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BOBBY ARDOIN
Editor/Consulting

It was an undoubtedly bizarre if not somewhat entertaining Week 2 for St. Landry Parish high school football.

If it wasn’t interruptions from rather spectacular meteorological events, there were the cricket invasions that tested the nerves of even the most conscientious stadium-seated supporters.

It was impossible not to crunch the thousands of crickets which accumulated and gathered underfoot at the Westminster Christian-Grand Lake game on Friday night. A bait stand operator could have collected enough sellable cricket merchandise to perhaps purchase a few Louisiana lotto tickets.

A lightning show forced a lengthly delay of the Thursday night Opelousas Catholic game against Ascension Catholic at Donald Gardner Stadium, while postponing the Port Barre-Beau Chene contest which was played on a much sunnier Saturday afternoon.

Then on Friday night there were several opening kickoff delays due to more inclement weather.

The Saturday matinee game at Port Barre represented an offensive struggle for both teams, but it was an enjoyable two hours in the sunlight doing a statistical play by play, sitting in the stands with the Red Devils’ spectators and welcoming the light north wind.

It was at times almost hilarious listening to the Port Barre crowd shout down to the Devils’ coaching staff about which plays to run or avoid and warn of an offensive or defensive threat from Beau Chene.

Then in the third quarter one spectator with lungs of steel, yelled that the Devils had only 10 men on the field. The guy was right and a time out was called to fix the situation.

In games last week St. Landry Parish teams were a combined 6-3, as Opelousas, North Central, Beau Chene, Westminster, Northwest and St. Edmund rebounded from Week 1 defeats.

Unless there is a forfeit later, no St. Landry football team will be undefeated this year.

Here is what is happening in Week 3.


GAME OF THE WEEK
Port Barre (1-1) at Opelousas Catholic (0-2)
Opelousas Catholic has played two opponents who are a combined 4-0. The Vikings seem to have a lock on this series against Port Barre. Players from each team were in lower elementary the last time Port Barre defeated Opelousas Catholic. Don’t look for that to happen Friday night at Donald Gardner Stadium. OC gets a first win for head coach Cullen Matherne.

AROUND THE PARISH
Northwest (1-1 at Beau Chene (1-1)
Both teams won their first games last week. Northwest, now using a spread offense from seasons past, has demonstrated the ability to score. That won’t work for the Gators, who are having trouble moving the ball. Look for the Raiders to win a second game.

Opelousas (1-1) at Lake Charles College Prep (1-1)
The Tigers still have four games left before returning for the first of only two home games in 2023. Last week Opelousas retrieved a bit of swagger with a two-score victory at Natchitoches Central. It’s always difficult to win in Lake Charles, but somehow the Tigers take a second straight victory.

Eunice High (1-1) at Avoyelles High (0-2)
The Bobcats scored only once last week in a loss to Jennings after scoring 38 in Week 1. Avoyelles however has a new coaching staff and at least the Bobcats won’t have to play a program that never punts. Look for Eunice to reassemble in a game that could be wild and high scoring.

North Central (1-1) at Thrive Academy (0-2)
On paper this should be an easy win for North Central. The Hurricanes defeated Thrive last season. Offense appears difficult for Thrive. In two games Thrive has been outscored 76-0. Look for North Central to become a healthy 2-1.

Westminster-Lafayette (1-0) at St. Edmund (1-1).
St. Edmund played impressively in the Dallas area last week and comes back to Blue Jay Stadium ready to score more points against WCA-Lafayette, which has a seven-game schedule in 2023. In the debut appearance this season. WCA-Lafayette defeated Crescent City 50-0. The Jays should have no trouble in this one. The first of two easy games for St. Edmund.

Hanson Memorial (2-0) at Westminster (1-1)
This will be an intriguing game between the schools that seem to play each season. Westminster displayed one of the best fourth quarter comebacks in recent school history last week, scoring 20 in the final 4:38. The question is whether the conclusion of that game has a carry over effect or will the Crusaders have difficulty sustaining the momentum. Hanson represents a load offensively. Hanson is averaging 45 points a game. Nonetheless Hanson, which should outscore the Crusaders, might consider taking precautions if there is a cricket warning posted on the Weather Channel.