Pointe Coupee Central is coming off a loss to Class 4A Ellender last week, while Tara has won three straight games and seeks one more win before starting District 6-4A play.
Class 1A PCC facing Tara on the road hardly sounds like a match made in heaven, but the game is part of a 4A vs. 1A theme Thursday.
PCC (2-2) meets Tara (3-1) at Memorial Stadium.
Two other games — East Iberville (0-4) vs. Belaire (0-4) at Olympia and Plaquemine (3-1) vs. Southern Lab (0-4) at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium — also are part of a busy Thursday schedule.
Class 4A St. Michael (2-2) travels to play 3A Jewel Sumner (4-0) in Tangipahoa in the other Thursday game.
Pointe Coupee Central lost to Ellender 56-50 last Friday in Houma. The Cougars’ other loss was to 3A Pointe Coupee Parish rival Livonia.
First-year coach Cleotha Johnigan Jr. sees these games as a means to an end for a PCC program that claimed the first district title in school history last fall.
“It (the district title) was a way of letting the kids know they could succeed,” Johnigan said. “We had great participation in the program this summer, and it’s really transitioned into this season.”
After dropping in classification a few seasons ago from 2A, Johnigan said his program has benefited from a participation standpoint.
“We had some exceptional kids, just didn’t have the numbers,” he said. “We could stay in the game through the first half, but then the numbers game would take over.”
Tara, meanwhile, looks to continue improving under its first-year coach Cooter Mansur.
The Trojans (3-1) are coming off a 23-12 victory at Glen Oaks last week. Mansur’s team amassed 250 rushing yards and shut out its opponent in the second half for the third consecutive week.
“It’s taken the defense a little time to adjust to the speed of the game,” Mansur said. “But after they do, it appears they play pretty well.”
Offensively, Tara will continue to lean on senior tailback Kaleb Kador, who has 641 yards on the season including 210 last week.
“We need to continue to take advantage of our offensive line,” Mansur said. “(Kador) has probably been a surprise to some people, but not to us. We’ve known he was always capable. We’re really excited for him and the team as a whole.”
Mansur sees the Trojans’ fast start as a way to build toward the future.
“Our kids have done a fantastic job of recruiting on campus,” Mansur said. “If we can continue to get kids recruiting and coaches doing what they do best, we’ll be moving in the right direction and will be for some time.”