Bunkie vs. Buckeye in battle of Panthers; Tigers, Mustangs close non-district play

This Week's Games


   What a difference a year makes.
   The Bunkie Panthers are undefeated. The Marksville Tigers have won big and lost by 10. The Avoyelles Mustangs lost by 12 and then had to settle for a win-by-forfeit in a lightning-cancelled game that couldn’t be rescheduled.
    If the MaxPreps strength rating is accurate in predicting this Friday’s outcomes -- and that is a big IF -- Bunkie will continue its winning ways and its two big sisters will end their non-district schedules 1-2 before facing each other in the district opener on Sept. 25.
    In its second Panther-Panther contest, Bunkie travels to Buckeye. Bunkie destroyed its last Panther rival, Pine Prairie, in the season opener. Bunkie currently sports a rating of 159th, according to MaxPreps’ figuring. Buckeye, winless in two outings, is 210th. Buckeye is in District 3AAA with Marksville and Avoyelles.
    Marksville is playing “David” to Pineville High’s “Goliath.” Conventional wisdom says it will take more than the home field advantage for the Tigers to overcome the 2AAAAA Rebels from the north. However, conventional wisdom is over-rated. Marksville is rated as the 132nd strongest team in the state by MaxPreps while Pineville is 83rd.
    The Mustangs got to play for only six minutes this past Friday against the Class A Sicily Island Tigers. Avoyelles scored on their only possession of the night and recovered a botched punt on the Tigers’ first possession. A lightning strike in the area forced the game to be delayed with SI in Mustang territory, following a TD that was erased by a penalty. Sometime after 10 p.m., the game was cancelled. School administrators could not agree on a make-up date to reschedule the non-district game.
     While Avoyelles got the “W,” it certainly did not help to improve its strength rating. It hosts the undefeated Menard Eagles -- who are in 3AA with Bunkie.
     Avoyelles is 219 and Menard is 146, per MaxPreps. Menard has defeated Bolton and Buckeye -- both in District 3AAA with Avoyelles and Marksville -- in its first two games. The Eagles skinned the Bears 53-0 and tamed the Panthers 34-19.
    Avoyelles is hoping the  disclaimer for investment advisers holds true in this case -- “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”