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Block to take on St. Mary’s this week for district title

JONESVILLE — LHSAA District 4-1A will be decided Friday when Block High School travels to St. Mary’s High School, but in this district rivalry that is nothing new.

“This is always a big game for us,” Block head coach Benny Vault Jr. said. “Usually the district championship comes down to these two teams.”

Both teams come into Friday’s matchup at 2-0 in the district and the winner will clinch the title, but Vault said it would not be an easy task to repeat as champs.

“They have a team full of scrappy guys,” he said. “They don’t have as many (star) players as they’ve had in the last few years, but they are a group of guys working together as a team.”

The Bears will face a motivated squad as well. Block defeated St. Mary’s 70-28 last season, and Vault said that will be motivation this year.

“We’ve been reminding them all week that we put 70 on them last year, and I’m pretty sure their coach has reminded them of that too,” he said. “They are going to try to avenge that loss and come out and play above their heads. We have to be able to respond.”

Block came out flat in last week’s 42-22 win over Montgomery High School, Vault said, and if that happens again St. Mary’s will be tough to beat.

St. Mary’s has a team this year that saw a great deal of success when they were younger, and Vault said that makes this game even tougher.

“It’s a group of kids that in the eighth grade and freshman year they didn’t lose a game, so they know how to win.”

The district championship is something that Vault has stressed in the past few years and something he wants his team to covet.

“The first couple of years I was here, we didn’t play it up as much,” he said. “But it’s a big deal. In whatever (district) we play in, I want to win and get through undefeated. We’ve made a big deal out of it the past couple of years, and we are reigning district champs.”

A win Friday would also help Block in the postseason.

“It helps to get our kids focused and get prepared for the playoffs,” he said. “It would give us momentum getting ready for the playoffs, and it’s good to represent our district as the champs.”

Block must establish a solid running game and prevent penalties and turnovers to come out on top, Vault said.

Block (6-2, 2-0) will travel to Natchitoches, La., to face St. Mary’s (6-2, 2-0) at Turpin Stadium on the campus of Northwestern State University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.

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