The annual rivalry game between DeQuincy and Vinton isn’t just for bragging rights this year. The game could have a big impact on each team’s power ranking and playoff position when the postseason starts in two weeks.
Vinton (4-3, 2-1) has won three of its last four games but still sits precariously close to the cutoff at No. 28 in the recently released Class 2A power rankings.
“It is always a big game when Vinton and DeQuincy play,” Vinton head coach Tarius Davis said. “It is a big rivalry game.
“We need to be 1-0 this week. That has been our focus for the last couple of weeks. We feel fortunate to be in a position where we control what happens to us. Two weeks from now, we can’t look out that far.”
DeQuincy (4-4, 2-1) is looking at a home game in the first round of the playoffs if it can win out.
Dating back to 1924, the DeQuincy-Vinton rivalry is one of the oldest in Southwest Louisiana. While records are spotty from the early years, it will be at least the 80th meeting between the two teams.
Vinton’s defensive secondary led by quarterback/safety Drew Heinen will face its biggest test this season. Junior Gunnar Gearen leads the Tigers’ offense under center and has thrown for 1,990 yards and 18 touchdowns. DeQuincy has four receivers with over 200 yards led by Cooper Hext (58 rec., 867 yards, 9 TDs) and Braylon Snell (25 car., 597 yards, 6 TDs).
“I think they are going to be the best we have played this year when it comes down to throwing the football and the skill guys they have to throw it to,” David said. “We have played teams with solid running games and solid running backs.
“Rosepine was effective in throwing the ball and we did have some lapses in coverage. We are focused on getting our kids prepared where we understand the game plan. Their quarterback is having a heck of a season. When you have three or four guys to spread the ball around to, it makes it tough on your defense.”
Vinton has some big-play receivers of its own in Jaden Carrier (39 rec., 725 yards, 9 TDs), Keishawn Budwine (12 rec., 278 yards, 3 TDs) and Logan Beard (15 rec., 193 yards, 4 TDs).
Heinen had a game-saving interception last week in the closing minutes of the game and has been on fire lately on offense with 10 passing and four rushing touchdowns in the last four games. He has completed 71.8 percent of his passes for 1,336 yards and 16 touchdowns.