Episcopal, Christian Life overcome early hurdles

Routines are woven into the fabric of most athletic teams, precisely followed and rarely deviated from.

Then you have the start of the 2013 season — a two-game stretch beset by driving rains and lengthy lightning delays — that have forced coaches and players to adapt to a change in their routines, sometimes before kickoff.

Episcopal and Christian Life are two teams that have managed to adjust to matters outside of their comfort zones to post 2-0 starts heading into road games Friday.

Episcopal, which is in the midst of a three-game road swing, has the rare opportunity to play at 4 p.m., when the Knights travel to New Orleans to face Country Day (2-0), while Christian Life meets Ascension Catholic (1-1) at Floyd Boutte Stadium in Donaldsonville.

“Any time you’ve got to move your routine up to play a 4 o’clock game in the afternoon that’s a big challenge,” Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois said. “You try not and harp on it, but you make them aware of it. We’re trying to get them in the right frame of mind and adjust to it.”

Christian Life had its regularly scheduled game last Friday with East Iberville postponed until Sunday afternoon in a game it won 34-0. The Crusaders now face Ascension Catholic and travel to New Orleans next Thursday to face Haynes Academy.

“We’ve definitely got our work cut out, and then turning around and playing next Thursday,” CLA coach Keith Dooley said. “We’re trying to keep the legs fresh as much as we can because depth is always going to be an issue.”

Episcopal-Country Day: Bourgeois said Country Day features one of the more unique high school settings, where a large portion of fans sit on lawn chairs outside the field because of limited stadium seating.

“It’s more like a scrimmage setting than a game,” said Bourgeois, who noted 16 starters back for Country Day. “It’s something they’re accustomed to doing. It’s a different environment, but it still counts against your win-loss record.”

Running back Clement Mubungirwa paces Episcopal’s offense with 168 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Quarterback Jason Roussel has completed 18 of 30 passes for 225 yards and two TDs.

Linebacker Polk Kellum is the tackles leader with 21 followed by end Blake Chandler with 18, including six for loss.

CHRISTIAN LIFE-ASCENSION CHRISTIAN: Quarterback Jacob Williams accounted for four first-half touchdowns to lead CLA to a quick start and 31-0 halftime lead against East Iberville.

Williams rushed for two touchdowns and passed to Malik Harrison for two more scores.

Place-kicker Dameion Lee kicked four extra points and a pair of field goals to account for the final score/

“Each week I feel like we are getting better,” Dooley said. “It’s a little sketchy in preseason trying to find players in the right position. Of course everyone’s holding their breath about injuries, but I like the timing from our offense and our coaches are doing a good job.”

Williams has thrown for 193 yards on 18 of 30 passing with two TDs and added another 48 yards and two scores rushing. Harrison is the team’s leader with six catches for 69 yards.

“Each week we’re getting better,” Dooley said. “Obviously competition can have something to say about that, but we just try and worry about us and do the best we can.”