Tigers start district play against winless Ellender
By: SCOTT JOINER
Ellender has lost its last 29 games dating back to the 2008-09 season.
On Oct. 16, 2008, the Patriots beat Morgan City 28-21 for the last win in the program’s history.
Tonight’s game at Tiger Stadium is likely seen in Houma as a streak-buster. MCHS coach Brandon Nowlin is aware of that and hopes his team doesn’t overlook its district opponent.
“Man I sure hope not,” Nowlin said. “They haven’t won in I don’t know how many games its been since they’ve won, but I know the last time they did win it was against Morgan City High School. So, if they think they’re going to get win I guar-antee they think it will be this week. Our guys aren’t overlooking anybody.”
The Tigers (4-2) took a 41-14 lead against Franklin in the third quarter of last week’s game but a combination of pulling starters earlier than necessary and an overall let down in intensity gave the Hornets an opportunity at a comeback that fell short with MCHS winning, 48-40.
Franklin’s Michael Poledore threw for 271 yards on 20-for-35 passing with three touchdowns.
The Tigers will need to do better against Ellender’s pass-oriented offense led by Dustin Crappel, one of the top passers in District 8-4A. Crappel has thrown for 887 yards on 65-for-138 passing for seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Morgan City’s Austin Stroud is the top receiver in the district with 20 catches for 383 yards and seven touchdowns, but the Ellender (0-6, 0-1) duo of Ralph Singleton and Houston Chatman are not far behind.
Singleton has caught 19 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Chatman has 16 catches for 267 yards and four touchdowns.
Last week, Franklin was expected to run the ball more than they did and the Tigers had issues stopping the passing game. That will need to be fixed if the resurgent Tigers expect to beat the Patriots.
“We’ve got to just keep getting better, minimize our mistakes we’ve created for ourselves the last couple games and just continue to progress as a football team,” Nowlin said. “They’ve got some athletic guys that can do some things. They can throw it around a bit, they run to the ball pretty well on defense and they can hurt you if you give them a chance and let them hang around.”
MCHS quarterback Hoang Ngyuen had a breakout game last week with four touchdowns and 246 yards on 9-for-13 passing. His favorite target is Stroud, but the emergence of Jalen Jones and Tyrin Watts gives the Tigers an evenly bal-anced attack that makes it risky for teams to focus on Stroud and running back Eric Walker.
“Diversity in the offense, that’s part of it,” Nowlin said. “There are a couple of teams where we know we want to set the tone physically and run the football, but obviously you want to be as balanced as you possibly can. We try to do that every week. A lot of times it’s what the defense dictates and what we think matches up best against that. Having more guys step up and become guys we can count on to throw the ball to, definitely makes our jobs as coaches easier being able to call plays on offense.”