A year ago, the Lafayette High Mighty Lions and the New Iberia Yellow Jackets entered week four of the season with hopes of generating new momentum with District 3-5A play kicking off.
The Lions were 3-0 and had eventual state champion Acadiana on the ropes until a trick play late resulted in a heartbreaking 15-12 loss.
The Jackets, meanwhile, were 1-2, but seemingly on the verge of a big road win with a 28-13 fourth-quarter lead over Sulphur, only to fall 34-28.
Both losses began a season-long trend of tight setbacks that resulted in 4-6 and 2-8 records, respectively.
Fast-forward to this season, Lafayette High visits New Iberia at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lloyd G. Porter Stadium in a matchup of two teams hoping for better 3-5A starts in 2015.
“This game is very important,” LHS coach Jay Domengeaux said. “Both teams are looking to improve upon what they did last year. We always say it’s an important game because it’s the next game, but when you’re trying to reverse your fortunes from the season before, I think that adds even more importance to that old saying.”
Getting to 1-0 in league play for the Lions will require doing a better job against New Iberia’s spread, one week after struggling against Woodlawn’s version.
“We had some opportunities (in one-on-one situations) last week and just didn’t make the plays,” Domengeaux said. “We’ve got to limit the big plays.”
Meanwhile, the Jackets haven’t faced the veer yet this season.
“I like what we’ve done (upfront defensively) through the first three games, but this is going to be different than what we’ve faced,” NISH coach Rick Hutson said. “Their backs run hard and their quarterback has done a good job. He throws a nice ball. He throws a nice deep ball for sure.”
Offensively, the Jackets improved dramatically last week, especially wide receiver Lebronze Allen.
“I think he had a ‘ah-ah’ moment last week,” Hutson said. “We also did a better job in pass protection last week.”
LHS got Keshawn Young back full-time last Friday and he responded with 165 yards.
“It’s not all on the defense,” Domengeaux said. “We’ve got to do a good job (offensively) of protecting the ball and sustaining drives to help our defense. It all works together.”
Lafayette High at New Iberia
Game: 7 p.m., Thursday, Lloyd G. Porter Stadium.
Records: LAF 2-1; NISH 1-2.
Last year: LAF won 27-22.
Players to Watch: LAF – QB Dwight Youngblood (15-25-2, 193 yds, 3 TDs); RB Trey Davis (36-322, 2 TDs); RB Trevin Kelly (28-219, 4 TDs); RB Keshawn Young (20-173, 1 TD); WR Archie Ducote (4-97, 2 TDs); NISH – QB Timothy Declouet (31-75-6, 464 yds, 5 TDs); RB Aaron Bean (46-222, 2 TD); WR Tyler Khammany (11-217, 2 TDs); WR Lebronze Allen (10-147, 3 TDs).
Sept. 4 Beat Peabody 39-21, 11 beat OPELOUSAS 48-12, 18 lost WOODLAWN 47-34, 24 New Iberia, Oct. 2 CECILIA, 9 BARBE, 16 ACADIANA, 23 Sulphur, 30 Sam Houston, Nov. 6 COMEAUX.
Sept. 4 Lost Breaux Bridge 7-6, 11 lost CARENCRO 19-7, 18 beat Westgate 44-7, 24 LAFAYETTE HIGH, Oct. 2 Barbe, 9 SAM HOUSTON, 16 Sulphur, 23 CECILIA, 30 Comeaux, Nov. 5 ACADIANA.