The best season in recent memory was in 2006 when the Tigers went 5-5 under former head coach Mark Millett.
Current coach Brandon Nowlin knows the program has had success in the past, but it’s new to the current group of players.
“We’ve had a pretty good week of practice,” Nowlin said. “… Our guys are trying to deal with the little bit of success that we’ve had. These guys haven’t really been in this position too many times — especially the young group that we have. The program probably has but this group hasn’t. Knowing how to act and knowing that you have to keep getting better every week. You can’t worry about what you did last week, or look ahead. You have to focus on the task at hand.”
Last week the Tigers had some trouble with Sarah Reeds option offense, but that experience should come in handy with another option based team in Jeanerette visiting Tiger Stadium.
“We’re facing a wishbone-veer kind of attack,” Nowlin said. “Last week, it wasn’t really a wishbone option it was more wing, slot type deal. We didn’t tackle very well on defense last week so we need to take care of that if we want to have a chance to compete and get these guys off the field. They’ve got a couple of good backs and the quarterback is a pretty good player. We’ve got to play tougher defense and make sure we can possess the football.”
Abdul Tate leads the Jeanerette attack with 500 yards rushing on 67 carries for six touchdowns, which puts him at No. 4 of the statewide stat leaders in rushing yards.
“They’ve got a lot of team speed,” Nowlin said. “I think they’re a pretty physical group. They don’t have, kind of like us, don’t have depth. They got their first win of the year last week, they had one sneak away from them on the first game of the season.”
Tiger running back Eric Walker has also been effective this season with 230 yards on 52 carries for six touchdowns.
Morgan City won last year in an ugly game marred by penalties that left Jeanerette coach Terry Lewis livid at some of the plays his team had called back.
Once again this season both teams have had similar issues, but MCHS cleaned up its act last week and didn’t turn the ball over.
This week the Tigers will have to find a way to contain Tate and special teams is an area of concern for Nowlin.
“The special team kind of worries me a little bit,” Nowlin said. “If we don’t take care of business on the coverage units — then they have a couple guys that can hurt you returning the football on kickoff and punts.”
Offensively the Tigers have found a nice balance but they will be without starting tight end Hunter Harrington due to a concussion suffered against Sarah Reed and linebacker Henry Fraijo left the game last week dehydrated but is expected to play tonight.
If the Tigers can come through with its third win in a row tonight, they will eclipse last season’s win total and put the program on track to becoming a possible playoff team.
“We have a TV game this week, so that’s exciting,” Nowlin said. “We have a chance to go 3-1, at home, so that’s a big thing for us. If we can go ahead and already surpass what we were able to in the win column last year — it would be a big thing. We just need to try and keep it rolling and keep positive things happening around here. It’s what this program needs.”