Rams face must win at Tensas Aca.

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2007

WOODVILLE — If the WCCA Rams are to stay in the crowded playoff hunt in MPSA District 6-A, they will need to beat the Tensas Academy Chiefs this Friday at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph, La.

It won’t be easy against a Tensas Academy team that is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the district standings with a 3-1 record. The Chiefs are 3-3 overall.

WCCA is 4-2 overall but already has two district losses and cannot afford a third loss. Even with two wild card spots available in South A, having three district losses at this time of the season may be too many.

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“It’s a really big game. They’re sitting at 3-1 in district and we’re at 3-2 in district,” WCCA head coach Sam Byrd IV said.

Byrd, the first-year head coach of the Rams, saw his team rally in the second half to defeat Tallulah Academy last week.

Now Tensas first-year head coach Joe Coats will be going through a similar situation, even though this district game is huge for his team to stay with the likes of Huntington, Riverdale and Glenbrook in the district race.

“I know it’s a difficult time for coaches,” Byrd said. “I’m coming off of one. It can cause problems for teams. If it’s an advantage for us, I’ll take it. Tensas always plays us tough. Their kids keep playing hard. I’m looking for a tough ball game.”

The Rams’ offense is led by Cody Cullen and Trumaine Norwood while the Chiefs’ offense is led by Bennett Schauf, Jim Lentz and Mitch Lansing.

“Their fullback runs hard. He’s a good-sized kid. He’s tough to bring down. Their quarterback moves the ball around well. He spreads the ball around to several players,” Byrd said. “Their defense is playing well. Their team overall is playing well right now and we’re going to have to improve our execution of our game plan if we want to be successful Friday night.”

WCCA will face a team that runs the option, Byrd said that there won’t be many, if any, changes to the Rams’ defense. “We try to keep our defense basic. On defense, the name of the game is hustle.”

Byrd said that his team will continue to run the ball and use time-consuming drives to keep Tensas’ offense off the field. He added that the game could come down to which team has the ball last as well as turnovers, especially considering that rain is in the forecast.

“Turnovers have been the factor the last two weeks,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll go our way.”