MCHS to host Pearl River Fri.
By GEOFFREY STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Morgan City will look to keep its perfect record intact Friday as it hosts Pearl River High School for homecoming at Tiger Stadium.
MCHS coach Brandon Nowlin’s squad, which boasts a 3-0 mark, will be facing a Pearl River squad that earned its first win of the season last week against Fisher High School.
As for what his squad will be facing Friday, Nowlin said Pearl River would try to run the football and turn to play-action passes when needed.
The squad runs a Wing T offense led by running backs Brent Bourgeois, Nick Pichon and Aaron Roberson. Bourgeois has rushed for 429 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Pichon rushed for 93 yards and a score against Fisher High, while Roberson scored two touchdowns against Fisher.
Pearl River’s signal caller is quarterback Marquesheo Odum, who plays defensive back, too.
On defense, Nowlin said Pearl River runs a 3-3 stack alignment and uses its linebackers to bring pressure at times.
One linebacker to keep an eye on is R.J. Delaune.
From film study, Nowlin said it appears Pearl River has improved in recent weeks.
While this week is homecoming at MCHS, and Nowlin said it is OK for his players to participate in the various school activities, he said they can’t lose focus of the task at hand come Friday evening.
“We’ve had a pretty good week of practice, been pretty focused. … It’s just about us executing on Friday night,” Nowlin said.
The Tigers did execute against a young Jeanerette squad in last week’s 49-8 victory.
On offense, quarterback Hoang Nguyen completed five of nine passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Eric Walker rushed 14 times for 95 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Tigers limited Jeanerette to 139 yards of total offense, including an impressive 27 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Morgan City’s first team defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season.
While lots of good happened against Jeanerette, one thing the Tigers hope to avoid this week is the plethora of unsportsmanlike penalties the squad received last week. Even Nowlin was flagged during the game, while senior linebacker Devonte Gabriel was ejected, too.
“That’s unacceptable,” Nowlin said of the costly penalties, which he noted all piled up rather quickly.
At the end of the first half, the Tigers received three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with 23 seconds left following a MCHS interception with the Tigers comfortable in control against Jeanerette.
“We want to be physical, and we don’t want to back down to anybody, but at the same time, we want to be smart and we want to control our emotions,” he said.
As for Gabriel’s status for Friday’s game, Nowlin said he expects him to play, although he said he is double-checking to ensure Gabriel has met all Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements to play again.
In the meantime this week, Nowlin had Gabriel practice with the scout team this week in case Gabriel is not allowed play as well as to teach him a lesson about the ejection.
“He’s got to understand that there’s a certain way you got to act when you play this game,” Nowlin said.
Regardless of the senior’s status, Nowlin said he squad would be ready come Friday.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.