It’s no secret the Carencro Bears coaching staff, players and fan base are aware what’s at stake at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to face the Lafayette High Mighty Lions in the regular season finale.
But the plan by at least the coaching staff and the players is to approach it as they’ve done every other game before it – another step towards their ultimate goal.
With a win, the Bears will guarantee themselves at least a share of the District 3-5A championship which will be the first time they’ve done so since the 2011 season when they finished as the Class 5A state runner-up.
“As a staff and as a team our sole goal is to win this football game,” Bears offensive coordinator Kevin Faulk said. “Of course we know what comes with winning this football game, but our focus is simply on winning this game against Lafayette High and letting everything else take care of itself.”
Faulk knows it would mean a lot to the school and its community to win at least a share of the district championship.
“Winning the district championship would mean a whole lot,” Faulk said. “But winning the district championship for us would only be a step towards our ultimate goal. At the begging of every year, every team has the goal of getting to the state championship. That’s where we want to be. So, if we can win a share of the district championship it would move us one step closer to our big goal.”
The Bears, who are 7-2 overall and 5-1 in district, are coming off of an emotional victory against perennial power Acadiana last week and Faulk is hoping his team has put it behind them and moved on.
“As a coach you are always worried about a previous win carrying over into the next week,” Faulk said. “But we have really emphasized the importance of letting last week go. Last week is over and that’s what we have been telling the kids and I think our kids have a good understanding of that. It is the last part of the season so you have to be up for every game. You want to go into the playoffs with as much confidence as you can have.”
But getting a win over the Mighty Lions, who are 4-5 overall and 1-5 in district, won’t be an easy task according to Faulk.
“Lafayette High still has a shot at the playoffs,” Faulk said. “If they beat us they can get in, so we know that we are going to get the best Lafayette High team they can put on the field. We know they have had some injuries, but for all we know they can be getting those guys back. We have to prepare for the Lafayette High team that began the season.”
If the Bears are going to be successful against the Mighty Lions, Faulk admits remaining focus along the offensive line against their defense and doing a better job of tackling will be vital.
“Lafayette High does a lot of things on defense to try and disrupt you,” Faulk said. “They do a lot of things to make your offensive line think. They do multiple things to try and confuse you.
“On offense, we better come ready to tackle,” Faulk continued. “Lafayette High’s running backs run really hard and if you don’t tackle they will run right through you. It is going to be important that we tackle well as a team.”
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Friday, Mighty Lions Stadium.
Records: CAR 7-2, 5-1. LHS 4-5, 1-5.
Last year: CAR won 41-21.
Players to watch: CAR – QB Tyler Gaspard (90-169-3, 1532 yards, 15 TDs passing; 59-132, 1 TD rushing); RB Tyreik Campbell (133-772, 12 TDs); WR Donald Stokes (20-567, 6 TDs); Trevor George (16-263, 3 TDs); WR Jordin Bossier (17-253, 4 TDs). LHS – QB Tre’ Celestine (42-91-5, 601 yards, 6 TDs passing; 64-280, 2 TDs rushing); RB Keshawn Young (86-492, 4 TDs); RB Dionte Duperon; WR Jaylon Price (19-326, 6 TDs).
Sept. 5 Beat WESTGATE 20-6; 12 beat NORTHSIDE 28-19; 19 lost St. Thomas More 56-21; 26 beat BARBE 35-21; Oct. 3 beat Comeaux 24-21; 10 lost SULPHUR 42-31; 17 beat Sam Houston 42-28; 23 beat New Iberia 28-24; 31 beat ACADIANA 24-17; Nov. 7 Lafayette.
Sept. 5 Beat KAPLAN 16-0; 11 beat Opelousas 40-7; 19 beat ALEXANDRIA 44-13; 26 lost Acadiana 15-12; Oct. 3 beat New Iberia 27-22; 10 lost BARBE 27-20; 16 lost Comeaux 28-6; 24 lost SULPHUR 42-35; 31 lost Sam Houston 42-21.