‘Second season’ starts for high school varsity football

Marksville and Bunkie at home; Avoyelles faces No. 1 Lutcher

  By Raymond L. Daye

    When you can’t win,  you’ve got nothing to lose.

    That is this week’s suggested motto for the Avoyelles Mustangs. Some may say the Moreauville team “got lucky” by squeezing into the Triple-A playoffs as the last team in the 32-team post-season event. The question is, was it good luck or bad?
    The Mustangs hoof it to Lutcher this Friday to face the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. 
    Marksville, also in Trip-A, plays host to another band of purple & gold Tigers, this one from Independence. Bunkie rolls out the red (and white) carpet for the North Caddo Rebels to kickoff the Double-A playoffs.
    Both of those home parish teams are expected to win and advance to the second round. However, both of those contests are more evenly matched than the ‘Stangs-Bulldogs event.
    That being said, we must point out once again that Avoyelles’ brand of football -- onside kick, no punt, no field goal, dominate the clock with plays that stay on the ground and take 2 to 3 yards at a time -- can keep mismatches close. Okay, it can also backfire and result in should-be wins being blow-out losses.
    The seeding plan is designed to ensure the best teams play each other later in the playoffs by quickly eliminating the weaker teams.
    I seem to recall in the past that a district champ automatically went to the playoffs and there were a few wildcard spots for teams that would have dominated any other district but were stuck behind a powerhouse in their district.
   The “power points” system was developed some years ago in an attempt to reward teams that took chances, played teams in higher classifications, etc.
    If Avoyelles beats Lutcher, sportswriters will have to create a new word to describe it. “Major upset” just won’t cut it.
   The LHSAA might even call for rule changes to outlaw “Stangball” and require teams to play by the gentleman’s rules of surrendering the ball by punt if you can’t make 10 yards in three tries and require that the kicking team give the other team the ball on the kickoff and stop trying to keep it with that tricky onside kick thing.
    Of course, they can’t really do that. Can they?
    The online MaxPreps strength ratings -- which compares all teams regardless of their classification -- ranks Lutcher as the 31st strongest team in the state. Avoyelles is at No. 219.
    The Marksville Tigers are ranked 121st while the Independence Tigers are at 199.
    Yes, the Mustang-Independence game would have been a better game, but that’s not how this works.
    The Panthers hold No. 185, per MaxPreps, while the Rebels are 222nd.
    If everybody changed partners, Avoyelles (219) and N. Caddo (222) are evenly matched; Bunkie (185) and Independence (199) are pretty close; but that would leave Marksville (121) with Lutcher (31), and that could be just as ugly as everyone expects the real game to be.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait until later in the playoffs for that Tiger-Bulldog matchup -- unless Avoyelles spoils the party first.