Week Two Review: District 3-5A
District 3-5A isn't for the faint of heart. Once district play starts, teams start punching each other in the mouth week in and week out. Two weeks into the season, some bullies on the block are starting to emerge.
Three undefeated teams remain after the first two games. Two teams come from the Lake Charles area, and the lone Lafayette squad might be seen as a sleeper.
Barbe and Sulphur started off their seasons with a few impressive victories, which should make for some interesting trips down I-10 when district play starts.
The Golden Tors survived a 38-35 thriller against St. Thomas More in their season opener, then they broke out for a 44-14 thrashing of Washington-Marion on a Thursday night in week two. Sulphur is the sexy pick to make noise in 3-5A because they returned so many starters from last year, and they're living up to the hype early on.
Meanwhile, Barbe beat two playoff teams. They whooped up on Byrd (33-7) to kick off 2016, and they followed it up with an impressive 26-17 win over Mandeville. Coaches like to schedule tough opponents out of district play, hoping to toughen their team for when games start mattering more. That was the plan for the Bucs this year, and they're spanking some serious opponents. They should be ready for their district opener against Acadiana in week four, and you won't want to miss that rivalry match. It's always fun when Barbe and Acadiana get together, and this year there will be more than bragging rights on the line.
The final undefeated team in District 3-5A might come as a surprise to some fans, but not their coaching staff. It's Doug Dotson's second year with the Comeaux Spartans, and they're improving by leaps and bounds.
Coaching is in Dotson's blood. His father's name is on the stadium at Acadiana, and now he's trying to make his own mark in one of the most brutal districts in the state. Last year's 3-7 record was a sign of the growing pains the Spartans went through, but the 2016 squad looks like it grew up overnight.
Through two games, the Spartans are outscoring opponents, 91-27. Brett Dotson is the senior leader at quarterback, and he's playing like one. He unloaded four TD passes against Cecilia in week one, and the Spartans dropped over 40 points on Westgate in week two. His favorite target, wide receiver Tanarious Achan, is the type of player that requires double-teams, and when opponents focus on Achan, Dotson makes them pay with a different target.
Mark your calendars for week four. Not only will Acadiana and Barbe meet up, Comeaux and Sulphur will battle it out too. There's a chance both the Spartans and Tors could come in undefeated, but only one will walk away victorious.
Lafayette High and Acadiana find themselves in the same boat, sitting at 1-1. Both of them lost to a playoff team and beat up on a lesser opponent, but their stories are much different.
Ted Davidson is intense. His Wreckin' Rams won state titles by holding themselves to a higher standard, and that's where Rob Pool wants Lafayette High to be sooner rather than later.
Acadiana's loss to Ponchatoula hurt. The Wreckin' Rams were out for revenge, and they jumped on Ponchatoula early for the lead. Unfortunately, mistakes caught Acadiana and a missed extra point ended up being the difference in the 24-23 loss. If the Rams keep the ball off the ground, they always have a chance to win, but fumbles could cost them next week against an explosive Carencro outfit. The Bears will make you pay.
Ted Davidson gives a lot of tough love. The message to his team through two games is simple.
"We don't let go of the ball unless the ref takes it from us," Davidson barked at his team.
There is still a lot of time to clean things up, and with Ziggy Francis rushing the ball behind their offensive line, Acadiana has playoff potential and the talent to back it up. When the veer machine gets rolling, get out of the way.
Lafayette High moved away from the veer this year, and the offensive adjustments were evident in their week one loss to Peabody. Turnovers and sloppy play plagued the Mighty Lions, but Head Coach Rob Pool cleaned that up week two against Opelousas.
Miguel Reyes' return sparked the LHS offense, as he used his big body to plow into the endzone a couple times in the Lions' 49-15 blowout win over Opelousas. With eight home games on the schedule, Pool's Mighty Lions have a chance to win over the fan base and post an impressive record, but they have to strive for consistency. Woodlawn (Baton Rouge) is coming into town week three, which will be a solid gauge of where LHS stands against playoff-caliber opponents.
Acadiana and Lafayette are vastly different. One team has a legendary coach, another has a leader in his first year as a head coach. The Rams have the pressure of legacy on their shoulders, and Lafayette High wants to bring the pride back to their program. Right now, their records are the same, but something tells me their paths will split again soon.
The remaining two teams in District 3-5A took their lumps to start the season. Sam Houston and New Iberia suffered some brutal losses, but there's a lot of season left.
New Iberia took Breaux Bridge to overtime, but they ended up with the short end of the stick in extra time. The very next week, they got ran over by Carencro. The Golden Bears are going to destroy a lot of quality opponents this year, so don't get down on NISH just yet. Meanwhile, both of Sam Houston's losses were by a single score (20-14, 21-19). It's called a game of inches for a reason, and the Broncos aren't far away from being 2-0 instead of 0-2.
Again, we're only two weeks into the season, so there's no reason to overreact. Comeaux's undefeated streak will be tested, Acadiana will fix its issues (like they always do), and the district schedule will sort out the strengths and weaknesses of every team in District 3-5A. That being said, are we having fun yet?
It looks like we're in for a fistfight again in District 3-5A. Bring some extra chin straps.