'Canes vs. Northwest-Daily World Paper-Friday, Sept. 24, 2004

North Central challenges improved Northwest
Tom Dodge / Sports Editor
Posted on September 24, 2004

LEBEAU — Tonight´s game between North Central and Northwest is a cross- parish rivalry.

"It is good for both communities," Hurricane head coach Herb Lamb said. "Our kids look at it as one of our biggest games. It is good for both of us to play each other every year."

"When we meet, you can throw the records out," Northwest head coach Rodney Lloyd said of the game with North Central. "They are going to play their hardest.

"It is fun," Lloyd added, "the kids get up for it and they know each other and both communities are excited for their teams."

North Central (1-2) was shut out 35-0 last week at Ville Platte as Bulldog running back Jerry Joseph scored three touchdowns and rushed for 205 yards. The Bulldogs had 280 yards rushing while the Hurricanes were limited to four first downs and 91 offensive yards.

"The game turned when they blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown," Lamb explained. "The momentum shifted and that broke our backs. The score may indicate a blowout, but it was much closer in the first half."

North Central opened the season with a 60-0 loss to Rayne, but rebounded for a 8-7 win over Avoyelles.

"We have kids that don´t have the knowledge of football because they don´t have the experience," Lamb said. "I want them to be the best they can be."

Lamb said to win the game, his Hurricane team had to not make mistakes and make plays off the Raiders´ miscues.

"They have plenty of weapons and they can score from any where on the field," Lamb said of Northwest. "They can score on special teams with Jasper Edwards. He is one of the best returners in St. Landry Parish. He has good hands and good speed.

"This is the best team they have had in a while," Lamb continued about the Raiders (2-1). "They have the total package with a good quarterback, good running backs and good receivers."

The Raiders lost to Opelousas Catholic (29-22) to open the season, but regrouped to storm past White Castle (53-6).

Last week, Mamou rallied with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to grab a 20-18 victory over Northwest.

James Jack had a 22-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, and quarterback Kendrick Celestine scored on a one-yard with 6:30 left to give the Green Demons (3-0) the lead for good.

Jack finished the evening with 241 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns, his other tally coming on a 68-yard run in the first period.

Northwest had taken an early 12-0 lead before Jack´s first tally, that coming on Shane Chevis´ 67-yard bomb to Jasper Edwards and Damorous Offord´s one-yard run.

The Raiders led 18-6 at halftime after Chevis hit Kermit Thomas with a 33-yard score before Mamou´s fourth-quarter rally.

"We started off real well and was real explosive until Damorous Offord got hurt," Lloyd said of the Mamou game. "The first three times we touched the ball we scored, but on the fourth drive he got hurt (ankle).

"This week, we will try and rest him and let some of the younger guys gain some experience."

The Raider coach said the offensive game plan will remain the same as Jeremiah Jenkins replaces Offord as running back this week.

"We will stick to the running game," he said. "We have Jeremiah and Michael Sam, both small scatbacks. We can bring Derrick Fontenot as it will take three guys to come in carry the load."

Lloyd said the loss to Mamou could be blamed on turnovers, a blocked punt and making mistakes.

"We are getting better," he said, "but lost to two quality teams in No. 7 Opelousas Catholic and No. 3 Mamou. We are nine or 10 points from being 3-0 and we might have been on of those teams ranked in the state."