“We aren’t working harder or doing anything we haven’t done all season,” first-year Berwick coach Craig Brodie said. “We try to win every game we play.”
Abbeville, however, scheduled Berwick for its homecoming game and that’s always been a slight in football circles.
“Homecoming was definitely not invented by football coaches,” Abbeville head coach Larry Breaux joked. “It’s very distracting. The big challenge this week has been keeping the team focused on the task at hand, winning.”
Breaux likes his team’s chances Friday.
“I never give predictions,” he said. “But I will say that, if we have zero turnovers, we win this game.”
That wasn’t bravado talking. Breaux tempered his guarantee with facts.
“They’ve had some games where they had chances and had some turnovers and let them slip away,” said Breaux. “But, so have we.”
Breaux said his reason for optimism is that he feels his team is, for once this year, the better team athletically.
Brodie says his team matches up pretty well with the Wildcats.
“In the second half of the season, we’ve matched up pretty well with all the team’s we’ve faced and I don’t think it will be any different this week,” he said. “Abbeville is a lot like us, they play a lot of young players, and I think it will be a pretty good match up.”
Berwick (0-8, 0-4 District 9-3A), however, is shorthanded after losing several starters on both sides of the ball to injuries.
“It’s going to be that way for the rest of the season, so we just have to play with the kids we have,” Brodie said.
Kaplan ran roughshod over the Panthers last Friday. Eight Pirates combined to plow through the Panther defense for 434 yards on the ground en route to the 45-14 victory.
Berwick moved the ball pretty well last week rolling up 234 yards of total offense but the Panthers had trouble converting third-downs.
“That’s what we are gonna try to do again, control the ball and the game,” Brodie said. “But we have to convert third and shorts.”
Abbeville (0-8, 0-5) lost to North Vermilion, 35-14, last week.
At times in the first half, the Wildcats seemed to be their own worst enemy, turning the ball over three times and, on their third possession, running out of downs after driving down to the Patriot six-yard line.
But it wasn’t all bad news for the Wildcats. Patrick Landry became the first Wildcat back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since 2003. Landry finished the evening with 20 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown. Landry now has 1,070 yards rushing on the season.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.