’Jacks’ prepping for Loranger
Patterson’s Matthew Tregle, left, and Shea Ragas tackle a Rayville ballcarrier during Patterson’s 42-0 Class 3A bi-district contest last week. The Lumberjacks, the No. 4 seed, will host No. 13 seed Loranger Friday at 7 p.m. in regional round action. Loranger comes into the game following a 28-7 win against No. 20 North Vermilion. (The Daily Review/Courtney Darce)
The explosive Patterson offense is set to host Loranger’s experienced defense Friday in the regional round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
The Lumberjacks (9-2) are averaging nearly 400 yards and 43 points per game this season.
On the other side of the ball, Patterson will face a Loranger team that returns eight starters from a year ago.
“They are playing good defense, and they will be a big challenge for our offensive line,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said.
The Wolves have advanced to the regional round of the state playoffs four consecutive years.
Junior quarterback Jake LaGrange started in place of injured standout Spencer Landry in last week’s 42-0 bi-district victory against Rayville and completed 11-of-15 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
LaGrange has completed 13-of-22 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in limited action this season.
Daylon Charlot was LaGrange’s top target a week ago with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Jedrick Gunner also had two receptions for 26 yards and a score.
Charlot has 44 receptions for 933 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, while Gunner has caught 24 passes for 336 yards and seven scores. Sophomore standout Mykel Jones also has 49 catches for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The ’Jacks’ run game was rolling Friday. Deontay Jones and Tristen Ausama were a one-two punch for the second week in a row. Jones carried 12 times for 61 yards and three touchdowns, while Ausama had six carries for 87 yards. Jones has carried 114 times for 696 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Ausama has run 76 times for 560 yards and two touchdowns.
“We need to establish the run, protect the quarterback and have balance on offense,” Minton said. “If we can run on them, they will bring a lot of people in the box and play man coverage on the outside and we can exploit that.”
Loranger (7-4) held North Vermilion to just 33 rushing yards last week in their 28-7 bi-district win.
After shutting down the run, the Wolves recorded four interceptions and held the North Vermilion passing game to just 11-of-30 completions for 114 yards. The Wolves’ defense has allowed just 19.5 points per game this season.
“They’ve won four of their last five games and the defense has led the way,” Minton said.
Offensively, Loranger is less experienced. The Wolves start a freshman, Hunter Flanagan, at quarterback. He was 6-of-15 passing for 103 yards and a touchdown last week. Junior running back Cody James was the leading rusher, carrying 23 times for 102 yards and caught three passes for 32 yards.
“We want to stop the run and get them in third-and-long situations,” Minton said. “They don’t throw great, but they don’t have to if we allow them to get into third-and-manageable.”
Patterson held Rayville to just 90 yards of total offense. Patterson also forced three turnovers. Gunner and Shundren Johnson had fumble recoveries while Shelby Lavergne had an interception.
The defense also was shorthanded Friday with outside linebacker Nehemiah Augustus missing the game due to injury.
“Nehemiah is questionable,” Minton said. “He has rehabbed all week and he’s moving a lot better. We’re optimistic.”
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on KQKI 95.3 FM.
Toys for Tots
Donations of new, unwrapped toys and monetary contributions are being accepted at Friday’s football game for the St. Mary Parish Marine Corps League Toys for Tots campaign. The donation box will be available beginning at 6 p.m.