Two old Lafourche Parish football rivals will collide in nondistrict action in Galliano on Friday night.
Thibodaux High and South Lafourche High have played 53 times since 1966. The Tarpons lead the all-time series, 30-23.
Thibodaux has dominated the series lately, winning five of the last six meetings.
So Friday’s nondistrict game at Ralph Pere Field at Tarpons Memorial Stadium in Galliano between the Tigers and Tarpons is expected to be a dandy.
“It’s always great when you get to play one of the in-parish schools,” South Lafourche coach Blake Forsythe said. “There is a longstanding tradition that we have against Thibodaux. It’s a great game. It’s a classic game. I think the kids really get up for it.”
Thibodaux opened the season with a 43-31 win over Riverside Academy last week, and South Lafourche fell to St. Charles Catholic, 31-3.
Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said the Tigers expect a four-quarter battle every season against the Tarpons.
“South Lafourche is always a rivalry game, so it doesn’t matter what anybody did in last week’s game,” Dugas said. “You can throw the records out. They always get up to play Thibodaux, and we always get up to play South Lafourche. We’re always excited to play another team in the parish. I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere down there in South Lafourche.”
Friday’s game can be heard on the radio at 100.3-FM.
Here are three things to look for:
Dugas said the Tigers faced a little adversity during their game against Riverside Academy, falling behind 25-14 at halftime.
They responded by scoring 29 points in the second half.
“It was great to face adversity and comeback from that. I told the guys I’m glad it happened, especially Week 1,” Dugas said. “I was proud of the way we reacted. The locker room was very calm at halftime. The guys were very confident in each other. They stayed together. Hopefully this week we won’t make as many mistakes and we play a cleaner game.”
Key offensive players for the Tigers were quarterback Luke Alleman (27-of-36, 355 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT), running back Rimond Thompson (162 rushing yards, 3 TDs), and receivers Darwin Davis (10 catches, 142 yards) and Kyren Lacy (four catches, 66 yards, TD).
Forsythe said the Tarpons will have their work cut out trying to keep Thibodaux out of the end zone.
“That’s the focus is trying to figure out how to slow them down,” Forsythe said. “They can really sling the ball. The quarterback can make all the passes, and Thibodaux has some really good receivers that can go up and get it. They try to get you to forget about the running backs a little bit. The running back is a heck of a football player too. They have a lot of guys on the offensive side of the ball. They can put up a lot of points in a hurry. You’ve got to keep those guys in front of you at all times, and you better never quit on a play because that quarterback can launch that ball from any side of the field.”
PLAYING BALL CONTROL
Forsythe said the Tarpons will turn to their flexbone offense to control the battle of time possession by converting first downs to keep the Tigers’ explosive offense on the sidelines.
Key weapons for the Tarpons are quarterback Patrick Gisclair, receiver Eric Thibodaux and offensive lineman Jhy Orgeron (a Southeastern Louisiana commit).
“I think the biggest thing for our offense is to not let Thibodaux’s offense get on the field,” Forsythe said. “We run a certain style of offense for a reason, and one of those reasons is to not give a high scoring team as many chances to put points up on the board. So I think for us offensively, it’s going to be a matter of putting together first downs and staying ahead of the chains.”
Dugas said Thibodaux’s defense, which got interceptions from Karrick Harris, Josh Holden, Maurquel Price and Tyren Young last week, will have to played disciplined in order to slow down the Tarpons’ rushing attack.
“We have to play assignment football,” Dugas said. “It’s a challenge to play against a team like that with that type of offense. It’s tough. I feel really good where I defense is right now. We’ve been improving every week. We have guys swarming to the football. I think our defense is going to be real sound. We just have to keep improving and keep flying to the football and limit the big plays and we’ll be just fine.”
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
South Lafourche is famous for having one of the area’s best home-field advantages due to its loud and passionate fan base.
With a rival like Thibodaux in town Friday, Forsythe said he wants more energy from Tarpons fans.
“I’m very proud of our students last Friday for the way that they showed up,” Forsythe said. “They brought the noise. They brought the energy. They did a great job. We really want to see our students pack the bleachers up again and just the general fans too. I think we had a really good turn out for a Week 1 game. We have to turn out for the in-parish rival in Thibodaux, so we really want to see the home side of the stadium packed in blue because we know Thibodaux is coming. They are going to bring a loud crowd, so we’ve got to be twice as loud.”
Although South Lafourche lost its season opener to St. Charles, Dugas said the Tigers can’t afford to overlook the Tarpons.
“The defense they have is really scrappy,” Dugas said. “They run to the football. They did a pretty good job against St. Charles Catholic. South Lafourche kept them out the end zone for most of the first half. Everybody knows St. Charles Catholic is a very good team and always well coached, so I was pretty impressed with South’s defense.”