Delta Charter fights for third in district Friday

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

FERRIDAY — Third place in LHSAA District 2-1A will be on the line Friday night when the Delta Charter School Storm travels to Ruston, La. to take on the Cedar Creek School Cougars in a pivotal showdown for both teams.

Kickoff between Delta Charter (6-2, 4-2) and Cedar Creek (4-3, 4-2) is set for 7 p.m. The Storm steamrolled to a 74-20 win on Senior Night against Beekman Charter School last Friday night, while the Cougars are coming off a stunning 13-9 win at then-LSWA Class 1A No. 4 and district foe Oak Grove High School.

The Cougars’ win over the Tigers moved them into a third-place tie with the Storm and the Tigers. Top-ranked Ouachita Christian School sits atop the district standings at 7-0 while No. 9 St. Frederick High School is at 5-1. Oak Grove plays at St. Frederick Friday night, so a win by Delta Charter over Cedar Creek or vice versa would put the winner of that game in third place by itself if the Warriors defeat the Tigers.

“It’s very important. We’ve got only two losses in district right now. So, it’s very important,” Delta Charter head coach Blake Wheeler said.

While the Storm scored in bunches in its win over a winless Beekman Charter squad to get back on the winning track after losing to the OCS Eagles the previous week, the Cougars ended Oak Grove’s five-game winning streak and held a Tigers team that had scored over 40 points in four of those five games to one offensive touchdown — and that was in the first quarter.

“They’re a very stout defense. Strong up front. They play physical. They’re well-coached. It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said what impresses him the most about Cedar Creek is that the Coguars play really hard.

“Very well-coached. It’s one of those teams where you’re going to have to beat them. They’re not going to beat themselves. They’re a well-rounded team,” Wheeler said.

Delta Charter’s offense is led by sophomore quarterback Juvari Singleton, who complete five of six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns and had 11 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns last week. Senior running back Peyton Roberts had nine carries for 120 yards and two scores while sophomore running back Otis Bates led the Storm’s ground game with 137 yards and two scores on just five carries.

“I don’t know if we’ll put up that kind of yardage, but it wouldn’t hurt. I don’t know if we’ll put up that yardage against their defense. But we’re sure going to try,” Wheeler said.

Singleton’s two touchdown passes went to senior tight end Jarred Barron, who had three catches for 87 yards.

As for how the Storm’s offense matches up with the Cougars’ defense, Wheeler said, “I think we match up pretty well with them. They’re big. They have a physical front. They’re a really good team, but I think we’ve got a pretty good team, too.”

The Storm’s defense is led by Roberts, who plays linebacker and was one of three players who had 10 total tackles last week. Sophomore middle linebacker Davis Cooper and freshman defensive back Will Wiley each had 10 total tackles while senior defensive tackle Chase McGraw and senior outside linebacker Curtis Bullitts each had nine total tackles. Senior cornerback Jestin Garrison picked off two passes and sophomore defensive back Ronald Ellis Jr. had one interception.

“We’ve got to stop the run. They’re a balanced team. But they try to run the ball,” Wheeler said. “We always focus on when we wrap up when we tackle. So wrapping up is going to be extremely important.”

Wheeler said that the Storm is going to have to execute “very well” on both sides of the ball. He added that his team cannot turn the ball over and will have to limit its penalties.

“It’s going to take a total team effort,” Wheeler said.