SCOTT – For the sixth time in a decade, the Acadiana High Wreckin’ Rams are going to be playing for the Class 5A state championship.
With a win, the Rams would secure back-to-back state championships for the first time in school history and the program’s fourth state title since 2005.
“It doesn’t ever get old going to the Dome,” Rams head coach Ted Davidson said. “No, no, no. Not at all. It’s exciting every time you can make it because you are taking a different team each year. I actually really enjoy seeing the kids reaction to being there, so that’s what is really special to me.”
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the dome this year,” Rams offensive lineman D.J. Boudreaux said. “It feels great to be back. Last year, in the regular season I was rotating in along the offensive line but I wasn’t a starter. But I got hurt in the Carencro game, so I didn’t get to play in any of the postseason games including the state finals. So, to be back in the dome this year is really special to me.”
The Rams, who are 10-4 on the year, have made what many consider to be an improbable run to the state finals considering their struggles early on with turnovers and injuries.
While Davidson agrees, he admits that he isn’t the least bit surprised by the amount of fight displayed by his team as well as his coaching staff to turn things around before it was too late.
“We struggled early on,” Davidson said. “We struggled so badly that I guess you can say us making it to the finals was improbable. But what I love the most is that our kids never gave up and our coaches never gave up. Sure, people were questioning each other, but we got together as a team and fixed it.”
Fixed it in enough time Davidson hopes to keep the state title where they and their fan base believes it belongs – in Scott.
But accomplishing that feat won’t be an easy task for the Rams, who will face a talented Destrehan team at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
“Destrehan is a very good team,” Davidson said. “They have two tremendous athletes. Well, actually they have a lot more than two tremendous athletes, but they have two athletes who are their main guys. They are super athletic, defensively they are huge upfront so they are definitely going to be a challenge.”
Destrehan, which prevented the Rams from winning the state championship in 2007, are led by quarterback Marquise Darensbourg, running back Will Matthews and receivers Alfred Smith, John Williams and Kirk Merritt.
“For us, every week it comes down to not turning the ball over and playing defense,” Davidson said. “I always feel like we have a good chance to be successful when we do what we do and do it well. If we protect the football, take advantage of scoring opportunities and play defense we have a really good chance to win.”
Offensively, the Rams are led by quarterback Kevin Moore, running backs Malik Eugene, Eric Duhon, Donovan Soloman and tight end Keithan Mouton, while defensively they are headlined by defensive end Javonis Isaac, linebackers Moore, Da’Marius Williams and defensive backs Ronald Broussard and Jayrin Wilson.
“We’re not as polished of a team offensively as we were last year,” Davidson said. “We’re more of a blue-collar team that has to take what the defense gives us. I can tell you what we did offensively last year in the finals isn’t going to happen again this year.”
Boudreaux believes the key for the Rams on both sides of the ball is to remain even keel throughout the game.
“It always feels good when you do your job,” Boudreaux said. “But there will be enough time to be happy after the game. It is really important that we don’t get too high when we do something good and that we don’t get too low when we don’t do something well. We have to remain level-headed and calm until the game is over.”
Acadiana vs. Destrehan
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Saturday, Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Records: ACAD 12-4; DEST 14-0.
Seed: ACAD No. 15; DEST No. 4.
Radio: KPEL 1420 AM.
Last year: ACAD won 35-7 in 5A semifinals.
Players to watch: ACAD – QB/LB Kevin Moore (15-19-1, 281 yds, 3 TDs; 45-225, 5 TDs); RB Malik Eugene (139-997, 11 TDs); RB Donovan Soloman (86-749, 7 TDs); TE Keithan Mouton (12-297, 4 TDs); LB Da’Marius Williams; DB Ronald Broussard; DB Jayrin Wilson; DEST – QB Marquise Darensbourg (92-148-4, 1284 yards, 14 TDs); RB Will Matthews (215-1814, 24 TDs); WR Alfred Smith (42-563, 6 TDs); WR John Williams (30-495, 7 TDs); WR Kirk Merritt (26-440, 4 TDs).
Sept. 5 Beat Northside 55-6; 13 lost Shades Valley, Ala. 39-21; 20 lost Rummel 34-9; 26 beat LAFAYETTE HIGH 15-12; Oct. 3 lost Barbe 17-14; 10 beat Comeaux 28-0; 17 beat Sulphur 35-20; 24 beat SAM HOUSTON 28-21; 31 lost Carencro 24-17; Nov. 6 beat NEW IBERIA 42-13. Playoffs – 14 beat ST. AMANT 37-0; 21 beat Ponchatoula 38-28; 28 beat Mandeville 28-14; Dec. 5 beat ZACHARY 9-3.
Sept. 5 Beat WEST JEFFERSON 47-7; 12 beat HELEN COX 48-7; 19 beat DUTCHTOWN 20-10; 26 TERREBONNE 42-17; Oct. 3 beat HAHNVILLE 24-6; 10 beat Thibodaux 21-14; 17 beat Central Lafourche 42-7; 24 beat SOUTH LAFOURCHE 55-0; 31 beat H.L. Bourgeois 44-20; Nov. 7 beat EAST ST. JOHN 28-14. Playoffs – 14 beat PINEVILLE 54-0; 21 beat East St. John 68-14; 28 beat HAHNVILLE 24-12; Dec. 5 beat WEST MONROE 27-22.