Loyola Looms as Large Challenge for Tigers

It was going to be a hard enough game as it was. After all the Tigers were facing the team that beat them 41-0 last year at home and then Loyola College Prep was considered a young team. Now the Flyers boast 20 seniors and are coming off a 45-0 shellacking of Magnolia School of Excellence. To make matters worse the Tigers will be once again playing without their normal starting offense/defensive line.

“Without a doubt we have our work cut out for us,” said JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship. “We are going in less than full strength to the home of the team that won district 1-3A last year and have over 30 lettermen returning.”

Despite what looks like incredibly long odds against coming home with a victory Blankenship remained optimistic about the contest that pits the two teams that both won their season opener.

“Our guys have one thing going for them and that is they remember what happened last year” said Blankenship. “Also we may be down in numbers up front for the game but we still have all our playmakers. We aren’t going to just show up. We are going to win the game.”

The Flyers are led by versatile junior Jacob Lafitte who returns for a second campaign since taking over quarterbacking duties last year.  Rugged running back Wes Barlow, who also doubles as middle linebacker returns as well.

The Tigers will counter with returning quarterback Tydre Malone, fresh off a 2 touchdown performance and several gamebreakers in Jammariyea Lewis and Justin Calahan out wide and running backs LaJavion Nichols and Brantrel Thompson.

Keys to victory:
1.  Be strong upfront! It is asking a tall task but the youthful line is going to have to at least play to a standstill up front. If they get gashed like they did early in the Delta Charter contest the game will be over before it even gets started.

  1. Get off to a good start! It is imperative that the Tigers start the game well. A few miscues early and it will be a long night.
  2. Quick strike capability! Chances are JHHS isn’t going to be able to grind out a long drive. As result the Tigers must be able to demonstrate quick strike ability.
  3. Stay away from injury! The Tigers are already thin going in. If certain playmakers get hurt it will be hard to overcome.
  4. Don’t quit! Chances are the Tigers are going to get behind at some point. It is imperative they don’t give up and keep fighting.

Prediction:

Last week I predicted the Tigers to get off to a quick start and win 48-16. The Tigers did win by a 37-9 score but it wasn’t from a quick start but by finishing strong.

This week I would love to be able to pick JHHS to win but with them being so shorthanded it would be only a choice from the heart. I hope the Tigers pull off a shocker but the good money says……

Loyola 35     JHHS 16 


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