Lumberjacks host the Gents to start the season

By: Staff Reports
Third-ranked Patterson will get a test right off the bat tonight when Crowley comes to the Sug-ardome.

The Gents (0-0, District 4-3A) are led by all-state running back and LSU commitment Davante Bourque, who shredded defenses last season en route to 2,310 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Bourque, (6’-2”, 210) is no stranger to this area, having started as an eighth grader at Gueydan. He put up some big numbers against Central Catholic while starring for the Bears.

Now at Crowley, Bourque had the second biggest rushing performance of the season last year, going for 361 yards against Westlake on just 28 carries. He averaged nearly 13-yards per carry.

“Davante brings that special vision, acceleration to the running back position,” Crowley head coach Tommy Tate said. “With a guy like him, he wants the football and he wants the football in crucial situations. That’s the kind of guy that you look for at a running back position. You just hope that he can stay healthy and have a great senior year because he’s a special young man.”

Patterson head coach Tommy Minton says Bourque isn’t the Gents’ only big play threat.

“He’s an excellent back with good speed,” Minton said. “We put emphasis on tackling and play our responsibility on defense this week. We can’t loose the edge, we must keep him pinned in the box.”

Crowley’s offense is led by former wide receiver Andre Mills, who is now the starting quarter-back.

“They throw it about 15 to 18 times a game,” Minton said. “The quarterback is very mobile and he has a decent arm. He likes to get the ball to their big tight end (Kaleb Cormier, 6’-4”, 220) and their other running backs are good athletes.”

But two key parts of that 2010 offense are missing this fall — quarterback Tuskani Figaro and wideout Tonori Boutte. Figaro, a senior, was ruled to have been out of eligibility and was denied an appeal by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association while Boutte, a speedy wideout, graduated and signed a football/track scholarship with McNeese State.

Figaro is the son of former Notre Dame star Cedric Figaro, an All-American linebacker in the 1980s. Figaro threw for 1,831 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 873 yards and 12 more scores last year. Boutte caught 42 passes for 678 yards and seven touchdowns.

Patterson’s stifling defense figures to test Bourque and his big numbers as well.

The Lumberjacks’ defense was tops in the district in 2010. PHS held opponents under 200 yards per game (191.5).

The strongest unit on the 2011 defense is the linebacker corps. Tremaine Lightfoot, the team’s leading tackler last season with 136 (79 solo/57 assists), returns at middle linebacker. Lightfoot, is ranked as the 63rd best inside linebacker in the country by ESPN, already has three official offers from Arizona State, McNeese State and Grambling.

All-state linebacker Lorenzo Phillips returns at outside linebacker. Phillips, a University of Florida commitment, had 78 tackles last season including 23 for loss.

He is rated as the fourth best college football prospect in the state by ESPN. Phillips is also a member of the ESPN 150 (the multimedia giant’s top prospects in the country), he is 139th.

Patterson (12-3), the Class 3A state runners-up last season, also showed that they have a few weapons on offense last week.

All-state quarterback Justice Jones, picked up where he left off last season, tossing two touchdown passes in the Jacks’ 34-0 jamboree win over Franklin. J. Jones, a senior, completed 172-of-313 passes last season for 2,531 yards and 27 touchdowns.

“We corrected the mistakes from the jamboree and the kids are locking in on getting better,” the 13th-year coach said. “They had good focus this week.”

Jones’ touchdown passes were to running back Mark Jones and receiver Deondre Skinner.

Jaydrick Declouet, a Vanderbilt commitment, also had several catches to get his season going. The speedy receiver led the Jacks with 34 catches for 605 yards and seven scores last season.

M. Jones and running mate Trevon Stewart, an all-state safety, also had some big runs in last week’s rout.

M. Jones is the team’s top returning rusher with 340 yards on 45 carries with four touchdowns but he also hobbled off the field late in last week’s jamboree.

“Mark didn’t miss a play of practice this week,” Minton said. “He’s fine, we’re ready to go. This game will tell us if we’re doing the things we need to do to accomplish our goals.”

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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