The Vinton Lions face a tall task in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs today.
For the second consecutive year, the No. 32 Lions (4-5) will travel to No. 1 Ferriday (9-1) to open the postseason at 7 p.m.
“We are making that trip back up Northeast (again),” Vinton head coach Tarius Davis said. “They (Ferriday) are very deserving (of the No. 1 seed) from what we have seen on film.
“We are familiar with them. They didn’t have a whole bunch of seniors last year, so the nucleus of that team returned. It is going to be an uphill battle.”
Ferriday beat the Lions 54-0 last year and advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Amite 44-20. The Trojans are averaging 50.8 points a game and are on a nine-game win streak.
“Those guys are very explosive on offense, so our defense is going to have to play their best game of the season to give us an opportunity,” Davis said.
Vinton has scored at least 36 points in seven of its nine games but struggled last week against Kinder with a season-low eight points.
“I would say we struggled offensively,” Davis said. “When you look at it, we got inside the 10 twice and didn’t score early in the game in the first half.
“When you play good football teams, you can’t do that. Any time we get in the red zone, we have to score some points.”
Davis is hoping to be able to establish the run the week, but the Lions will likely be without starting running back Jordan Janice (113 car., 991 yards, 10 TDs).
“We are going to have to be able to run the football,” Davis said. “They are very athletic on both sides of the ball. We will have to be able to run the football because that will soften some things up for us in the passing game.”
Vinton senior quarterback Drew Heinen has completed 71.8 percent of his passes (103 for 196) for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Vinton junior wide receiver Jaden Carrier (50 rec., 929 yards, 11 TDs) needs 71 yards to for his first 1,000-yard season.