CCHS travels to VC for 8-1A title game
By GEOFF STOUTE
Central Catholic is the Eagles, and Vermilion Catholic is the Screaming Eagles.
Regardless of the slight difference in name, each team hopes to soar over the other following their matchup Friday in Abbeville where the two teams will meet for the District 8-1A championship.
This is the second year in a row both teams have met in the final week of the regular season for the district championship.
In 2011, Central Catholic had to fight its way back from an earlier deficit, and by halftime, the Eagles had closed the deficit to 36-29.
However, in the second half, Vermilion Catholic exploded and shut out the Eagles on their way to a 62-29 victory.
“We just stepped off the gas pedal and they just kept scoring and kept scoring,” CCHS’ Lamar Grogan said Wednesday. “It’s a little payback this year.”
Central Catholic coach David Fuhrer said his squad can’t spend all its time worried about last year’s game, though, but they can learn from it.
He said the mindset is “just remember what happened last year, remember the bad things that got us in the hole, remember the good things that we were able to do, and we just got to put it together and play a real good ballgame.”
One marked difference from last year’s matchup will be the absence of Vermilion Catholic running back Jacoby Davis, who made his presence felt in last year’s victory.
Davis, who was off to a banner year this fall, suffered an injury in Vermilion Catholic’s loss to Dunham earlier this year.
Vermilion Catholic coach Russell Kuhns confirmed today that Davis’ season is finished.
That doesn’t mean that Vermilion Catholic doesn’t still have weapons.
In fact, Fuhrer said Davis’ backup, Michael Campbell is nearly as potent.
“There’s not a big difference in facing Campbell,” Fuhrer said. “There’s not that big of a drop off. Actually, they’re not doing too much different without him (Davis). They’re still doing what they do. Davis just was a little bit faster and more explosive, and Campbell’s … just as good.”
On offense, Fuhrer said Vermilion Catholic runs a spread, while on defense, they run multiple formations, although he predicted they would put three or four down linemen on defense against CCHS.
Kuhns also noted that his squad has a lot to contend with in facing Central Catholic.
“They got a lot of great players, and we got to do our best to contain them … They got a good quarterback, their offensive line’s big. They got some good receivers,” Kuhns said. “We really got to be on cue defensively to be able to handle them.”
Despite any advantage this week’s game may hold for Vermilion Catholic playing at home (it's also Homecoming), Kuhns said his squad still must perform.
“It’s great to be home and all that, but you got to focus and play the game no matter where it is,” he said.
Focus is what Central Catholic quarterback Luke Landry said he is trying to do, although he can’t help but think somewhat about last year’s end result.
“Every game we’re trying to focus, but in the back of your mind, you always think about last year. … We’re just trying to focus and get a ‘W,’” Landry said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.