Rivals MCHS, PHS will play in nightcap
Patterson and Morgan City high schools will meet in the nightcap of the Taco Bell/KFC St. Mary Parish Football Jamboree Friday at 7:15. At right, Morgan City’s Calvin Bergeron attempts to make a catch, while Berwick’s Ty Duthu looks on during last week’s scrimmage between the two squads. (The Daily Review/Courtney Long)
At left, Patterson’s Tristen Ausama heads downfield after making a catch during the Louisiana HIgh School Officials Association’s Officials Clinic earlier this month. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Anytime Morgan City and Patterson meet between the white lines, it’s a rivalry game.
But at this year’s game in the Taco Bell/KFC St. Mary Parish Football Jamboree Friday at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City, there’s even more bragging rights at stake as longtime fellow coaches find themselves on opposite sidelines for the first time.
Patterson head coach Chad Blanchard and Morgan City head man Scott Tregle were both assistant coaches on the Patterson High football staff for several years.
“Scott and I have been friends for a long time,” Blanchard said. “But obviously we both will do whatever we have to, to be successful. It’s always going to be a rivalry when the schools are 10 minutes apart.”
Tregle says the friendship will resume after the game, which is set for a 7:15 p.m. start to cap the evening’s action. The jamboree also will include a 6 p.m. contest between Berwick and Covenant Christian Academy.
“We’re all friends, and we’ll talk after the game, hopefully after we beat them,” Tregle said. “They’re a good team, probably one of the best we’ll play, but we will try to win.”
Patterson comes into the game after shutting out St. James last week in a scrimmage. The Lumberjacks scored twice, once each on the first- and second-teams. Despite the offensive success, Patterson could have scored more with a couple drives stalling in the red zone.
“I want to see us finish drives better this week,” Blanchard said. “We had long drives that we needed to get into the end zone last week but we didn’t.”
Senior running back John Davis scored on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Sirbatian Charles on the ’Jacks second series last week. Patterson’s second score came on a long touchdown pass from Dillan Giandelone to B.J. Ramagos.
Defensively, Blanchard wants to see growth from last week.
“We gave up a little bit of yards here and there, but then we came back and made big plays that kept us in (a) good situation,” Blanchard said last week.
Patterson has been adding to its defensive package in practice this week.
“We’ve added some changeups, and we just want to see the kids execute the schemes,” Blanchard said.
He also wants to get his first look at special teams, which the team has been working on for about three weeks now.
Morgan City comes into the contest after scoring three times to Berwick’s two in a scrimmage Friday. Early in the Tigers first series, senior running back Kevon Marsh scored on a long run. Also on the series, sophomore quarterback Hector Tolento completed passes to senior receiver Jaylen Jones, including a long completion with Tolento under pressure.
Morgan City also got scoring runs from Ethan Scioneaux in the preseason action.
“I just want to see us improve from week to week,” Tregle said. “If we do that, then eventually we will be a good team.”
But the first-year coach knows the Patterson High School athletes will be a challenge for his defense.
“They have such good athletes that tackling will be important, and that’s always a challenge early in the season,” Tregle said. “But I expect effort and emotion to help us.”
Friday’s contest will consist of two 15-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime between. Presale tickets are available at both Morgan City and Berwick High School. Proceeds from these sales will remain at the schools.