By RODRICK ANDERSON
There has been plenty of turmoil for the Tors this season with a 1-3 start plus the firing of first-year head coach Cecil Thomas earlier this week. But the Tors are staying focused on this week’s District 3-5A game at Lafayette today.
“It would have been a big week no matter what,” Sulphur co-interim head coach Jean Paul Duhon said. “It just adds a little bit more to it with the situation at hand.
“But again, you just have to move forward and take it day by day. It is going to be a good contest for our kids. Our kids haven’t quit all year. They have played hard every game.”
Sulphur has won eight consecutive games against Lafayette, including 21-14 in Lafayette last season. But Lions are a different team this year. They have already matched their win total from 2018 and are averaging 44.5 points a game. Junior quarterback Xan Saunier has completed 58 percent of his passes for 607 yards and five touchdowns while receivers Kavon Valliere and Logan Spears have combined for 357 yards and four touchdowns.
“Lafayette has a good team,” Duhon said. “They have improved a lot over the last couple of years.
“They like to throw the ball. They throw it more then they run. He (coach) has been there a few years and finally his program and plays in. It is running smoother than in the first couple of years.”
Sulphur has made a few personnel tweaks this week. Running back Dylan McFarlain has moved to linebacker, and linebacker Jace Dufresne moved back to the offensive line where he earned all-district honors last season. Wide receiver Gavin Elliott will add safety to his duties, and backup quarterback Tag Stelly will see action as a slot receiver.
“Our kids had a good practice (Tuesday),” Duhon said. “We changed some things up.
“We will give it a shot. All we can do it go out there and play each play and see what happens. We have moved some kids around on both sides of the ball and moved a couple of coaches around. Hopefully, that helps out. Maybe with everything going on, they will have a little fire and be able to get the job done.”
Duhon is hopeful that all-district linebacker Austin Tramonte will return this week.
Duhon is looking for consistency from the offense this week. The Tors scored 27 points in the first half of its Week 3 win over LaGrange but none in the second. Last week, Sulphur scored on its first possession against Acadiana but didn’t score again until the third quarter.
“It was like ‘man we are finally coming around’ and the second half (against LaGrange) goes downhill after that,” Duhon said. “Playing consistent and playing four quarters has been a big key. Offensive, we have to just move the ball. We have to get better at consistency and running the clock when we need to.”
Sam Houston (3-1, 1-0) at Comeaux (2-2, 1-0)
At least one of the four teams currently tied for the lead in District 3-5A will drop down this week when Sam Houston (3-1, 1-0) travels to Comeaux (2-2, 1-0).
“I think that we have to start fast again,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “When you are traveling you like to quiet the noise early.
“We need some consistency on offense and make some big stop on defense. A turnover or two always helps. We have a good enough football team to compete against these guys and I like our chances if we win the turnover battle.”
Sam Houston beat New Iberia 28-19 last week, while Comeaux beat previously unbeaten Lafayette (3-1, 0-1) 41-33.
Comeaux is led by dual-threat quarterback Tre Harris. He has completed 28 of 51 passes for 566 yards and four touchdowns and carried the ball 42 times for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Wideout Malik Nabers (16 rec., 383 yards, 4 TDs) is coming off his second consecutive 100-yard game, and Kelan Helaire caught four passes for 126 yards last week.
“He (Harris) is very good and a year older from last year,” Paulk said. “He was a good quarterback last year.
‘This year he is the same but just got a little bit better. He has some nice targets in Nabers and Helaire. Nabers plays both ways. He is a heck of a receiver and has done some great things for Comeaux. We know when we play a Comeaux team it is going to be an extremely physical game.”
Sam Houston senior quarterback Kyle Bartley leads Southwest Louisiana with 1,226 yards. He has completed 98 of 145 passes with 15 touchdowns and only two interceptions.