After being idle last week, the Vinton Lions will return to the field this week with a tall task at hand — how to contain Pickering’s high-powered offense and wide receiver Deshawn Jackson.
Pickering (2-1) is averaging 39.3 points a game and is coming off a 42-35 win over Lake Arthur.
“They have tons of speed and a lot of athletes,” Vinton head coach Lark Hebert said. “They are very explosive on offense. They have put up many points.”
Vinton (0-1) will host Pickering at 7 p.m. Friday at B.S. Walker Stadium.
Jackson has used his height (6-2) and speed to wreak havoc this season, catching nine passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns and ran back a kickoff last week 97 yards for another score.
“He doesn’t really have to be open,” Hebert said. “He is just going to go up and take it from your defensive back. He can run by people. His ability to go up and get the ball is impressive.”
Pickering also has a duel-threat quarterback in Marlon Freeney. The sophomore has 209 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and 515 yards and nine touchdowns through the air with just one interception. Running back Deon Street is averaging more than 9.5 yards a carry with 345 yards and four touchdowns.
“Their quarterback is a really good athlete,” Hebert said. “Their basketball player is out their playing wideout, and they have an explosive running back.”
Hebert is looking for better tackling this week after the Lions gave up five plays over 20 yards to Lake Arthur two weeks ago.
“I would like to see us tackle better, but that is part of the problem with lack of practice,” Hebert said. “You have seen a lot of high scoring games because of it.”
On Thursday, Westlake (0-1) will take on Class 3A No. 6 Lake Charles College Prep (2-0) at Vinton’s B.S. Walker Stadium. It will be the district opener for both teams.
The Rams are coming off a tough loss to East Feliciana after leading 21-12 heading into the fourth quarter.
Westlake featured a strong ground game 278 yards led by quarterback Jamaal Guillory, who ran for 140 yards and touchdown, and running back Jaxon Farve’s three touchdowns. But the Rams were hampered by fumbles, and a late game-winning scoring drive fell short.
LCCP has a quartet of dangerous wide receivers led by Glynn Johnson (6 catches, 203 yards, 3 TD), plus an accurate quarterback in Dillon Simon (26-36-0, 410 yards, 6 TDs) and running back Jathan Royal, who is averaging more than 10 yards a carry.
Westlake beat LCCP 55-13 last year, preventing the Trailblazers from winning the District 4-3A title outright. LCCP shared the district title with St. Louis Catholic.