Sicily Island travels to Haynesville High in second round of playoffs

Published 11:56 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018


SICILY ISLAND — The Sicily Island High School Tigers will have their hands full tonight when they travel to Haynesville, La. to take on the Haynesville High School Golden Tornadoes in the second round of the LHSAA Class 1A State Playoffs.

Kickoff between No. 15 seed Sicily Island and No. 2 seed Haynesville is slated for 7 p.m. The 6-5 Tigers defeated No. 18 seed Varnado High School 28-12 in the first round while 10-0 Haynesville, the District 1-1A champion, received a first-round bye.

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Sicily Island head coach Donald Money said the cold weather on Tuesday had a “pretty good affect on us.”

“We had to practice in the auditorium and (Wednesday) we did get to get on the field,” Money said. “We’re going to try to have another practice (Thursday) evening. This time of year, it would have been worse trying to put in new stuff.”

In the win over Varnado, Sicily Island did all of its scoring in the first quarter. The Tigers would have put more points on the scoreboard if not for penalties.

“We had two touchdowns called back last week on block in the back penalties on long runs,” Money said. “We had one of the prettiest plays I’ve ever seen, a pass play that went 65 yards, called back for a block in the back. They’ve got to be careful how they’re blocking, especially after the play is past them. Even if it’s away from the play, officials are calling it.”

Sicily Island’s offense was held to 253 total yards, but the Tigers’ defense came through with six sacks and forced nine turnovers — five fumble recoveries, one of which was returned 10 yards for a touchdown by Zavier Ramirez, and four interceptions. Landrae James and Keonte Dunbar each picked off two passes.

Money said it’s going to take that kind of effort and “probably then some” for Sicily Island to upset undefeated Haynesville on the road.

“They’re going to be a challenge for us. We haven’t had a lot of turnovers. We need to minimize turnovers and penalties. Defense, do a better job of containing. The only way Varnado scored their 12 points was on two big plays,” Money said.

Money said that Haynesville is 10-0 because they’re well-coached and well-disciplined on offense and defense.

“On offense, they run a variety of formations. Double-wing, single-wing, some I plays, and they’ll even get in the spread. Mostly they run the ball. They’re pretty much a running team,” Money said. They run a 4-3 on defense. They adapt to whatever offense they’re running against.”

Money noted that because Haynesville was one of five teams to not play last week, the Golden Tornadoes will be well-rested and ready for Friday night.

“We’re going to be facing a team that hasn’t lost a game. They’ve had a lot of success. They’re undefeated,” Money said.