The similarities between tonight’s game and last season’s quarterfinal loss to Oberlin are striking.
Elton has a big, bruising running back and they come from the same district as the Tigers. They also saved the Eagles from a rematch by beating Oberlin, 36-6, last week.
Throw in a stingy defense that’s allowed an average of 10 points a game and the Eagles are in for another tough game from a District 5-1A opponent.
“They’ve got a big defensive line that also plays offense and some really good linebackers,” CCHS coach David Fuhrer said. “They’re not bad, they’re pretty good.”
Elton’s coach Kevin Bertrand is a familiar face for Eagles fans. He was an assistant coach at Central Catholic from 1997 to 2001 and knew Fuhrer before they worked together for a year under former Eagles head coach Hud Jackson.
“He was here with coach (Hud) Jackson, they came over from Oberlin together,” Fuhrer said. “He’s from Basile so he wanted to get closer to home. … Me and him have kept in touch over the years. I actually knew him before I came to work here. We’ve been friends for a while so it’s pretty neat to coach against him.”
The Eagles will face a hard-nosed running back in junior Micah Lavan. His confidence should be high after a five-touchdown performance against Oberlin.
When Lavan isn’t tearing up opposing defenses, the Indians have a tall and elusive quarterback that can also put points on the scoreboard.
“The quarterback I know, I’ve seen him in track,” Fuhrer said. “He’s not a very big kid. He’s tall but lanky. He’s very athletic and does a good job of running their offense. He runs the option and has a pretty decent arm. They like to hand it off to the big back — he’s a mule. He’s not extremely fast, has decent speed, but he’s a load, a hard runner. We’re going to have to try and slow him down.”
Cedric Skinner from Oberlin ran with a similar style and gave the Eagles fits last season in the quarterfinals. The Eagles’ chances will likely hang on their ability to keep Lavan from doing too much damage.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with the winner taking on the winner between No 1 Ouachita Christian and No. 17 Oak Grove next week in the quarterfinals.