When Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, it took all the king’s horses and men to try to put him back together again.
Pointe Coupee Central doesn’t have that luxury. The king — third-year coach Lawrence Brown — and his handful of assistant coaches are tasked with mending and fixing a team of about 25 players after two of the biggest, and most hard-fought, victories in school history.
“Those guys are limping, they’re hurting,” Brown said. “I’ve got to put them back together, and that’s a challenge in itself, because they’re young and not used to playing against 18-year-old guys.”
The Cougars are off to a 2-0 start in District 6-1A with wins against St. Edmund and Westminster Christian, the latter Westminster’s first district loss since 2008. Coming off the team’s first playoff appearance last season, Brown hoped for a return to the playoffs. But with a young team that has a starting offensive line comprised of mostly eighth, ninth and 10th-graders, Brown didn’t necessarily expect his squad to start like this.
“My expectations were to compete,” Brown said. “I wanted to see if my guys could compete and be successful. They’re giving me more than what I expected.”
Including its jamboree, PCC opened the year against three consecutive teams that reached the Class 3A quarterfinals last season. Though the Cougars lost all of those games, Brown’s players didn’t get down, and if anything, became more motivated by the way they battled in defeat.
“We had a tough preseason,” Brown said. “We were prepared and able to hang with them for a portion of the game until the numbers set in.
“The morale was still high. Our kids were still working hard because we had opportunities to compete with these guys. Had we made a play here or there, we probably could have won those games.”
Those losses did help prepare PCC for its district-opening games against the teams that finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the district last season. St. Edmund and Westminster also handed PCC its only district losses in 2011.
After leading most of the game against St. Edmund, PCC nearly allowed the Blue Jays to make a late comeback as they tied it in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. But PCC’s quarterback Kevin Bourgeois threw his sixth touchdown pass — a 64-yarder to Delfontay Powell — with 3:44 remaining to seal the win.
Bourgeois continued that hot start the next week, throwing four TDs and running for another against Westminster, totaling 364 passing yards in the process. As one of only five seniors at PCC, Brown said Bourgeois has unquestionably served as one of the team’s leaders.
“He was our MVP last year,” Brown said. “He’s a big part of everything we’re doing. It’s still early in the year, and we want to keep him healthy, so we can get to the playoffs.”
What PCC doesn’t have in depth, it makes up for in speed as Brown said his team has simply outrun its opponents this year. With most of his wide receivers also spending time at running back, Brown said he just tries to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers and turn them loose.
“Because we’re so young on the offensive line, we try to get teams to run with us,” Brown said. “We’re trying to spread them out, get it to the right people and let them make a play. The rest is on those guys.”
As with most 1A schools, that lack of depth has started to catch up with PCC, and with a Thursday night game against Opelousas Catholic, the Cougars don’t have much time to recover.
And in order to avoid a Humpty Dumpty-like fall from its fast start, Brown knows his team’s success depends on its ability to regroup.
“I’m real concerned because Opelousas Catholic will be another physical game,” Brown said. “That team is really good from what I’ve seen on film. We have to get back to work, and we have to be ready to go Thursday.”
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