Berwick High School's Ethan Nguyen (The Daily Review/Mico Aloisio)
Berwick to host top-10 Kaplan squad Friday
Berwick was shorthanded in last week’s surprising 36-14 District 8-3A loss to then winless Erath.
The Panthers were without one the area’s best players, running back Josh Jones. Jones tested his injured ankle before the game and couldn’t go. Jones leads the Tri-City area with 926 yards on 110 carries and 13 touchdowns. He averages 154.3 yards rushing per game.
“With him on the field, I think it’s a completely different game,” first-year Berwick Coach Mike Walker said after the game. “We have the mentality of ‘Next man up’. Unfortunately, (Erath) made plays, and we didn’t.”
Berwick (2-4) hasn’t updated Jones’ status for this week’s second district game against Kaplan.
But Berwick’s offensive line has had trouble protecting standout quarterback Mitchell Sanford all season.
The Panthers got two late scores from Sanford late in last week’s game. He raced 29 yards for the team’s first score with 4:53 remaining in the game. He added a 58-yard touchdown pass to Keyon Singleton with 1:03 left in the game.
Sanford has completed 63 of 120 passes for 868 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He is also a rushing threat, carrying 48 times for 248 yards and three scores.
Barrett Hover leads the Panther’s receivers with 27 catches for 427 yards and four touchdowns while Singleton has eight receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Hunter Landry also has grabbed 11 balls for 116 yards.
Kaplan (3-3, 1-0), ranked No. 5 in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 3A poll, defeated Abbeville 42-30 a week ago.
Drake Abshire leads the Pirates’ wing T offense this season with 75 carries for 705 yards and five touchdowns, while Braylon Romero has carried the ball 102 times for 460 yards and five scores.
Through the air, Mason Frick has completed 8 of 17 passes for 140 yards.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Geisler Stadium in Berwick.
Additional reporting by The Abbeville Meridional.