VINTON — For the Vinton Lions this week, there is only one way to guarantee themselves a playoff spot, a win.
Earlier this week, the LHSAA released the latest unofficial Class 2A power rankings with Vinton precariously close to the cutoff at No. 31.
Vinton has a .19 point lead on No. 32 Delcambre and .28 on No. 33 Jonesboro-Hodge.
“We control what happens to us,” Vinton head coach Tarius Davis said. “The last couple of weeks we have been in control of our fate.
“That is the way you want it. If you go out and do what you are supposed to do, then you should get another game. If you don’t, then probably not.”
There is a chance the Lions get in with a loss, but it is slim.
The win will have to come against a team the Lions have not beaten since 2008 in Kinder at home today.
The Yellow Jackets have won four in a row and are ranked 11th. Kinder (5-4, 4-0) can win the District 5-2A championship outright with a win.
Kinder’s has averaged more than 300 rushing yards a game since the district season started and spreads it around to a half-dozen backs. Four of them have over 400 yards in Ty Fuselier (453 yards, 8 TDs), Skyler Leckelt (518 yards, 11 TDs), Kevon Freeman (444 yards, 3 TDs) and quarterback Hayes Fawcett (529 yards, 9 TDs).
“Defensively, we are going to have to play the running backs,” Davis said. “They (Kinder) are going to attack you multiple ways with the running game with multiple people.
“We have to know our assignments and we have to lineup correctly. We have to play physical. They have several that can stand out. They have Fuselier back, who is good on both sides of the ball. They have Hayes Fawcett at quarterback and they do a good job offensively.”
Vinton has a balanced offense led by running back Jordan Janice (955 yards, 10 TDs) and quarterback Drew Heine (95-178-6, 1,502 yards, 19 TDs) and is averaging 38.5 points a game but will need to take advantage of every red zone opportunity.
“We have been playing well offensively and with confidence,” Davis said. “We had a couple of drives the other night where we got in the red zone, and we didn’t get any points.
“Friday night, any time we have an opportunity to put points on the board we are going to have to score.”
DeQuincy at Rosepine
DeQuincy will hit the road this week with a first-round home playoff game on the line.
The Tigers last hosted in the first round in 2016. DeQuincy is ranked 12th in the latest unofficial LHSAA Class 2A power rankings.
DeQuincy (5-4, 3-1) will travel to Rosepine (4-5, 2-2).
The last time the Tiger played the Eagles, they upset the then No. 4 Rosepine 2012 in the regional round of the playoffs.
DeQuincy is coming off 41-38 win over rival Vinton.
DeQuincy quarterback Gunner Gearen broke 2,000-yard mark last week and has completed 139 of 226 passes for 2,170 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Rosepine was shutout by Oakdale last week 13-0.
Rosepine freshman Grant Ducote has run for 1,079 yards and nine touchdowns on 174 carries and has been held under 100 yards only twice this season.