All 3 teams on the road this week: Marksville at Vidalia; Avoyelles at Jena; Bunkie at Menard

This Week's Games


     Am I the only person warped enough -- or just stuck in TV Land -- to wonder why Mingo is not on Boone’s team?
    At this point, many of you are saying, “Oh, yeah. That’s right.” You remember Ed Ames as the tomahawk chunking Cherokee sidekick “Mingo” to Fess Parker’s “Daniel Boone.”
    If you’re just a little older than me, you were probably confused as to why Davy Crockett was pretending to be Daniel Boone.
    If you’re a little older yet,  you probably remember Ed Ames as one of the popular Ames Brothers singing group from the late 1940’s and ‘50s.
    If you were born in a time when you would expect  George Orwell’s 1984 to be a history rather than a futuristic novel, then you immediately thought of Avoyelles Mustang Coach Andy Boone and Marksville Tiger Quarterback Qway Mingo. You probably then immediately answered the question with, “Because Qway plays for Marksville and Boone coaches for Avoyelles. D-u-u-u-u-h.”
    Last week was rough on both 3AAA teams and for the parish’s smallest varsity program, AA Bunkie. The parish was 0-3 in perhaps the biggest week of the district schedules.
    Marksville could still catch and pass Jena for the district title -- with a little help from its, er, friends? 
    The Tigers are probably glad that helping Marksville is not the only reason why Avoyelles and Peabody would like to whittle the Giants down to size.
     In keeping with the TV theme of today’s column, we call the next section:
My Three Sons
     Bunkie ran into the teeth of a tough District 3AA right out of the box -- Many, Pickering, Menard. It closes with hopefully less stressful contests against Oakdale and Rosepine.
     Bunkie played Many slightly closer than Menard did, mainly due to the Panther defense. The Eagles-Tigers match was 35-21 in Many’s favor, compared to the Sabine team’s 21-10 win over Bunkie.
     Qway & Co. get to tour the Mighty Mississippi with a trip to Vidalia this week. Imagine Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer floating lazily down the Father of Waters on their raft. In short, barring the appearance of a Flight of Valkyrie over Concordia this Friday night, it will be a lazy, hazy, daisy of a game for the Tigers. 
    Avoyelles is hoping to somehow get into the playoffs, but it has to slay that big, bad giant from Jena for that to be possible. Boone thinks he has Jena’s number, having beaten the Giants in the past six years he has coached the Mustangs.
    Unfortunately, all indications are that Jena’s number is “1”  -- as in, No. 1 in District 3AAA. Still, it is hard to ever count Avoyelles out of contention in any game -- even one that just about everybody lists as a mismatch.
    If it were a baseball game, the score would probably be 4-3. With Avoyelles, that could equal 24 points on three touchdowns for the Mustangs and 24 points on four touchdowns for the opponent. The game could be decided on extra points.
    Or, as we have seen twice this year, the opponent hits a few big plays and a close game becomes a runaway train.
    If the Mustangs can keep the game close, it can pull out a surprise. Avoyelles is good at playing keep-away; not so good at catch-up.
    As we noted before, Jena was believed to be a paper champion because of a relatively weak non-district schedule. Knocking off a very good, well-balanced Marksville team should’ve put the doubters to bed by now.
    You can be sure that Andy Boone is staying up past his bedtime.
    MaxPreps’ strength ratings indicate two blowouts and one nailbiter.
    Jena comes in at No. 86 in the state with Avoyelles rated No. 223 by the online site -- a 137-place difference.
    Marksville is sitting at 129th place in the state. Vidalia is 146 spots lower at 275th.
    MaxPreps’ ratings once again give Bunkie a slight edge over its opponent, ranking the Panthers at No. 144 and the Menard Eagles at  No. 152. Not that I believe in jinxes or anything, but Bunkie also held an 8-place advantage over Pickering prior to this past Friday’s close loss to the Red Devils.