Block looks to upset Homer

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, December 3, 2020

JONESVILLE — The Block High School Bears will have a tough task on their hands Friday night when they travel to Homer, La. to take on the Homer High School Pelicans in the second round of the 2020 LHSAA Class 1A Playoffs.

Kickoff between No. 12 seed Block (4-5) and No. 5 seed Homer (6-2) is slated for 7 p.m. While Homer received a first-round bye, Block won in impressive fashion last Friday night as they rolled past No. 21 seed Merryville High School 50-6.

Block head coach Benny Vault Jr. said the Bears must be ready both mentally and physically for a good Homer team. The Pelicans finished in second place behind Calvary Baptist Academy, which is the No. 1 seed in the Division IV Playoffs.

“We’ve dropped too many balls. It’s the first time for all of them in the second round,” Vault said. “Make sure you know what your responsibility is. So, we’re going to have to execute on offense.”

As for what the Bears have been working on this week in preparation for the Pelicans, Vault said, “We did a lot of special teams. We’ve been working on offensive play calling. Tempo. We’re going to play with more tempo, trying to catch them off guard on defense. Trying to tackle in space because they have a lot of speed. We have to tackle well.”

Block’s defense will try its best to slow down Homer’s spread offense, even though Vault said the Pelicans do that to set up the run.

“They go to the trips set every now and then. If you stop their run, you have a chance to beat them,” he said. “Their quarterback, he looks like he’s 6-3, 6-4. He likes to run the ball. They like to throw it. They throw the deep ball.”

Block’s offense will have to deal with a variety of formations that could force the Bears to throw the ball more than usual.

“They run a 4-2-5 look. They sometimes run a three-man front. They run a man defense. They’ll try to load up the box on us to stop the run and make us throw the ball. I’m not one who likes to throw the ball a lot,” Vault said.

When asked what kind of effort will it take for the Bears to pull off the upset, Vault said, “Block and tackle. We’re just going to play football. Every time we’ve won, it’s been an ‘upset’. Come playoff time, you have to play your best game.

“We’ve been getting better every week. It’s just a matter of us, when we have a chance to catch the ball, we have to catch it. We have to block well. We have to focus on hitting all cylinders.

Vault said that Block will be able to sell about 150 to 200 tickets for the game and that he expects a good number of Bears’ fans to be in attendance.

“They’ll sell them at the gates, too. I saw one of their games and it looked like they had about 3,000. Their stadium has a good capacity,” Vault said.