District 3AAA title could be decided Thursday; Bunkie again favored; Avoyelles hosts Vidalia

This Week's Games

By Raymond L. Daye

   The District 3AAA schedule is just in its second week, but there is already a school-of-thought out there that the title chase may be over this Thursday.
   The match between the Marksville Tigers and the Peabody Warhorses is considered by many to be the 3AAA championship game.
   Now, Avoyelles, Jena and Winnfield don’t attend that school-of-thought.  To most observers, Bolton and Vidalia are drop-outs and Buckeye will be marked tardy in the hunt for the district title.
    Still, there are six games to play in the season and one can never count any game a sure win or a sure loss. A game’s outcome can turn on the twist of an ankle or an inopportune fumble.
    Here’s what MaxPreps’ strength ratings would have us believe will be the outcomes of the parish’s three varsity football contests this week.
    Avoyelles High lost its major offensive threat halfway through the season opening loss to Welsh. It then had to settle for a forfeit from Sicily Island, a Class A team that it probably would have steamrolled even without Phillip Augustine. Then it fell to Menard and, last week, to 3AAA rival Marksville.
    In addition to enduring four weeks of frustration, Friday is Homecoming in Moreauville.
    In short, it looks like “V” is for “victim” this Friday -- not victory, not Vidalia, not Vikings. Sage advice is "Stay on the boat; don't come ashore."
   On the other side of the argument, however,  it must be said that Vidalia is 1-0 in District 3AAA and 2-2 overall. It beat 3AAA’s Bolton last week, 41-7,  -- in what many deem the “battle for the cellar” -- and defeated Sicily Island by a single point in its season opener.
   Avoyelles is 1-3 overall and 0-1 in district.
   MaxPreps has Vidalia as the state’s 255th strongest team and Avoyelles at 229.
   It appears MaxPreps sees the game just as almost everybody else does -- game to Avoyelles in a stampede.
   At the risk of being way premature, the Marksville-Peabody game may be the best game of the year. 
   MaxPreps has Peabody at No. 139 in the state and Marksville at No. 142. Both teams defeated district rivals last week to be undefeated in district. 
   Marksville corralled one herd of horses in their game with the Mustangs, and are looking to add to their livestock with the Warhorses this Friday.
   Both teams are blessed with speed at key positions. Both offenses revolve around a quarterback that is equally dangerous on foot or through the air.
   The teams are so well matched, we could be looking at a tie after the dust clears in Marksville Thursday night.
   Bunkie is still the highest-rated team in the parish, according to the MaxPreps figures.
   The undefeated Panthers travel to Montgomery in Bunkie’s last non-district game. It faces powerhouse Many in the District 3AA opener next week. Bunkie is the 137th strongest team in the state, per MaxPreps. Montgomery is No. 252.
   Bunkie bashers say the Panthers have not really played any team that had a chance of beating them. Bunkie can just point at the "W" column.
    Do you know what they call the med student who graduates at the bottom of his class? Doctor.
    Do you know what they call a game when you have more points than the other team? A win.
    The real question in Week 5 of this football season is this: Is Bunkie really better than Marksville?
    MaxPreps says so, by 5 positions in its strength rating.
    If only there were a way to know for sure, but how?  Hmmmmm.