“Practice makes perfect” is a saying that’s been around so long it’s impossible to determine who said it first.
Scotlandville football coach Eric Randall won’t claim ownership of the phrase. But the former Glen Oaks High and Southern University quarterback made sure his players did their own turn on it last week.
The Hornets (2-0) had an open date in Week 3. It was anything but an off week, thanks to practices that focused on fundamentals. Scotlandville will find out whether the work paid off in its District 4-5A opener Friday night at Zachary (2-1).
“An open week can be a good and a bad thing,” Randall said. “Some people think it’s a disadvantage because everybody else played, and you didn’t.
“We tried to use it to get better. This is a very young team, and we were able to clean up a lot of things. We went back to basics on our blocking schemes because we have so many young guys playing up front. They’re learning, and I think that helped.”
The Scotlandville-Zachary game is one of three District 4-5A contests and helps highlight Friday’s Week 4 schedule for Class 5A-4A. All games start at 7 p.m.
Broadmoor (2-1) at Walker (1-2) and Live Oak (2-1) at Denham Springs (1-2) are the other 4-5A games. The remaining 4-5A team, Central (2-1), travels to McKinley for a nondistrict game. Central was the preseason favorite in 4-5A and has a string of five straight district titles. Scotlandville and Zachary also were listed among the favorites.
The Hornets are one of the area’s more intriguing teams. Running back Dontrell Hilliard and defensive lineman Deldrick Canty are Division I college prospects. A young offensive line and new starters at several other positions were expected to present challenges.
In its first two games, Scotlandville displayed a flare for the dramatic, scoring in the final seconds to edge McKinley 20-19. The Hornets beat East St. John 21-7 the following week.
Randall considers Week 4 and Zachary to be his team’s biggest challenge yet.
“Zachary is a talented team with speed and size,” Randall said. “They lost their first one, but they’ve gotten better every week. They give you a lot to prepare for with their offense and defense. That’s why we did the work we did with our linemen. Their defense will do things to confuse you. You have to execute against them to have a chance to win.”
Running back Forrest Town helped lead Zachary to a 45-0 win over East Feliciana with 14 carries for 164 yards.
Randall expects Friday’s game to set the tone for a balanced 4-5A race. Next week the Hornets host Central.
“You’ve got great coaches and talented players in this district,” Randall said. “It won’t get easier.”
The 5A/4A schedule for Week 4 features a lighter-than-normal Friday night because two District 5-5A teams, Catholic High and East Ascension, travel to New Orleans for Saturday games.
EAHS (3-0) faces Brother Martin (2-1) at 2:30 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium. Rummel (2-1) hosts Catholic (3-0) at 7 p.m. at East Jefferson’s Joe Yenni Stadium. Lutcher (1-2) at St. Amant (2-1) is another notable nondistrict game.
District 5-5A St. Amant has shut out its last two opponents, while 6-4A Lutcher has battled injuries.