Sulphur will hit the road this week to try to break its five-game losing streak and get its first road win of the season.
Sulphur (1-7, 0-5) will take on New Iberia (1-7, 1-4) today.
The Tors defensive strength lately has been stopping the run and that should play to their favor this week against the Yellow Jackets, who run a version of the Wing-T offense.
“This week we are focusing on trying to stop the run,” Sulphur co-interim head coach Randy Baggett said. “With New Iberia, it is no secret.
“They want to establish the line of scrimmage because they are so run-heavy. We have to try to force them into passing situations.”
Tyce Fuselier is the Yellow Jackets’ top rusher with 736 yards and seven touchdowns. Markel Linzer and Alvin George have at least 400 yards each.
Sulphur held Barbe to 64 yards on the ground last week. The Tors have allowed more than 100 rushing yards just once in the last four games after giving up a season-high 356 yards to Acadiana in Week 4.
“I thought that our front seven played extremely well,” Baggett said. “We definitely played well enough to win the game.
“We are excited to try to build on what we did last week as a defense. We need those guys to continue to play well. Their effort as a group has been spectacular.”
Last week, Sulphur lost by three points for third consecutive games and by for points or fewer for the fifth time this season. But Baggett said the team is still fighting despite being eliminated from playoff contention.
“We are definitely playing for pride,” Baggett said. “We are just trying to finish these last couple of week and get some high notes in there.
“There is no doubt the boys are giving us good effort in practice. I don’t know if you could have written it any worse than right now. The last four games we are right there. We keep telling the kids to keep pushing hard and good things will happen. I wish I knew why it wasn’t happening.”
Sulphur junior wide receiver Gavin Elliott (31 rec., 688 yards, 9 TDs) needs one touchdown to tie the school single-season receiving touchdown record of 10 shared by Gary Blanchard (2012) and David Easterling (1986).
Sam Houston at Lafayette
The best way to move forward is to put the past behind you.
After a humbling 82-41 loss to No. 5 Acadiana last week, Sam Houston is looking to this week’s game at Lafayette to get its defense back on track.
Through the first six weeks of the season, Sam Houston (6-2, 4-1) allowed 23.7 points a game but that ballooned to 62.5 over the last two games.
“The last two weeks, we have kind of struggled on defensive,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “We have to get back in the mindset when we played Comeaux and Barbe.
“Our kids were fired up and having success. But we haven’t seen, with our group of kids, when you are not having success and how you respond. We talked about that this week. We feel like our kids will be prepared for the next task. They feel like they have something to improve. We are not going to forget how we feel, but we are going to move forward.”
The Lions (4-4, 1-4) run a spread offense led by dual-threat quarterback Xan Saunier (91-167-7, 1,274 yards, 5 TDs). Saunier ran for a season-high 165 yards and two touchdowns last week against Southside.
“They have a quarterback that has been doing it for a few years,” Paulk said. “He does a good job back there and understands what they want to do in the passing game.
“And he is not that bad on his feet. Fortunately for us, our kids see a spread happy offense every day in practice. We are prepared for it. They have a good little running back and a good receiver. We are going to get back to what we do best. We feel like our defense is designed to stop a spread team. We had to make some changes going into the Acadiana week to stop their run-heavy offense and stop the veer. It makes you second-guess your scheme and run something else to stop it and it is not always the best choice.”
Despite the loss last week, the Broncos are ranked eighth in the latest unofficial LHSAA Class 5A power rankings.
“No. 1, we have to win football games,” Paulk said. “These next two games are important for us to host a home playoff game. We feel like if we win out and some things happen at the top we can come in from anywhere from 12 to 9.”
Senior quarterback Kyle Bartley continues to lead District 3-5A with 2,599 yards (194-290-8) and 32 touchdowns while receiver Tavyen Grice is tied with Barbe’s Chandler Ware in receiving yards with 1,224.