Rivals, 'Jacks, Hornets will meet to decide district title
Patterson’s Landon Thomas blocks Berwick’s Deante Short while Patterson quarterback Spencer Landry prepares to throw during Patterson’s 57-7 win last week. The Lumberjacks will play for the District 9-3A title Friday when they
host Franklin. Franklin defeated Patterson 7-6 in St. Mary Parish Jamboree action this season.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Both Patterson and Franklin have been pointing toward Friday’s game since the St. Mary Parish Jamboree in August.
On top of a longtime rivalry, add the District 9-3A championship for the winner, and it’s a heavyweight battle.
Patterson (7-2, 3-0) has won seven straight games after starting the season 0-2, losing to a pair of Class 5A teams. The ’Jacks entered the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 3A Top 10 at No. 9 this week. Franklin (6-3, 3-0) has won six straight games after starting the season 0-3 to setup Friday’s showdown at the Sugar Dome.
The Hornets beat the Jacks 7-6 in the jamboree to start the wheels turning.
“The jamboree was a wakeup call for us,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “If we don’t come out and execute then we can be beaten. Now, we’ll play a four-quarter game and we’ll see who holds up.”
The game figures to be physical with Franklin pounding the football on the ground. The Hornets are led by senior running backs Brian Robertson and Brandon McFarlane. Franklin has averaged more than 400 yards per game on the ground during their winning streak.
“We are gonna line up and run the ball,” Franklin head coach J Ina said. “We’re gonna run right at them. We’re an aggressive, downhill running team, and if we can run the ball then we give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
The ’Jacks know the Hornets are coming.
“We have to be physical upfront, control the line of scrimmage and tackle well,” Minton said.
Ina, a former Patterson assistant coach, has rebuilt the Franklin program in less than five years. Franklin was 1-9 in Ina’s first year, 4-6 in his second season, 5-5 last year and have secured a winning season and likely playoff spot this year.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” he said. “I can’t put it in words. I put them out there as freshman and they took their lumps. I told them if they stuck with it and worked hard that they would have a shot at a district championship before they graduate, and that time is here.”
Patterson, too, has its sights set on the district title.
“We set some goals for ourselves before the season and the district title is a big part of that,” Minton said. “This game has turned into a real rivalry, so we talked to the kids about controlling their emotions. It’s not about talking on the computer but executing on the football field. The time for talking is over.”
Patterson is led by senior quarterback Spencer Landry and standout receivers Daylon Charlot and Mykel Jones.
All three are among the state leaders at their positions.
Landry has completed 148-of-244 passes for 2,508 yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Charlot has 37 catches for 804 yards and 12 scores, while Jones has 48 receptions for 835 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“They have two special kids at receiver, and they want to get them the ball,” Ina said. “We’re gonna pressure the quarterback and the only way he’ll get the ball to his receivers is by taking a lick,” Ina said. “We want to get after the quarterback to slow down that offense.”
Minton says that’s nothing new for the Lumberjacks.
“They’re going to try to run the ball to keep it away from us,” Minton said. “That’s nothing new. They play a lot of man-to-man coverage, but they probably won’t play us that way, and if they blitz us, we’ll take our shots.”
Patterson also has found its running game the last several weeks. Senior Deontay Jones had back-to-back 100-yard games and he had six carries for 87 yards and a score last week in limited action against Berwick. He leads the Jacks rushers with 85 carries for 533 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tristen Ausama (65 for 366 yards, a touchdown) and both receivers also have had success running the ball.
“Both teams are going to come out hard and may the best team win,” Ina said. “Those guys over there (the coaches) are my friends; just not in week 10.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.