Jackets battle rival

Jackets battle rival

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Jackets battle rival

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NEW IBERIA — The Westgate Tigers are off to one of the worst starts in school history as they’ve lost each of their first four games this season.

Not only are the Tigers 0-4 on the year, but they’ve been outscored 143-38 by their opponents, are being defeated by an average of more than 26 points per game, have been held under 10 points three times and have allowed at least 30 points in three of the four games.

But despite the Tigers’ struggles, New Iberia head coach Rick Hutson has adamantly warned his team not to overlook or underestimate Westgate when the two teams face-off against each other tonight at 7 p.m. at Lloyd G. Porter Stadium.

“You absolutely must throw the records out the window when we face each other,” Hutson said. “I was telling our players that in 2008 we were 7-2 and Westgate was 2-7 and the game came down to the wire. We were headed in different directions, but we needed to throw a reverse pass in order to win the game 14-7. Every time we play each other it is a very competitive game and I don’t expect it to be any different this time.”

Hutson stated the Tigers are better than a 0-4 team and attributed their slow start to a rugged slate to begin the season.

“What people don’t realize is that Westgate has played a very tough schedule to start this season,” Hutson said. “Three of their first four games were against Breaux Bridge, Acadiana and St. Thomas More. Then last week they got a little beat up, so they are kind of in the same situation a lot of us are in terms of injuries. Injuries change who you are.”

If the Tigers are going to begin to turn things around and end their skid against the Yellow Jackets it’s going to be quite the task as New Iberia appears to be firing on all cylinders on both sides of the football.

Offensively, the Yellow Jackets are led by quarterback Jason Jones (62-90-3, 975 yards, 6 TDs), running back Tyler Archon (33-163, 2 TDs), receivers Andrew Ricks (24-417, 1 TD), Nick Edwards (8-141, 1 TD) and Scotty Nichols (5-120, 1 TD).

“We’ve had a really good week of practice and we look a lot sharper running the football,” Hutson said. “We also appear to be hitting our stride defensively. There’s no real concern for us and I’m looking forward to the game.”

Follow assistant sports editor Eric Narcisse on Twitter @tdanarcisse.

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