J.J. Ross (Westlake HS)

Westlake's J.J. Ross (21) tries to break loose from Tioga's Caelib Sillavan (16) during a nondistrict game on Friday at Max Caldarera Memorial Stadium.

WESTLAKE — The Westlake Rams got all dressed up and ready to go last week only to see its Week 5 home game against Oakdale canceled by severe weather.

The Rams (0-4) will try again this week when they host Class 3A No. 7 Lake Charles College Prep (3-2) to open district play.

Last week’s game was finally called around 9 p.m. and there is a possibility of rain again this week.

“I would have much rather played,” Westlake head coach John Richardson said. “We practiced the whole week, we just didn’t play the game.

“We did the coin toss, the stretching and all that stuff. Then they called a 30-minute lightning delay and the next thing you know there is another one. We met with the officials, and their coach and principal around 9 p.m. We needed to play that one. I felt really good about our chances.”

LCCP’s explosive offense is averaging 31.8 points a game led by quarterback Dillon Simon, who has eight rushing touchdowns and thrown 1,075 yards and 10 touchdowns. Simon’s favorite targets are Glynn Johnson (34 rec., 451 yards, 4 TDs) and Jaylen Joseph (17 rec., 272 yards, 4 TDs). Also, the pair averages more than 31 yards per kickoff return.

“They have a lot of speed in a lot of positions,” Richardson said. “We have to do a good job of tackling and keep the ball in front of us. 

“They have a lot of guys that can make plays. Those two (Simon, Johnson) stand out right now. Their running back has been injured for a while but I have seen him last year. He was impressive, but I haven’t seen him on film the last couple of games. Defensively, we are going to have to make them earn it and not give up the big play and special teams as well. They are real good in their kick return game. They have a lot of speed back there and have made a lot of big plays.”

Two weeks ago at East Feliciana, the Rams had one of their best offensive performances. Running backs J.J. Ross and Jasia Simien led the Rams to a 412-yard night on the ground. But the Rams will need to eliminate penalties and turnovers against an LCCP defense led by defensive lineman Tre Henry (49 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks) and linebacker Tyler Carter (34 tackles, 3 TFL, 4 QB hurries).

“We moved the ball real well,” Richardson said. “The thing is that we turned the football over and put ourselves in a hole with penalties at terrible times. 

“Offensively, we are going to have to control the football and make sure we finish our drives with points. Turnovers and penalties have been killing us throughout the season.”

In four games, Ross has run for 605 yards and eight touchdowns on 105 carries while Simien has 84 carries for 400 yards and three touchdowns.