Tigers take on one of the state’s elite teams in finale
By: SCOTT JOINER
Tonight’s trip to Assumption was always going to be tough for Morgan City’s football team.
The Mustangs have been ranked throughout the season and were picked by most as the best team in District 8-4A during the preseason.
Assumption’s season worked out the way it was expected to, but last week they lost to Lutcher in a late non-district meeting.
That’s bad news for Morgan City (5-4) in its last shot at a win and a chance at the playoffs as the Mustangs will be eager to get back on track before the playoffs begin.
“They’re a very experienced football team,” MCHS coach Brandon Nowlin said. “They’ve got some very, very good skill people and a lot of great role players. In high school football, you’ve got to have a good team from top to bottom, especially in 4A football. They’re very well coached and have a lot of good players out there. … At the end of the day, though, this is what you want — an opportunity to play with the best if you get to the playoffs. If you’re in the playoffs you have to beat a team like that, so that’s part of it.”
Morgan City stumbled out of the gate last week with three first-half fumbles in the loss against Vandebilt Catholic. The Tigers played well enough after that to challenge the Terriers and will need to avoid turnovers tonight to have a chance at an upset of Assumption.
“I think we’ve got a good chance if we take care of the ball,” Nowlin said. “We’ve got to value the football a lot more than we have the past couple weeks and play as mistake-free as we can. We have to try to make some big plays of our own on offense, defense and special teams. A couple quick scores on offense to get momentum going in our favor would help.”
Quarterback Hoang Nguyen will miss his second straight game after picking up an injury against South Terrebonne. Brodie Anslum will get the start after a solid performance last week.
“He’s still out for us,” Nowlin said. “I was very impressed with what Brodie did for us last week evaluating film. I was impressed with what he was able to do this week in practice. He’s getting better and getting back in the groove. Hopefully, we won’t have the growing pains early in the ball game like we had last week in his first start. I think he’s got that out of his system. I thought he played a hell of a second half of football and hopefully he can continue that.”
The majority of the Tigers’ roster is young, but there is a good group of seniors that are not quite ready to hang up their cleats yet.
“We have some guys who are seniors that are pretty good leaders for us that don’t want this to be their last game,” Nowlin said. “I think we have maybe 10 seniors on this football team and the rest is underclassmen that don’t want to see their seasons end.”
It’s a tough task, but a win gives the Tigers a chance at making the 32-team playoff bracket. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Assumption.