No. 19 Central Catholic will hit the road for a long trip to Ruston where it will face No. 14 Cedar Creek in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs Friday.
Central Catholic is coming off a tough 35-14 loss to No. 3 seed Vermilion Catholic in the District 8-1A champion-ship game in week 10. At halftime, Central Catholic led 14-0, but Vermilion Catholic stormed back in the second half to take the win.
The Eagles finished the regular season with a 6-4 overall record and a runner-up finish in District 1-1A with a 3-1 mark.
Conversely, Cedar Creek enters the playoffs coming off a 42-14 win against Arcadia High in its final District 1-2A game of the season.
Cedar Creek finished its regular season with an 8-2 overall mark and a 3-1 mark in district play.
Cedar Creek is averaging 33.5 points per game and surrendering 17.9 points a contest.
The squad features LSU commit KJ Malone, son of legendary former NBA player Karl Malone, who plays both on the offensive and defensive line.
“He’s really good,” Central Catholic coach David Fuhrer said. “He’s big and strong. He’s going to be a load for us.”
However, Fuhrer said Malone isn’t the only player the Eagles will have to con-tend with.
“They’re a pretty solid football team,” he said.
Fuhrer said the Cougars essentially run a double-slot offense using mostly inside traps and some toss sweeps.
He said their linemen have nice size and their running backs have fairly good speed.
“They play hard,” Fuhrer said. They “don’t do a whole lot offensively. What they do, they do well.”
On defense, the Cougars run a 4-2-5 defense.
While naturally the Cou-gars will adjust to what the Eagles give them, Fuhrer said, “I expect them to play aggressive and try to get a lot of pressure on us.”
Coming off a tough loss last week, Fuhrer said his squad has had a “decent” week of practice and is eager to redeem itself.
Although the squad will be facing a long road trip, it’s something the Eagles have done in recent years.
“It’s nothing new to the older guys,” Fuhrer said. “I think they know how to handle it.”
Fuhrer said that in order for his squad to pick up a victory, they must be able to run their offensive plays and handle the Cedar Creek blitzes, while on defense, they must tackle well and force Cedar Creek punts. The Eagles’ offense must capitalize on those, Fuhrer said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on the campus of Cedar Creek.
The game will be broadcast on KBZE 105.9 FM and KFRA 1390 AM with pregame set for 6:45 p.m.