
"They like to run the ball," Doty said. "They have guys that can throw and catch. They would just rather run. Their offensive line is good. Defensively, they're good. They're solid on special teams. I don't see any weaknesses at all. They do a good job over there."
Freshman Trent Ginn is a jack of all trades for the Farmers. Splitting time between quarterback and tailback, Ginn has completed 23-of-45 passes for 404 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing 59 times for 474 yards and eight scores. He has also punted 20 times for a 32.4-yard average, made 14-of-23 PATs, kicked a field goal and returned six kickoffs at a 35.8-yard clip.
Quarterback Lawrence Glosson Jr. leads the team in rushing (85-533-5) and has completed 24-of-52 passing attempts for 314 yards and a pair of scores.
Jakias Wallace (64-241-3) is also a threat in the running game while Jaylon Jones has caught a team-high 21 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Travonte Wayne (39 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 8 sacks) and Rakeyman Fields (24 tackles, 7 interceptions) are the mainstays of a big-play defense which has logged 28 sacks and picked off 11 passes.
Among the Farmers' other notable defensive standouts are end Jason Hausley (45 tackles, 9 TFL, 6 sacks), linebacker Jarred Singleton (55 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 sacks) and cornerback Rodriguez Williams (55 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 sacks).
Like The U, the Panthers are run-oriented. Sterlington has generated 413.2 yards per game (324.9 rushing, 88.3 passing).
Tailbacks Austin Dupree (96 carries, 910 yards, 9 TDs) and Dallas Reagor (57-452-4), fullback Luke Denman (102-498-8) and quarterback Carson Clowers (38-434-6) have helped the Panthers average 7.6 yards per carry.
Clowers has completed 47-of-85 passes for 624 yards, six touchdowns and three picks.
Linebacker Dawson Snell (73 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 INTs) returns to the lineup after being held out of last week's 31-6 homecoming triumph over Madison Parish.
"Dawson being back definitely helps out against the running game," Doty said. "They love to run the trap and option, and Dawson usually plays pretty good against those type of teams."
Linebacker Bailyn McKoin (29 tackles) is also expected to be available after missing the second half of the Madison Parish game with a knee injury.
"Bailyn should be ready to go Friday," Doty said.
Among the Panthers' remaining defensive leaders are nose tackle Colby Rivera (28 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and cornerback Trey Eddins (21 tackles, 2 INTs).
SENIOR NIGHT honorees for the Panthers will include quarterback Carson Clowers, safety Chris Parker, tailback Austin Dupree, safety Trevor Jones, defensive end Tanner Coley, wide receiver Anthony Smith, tight end/punter Brooks Rushworth, tight end Tucker Allen, linebacker Dawson Snell, defensive back Peyton Matthews, linebacker Bailyn McKoin, center Landon Jinks, quick tackle Chandler Jones, strong guard Whit Buffington, wide receiver/tight end Jake Houston and linebacker Chase Carter.
WEEKLY AWARDS: Players of the Week for the Madison Parish game were Austin Dupree on offense, tackle Chandler Moncrief and end Tanner Coley on defense, and Jordan Townsend on Special Teams.
Scout Team POWs were Oren Keller (offense) and Fred Hymes (defense).
NEXT: Sterlington closes out the regular season at Richwood on Thursday at 7 p.m.