Dogs set sights on Westlake
by TOM PRECHT
Daily News Sports Writer
The 11th week of the season, the third and best part of the year, is the playoffs. It’s sudden death, as the loser goes home and the winner lives to play another week. The Jennings Bulldogs preferred the second option last Friday night as they defeated the Jena Giants in Jerry Simmons Stadium in the opening round of the playoffs, 37-14, to advance to the regional round.
The Bulldogs gave up the first touchdown of the night for the fourth week in a row, but the six points did not seem to bother the home team, as they had an answer for the Giants. The Dogs marched to the promise land to grab a 7-6 lead and never trailed after that point.
However, the Giants kept the contest close for a while. Jennings turned the ball over inside the Giants’ 30 yard line as time was winding down in the first half. It looked like momentum was riding with the Giants before Malik Williams intercepted a Jena pass with 42 seconds showing on the clock. Two plays later, Curtis Bell caught a Kaleb Chaisson pass and covered 62 yards for a touchdown and “Big Mo” was wearing maroon and white.
The Dogs dominated the second half, putting 17 points on the scoreboard while holding the Giants at bay. The Maroon Wall flexed their muscles early in the final period, recovering three fumbles in the first five minutes of the quarter. Bryan Wilridge and David Reed recovered fumbles while De’andrius Edwards jumped on the loose pigskin after Joey Scogin stripped the football from quarterback Jaylon Brown.
Once again, the Pups got valuable playing time in the fourth quarter.
The Dogs will need to keep up the good effort and execution Friday night as they stay in the Dog Pound to host a very familiar foe, the Westlake Rams. The two teams have met 48 times since 1964, and met up two weeks ago in Jerry Simmons Stadium with the district championship on the line. That was a big game, but it is Westlake and every game with them is big, no matter what may be on the line.
The Dogs defeated the Rams when they met in week 10. Of course, that game means nothing at this point. The Dogs have only played three other opponents twice in a season in their storied history. They played St. Louis in 2007 in the second round and lost that game after winning in the regular season. In 2011, during their run to the quarterfinals, the Dogs beat Crowley in the regular season and the first round of postseason. The next week, they defeated Eunice after having lost to them in the regular season. Most teams don’t like to play a team twice in a season because in football, it’s hard to beat someone twice.
This game may be the biggest game the two have ever played against one another. The two foes have stood toe-to-toe in many battles and there is no reason this won’t be a heavyweight fight. Some folks in the other color jerseys remarked after the first game that it was an aberration, that the Dogs were lucky and the Bulldogs caught the Rams on a bad night. They said if we could only play them again, it would be a different outcome. Well, they’ll get their chance Friday. There’s a lot more than bragging rights riding on this game. The winner gets to play in week 13 and gets another step closer to the Superdome. The loser goes home. The Dogs are trying to make it to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.
All the little side notes of pupil-versus-teacher just adds a little flavor to the game. JHS alumnus Coach Shawn Demeritt usually pulls for the Bulldogs, but not this Friday night.
The crowds have been great and we need your support. Wear maroon, come out and make noise for the boys. We need the 12th man.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KJEF 1290 AM and on the streaming web at www.cajunradio.com. Follow the action in Sunday’s edition of the Jennings Daily News.For the complete story and more local news, please subscribe to Jennings Daily News by clicking subscribe or by calling 337-824-3011.
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