Block prepares for high-flying offense Friday

Published 12:04 am Thursday, November 20, 2014

JONESVILLE — The Block High School Bears will have their hands full in the second round of the LHSAA Class 1A Playoffs when they will take a three-plus hour drive to Plain Dealing to take on the Louisiana New Tech Lions Friday night.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the weather could be a factor with a 60 percent chance of showers in Plain Dealing during the day with a possibility of them slacking off while the game is taking place.

Block (6-5) comes into the game as the No. 11 seed. Louisiana New Tech is 8-2 and the No. 6 seed after finishing second in District 1-1A behind No. 2 seed Haynesville. It will be the first playoff game for the Lions after they received a first-round bye.

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Bears fullback Kendrick Curry will be back in the starting lineup after missing last week’s 42-0 dismantling of North Central for disciplinary reasons, head coach Benny Vault Jr. said. Raymond Plummer, who was used primarily on defense in that game, will be back at running back for Friday night’s game.

Louisiana New Tech is led by senior quarterback Logan Allen, who can frustrate opposing defenses with his arm and his legs. He has a pair of go-to wide receivers in senior Isaac Jacobs and sophomore Keldrick Carper. Another player that Block will have to keep an eye on is senior Desmond Stromile, who will line up at either defensive tackle or outside linebacker when the Bears have the ball and at guard on the offensive line.

“They’re athletic. They run real well, and their quarterback is pretty good. They are like Logansport and, last year, Pointe Coupee Central,” Vault said. “They run a spread offense, and they have a couple of receivers who like to run in space. When they do run, they run their quarterback. They use the draw and he scrambles sometimes.”

Vault said that the Lions’ offense is about 70 percent pass and 30 percent run, depending on what team they play. It might be a little closer to 60 percent pass and 40 percent run against Block.

What concerns Vault the most about the Lions is their big-play capability on offense. He added that that when they do turn the ball over, they come right back and score on their opponent.

“We’ve got to step our game up and match their intensity,” Vault said. “Make sure we’re in the right position. Understand what the play is.”

Which means that not only Plummer and Curry, but also Taylor Perron-Krause, Vyn’quez O’steen and Dorian Bowman will have to have big-time performances on both sides of the ball.

The Lions run a 5-3 defense. In addition to Stromile, Carper and Jacobs also play both ways.

“They’ve got some athletes,” Vault said.

In order for Block to pull off the upset and advance to the quarterfinals, Vault said his team must protect the football and play physical on defense.

“We like to play teams that run the spread because they’re not physical. Play every responsibility,” Vault said. “We have to get pressure on their quarterback. Get him moving. Don’t let him stand in the pocket.”