Tigers open district season tonight visiting strong Red River team

After three weeks of pounding away at bigger schools and dominating them, the Many Tigers are ready for District 3-2A competition beginning tonight at 7 in Coushatta against Red River.

Fans, schools, players, coaches and media all agree — this will be a good one!

In fact, it’s the “KTBS TV Game of the Week” among 25 high school games the station will cover in northwest Louisiana, Arkansas and east Texas. Both teams are on three-game winning streaks after dropping competitive season openers to larger classification foes.

Many (3-1) is the 2A defending state champion and has won the district for the past eight years in a row. The 2021 Tigers are ranked second in the state in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association top 10 poll, but despite their rugged pre-district schedule against four higher-classification opponents, Many stands a modest sixth in the LHSAA’s 2A power ratings.

Red River (3-1) is just two spots back, eighth, in the LHSAA power ratings. The Bulldogs’ only loss was a 55-49 shootout at 5A Haughton in the opening week. Red River has been the Tigers’ closest 3-2A challenger for the past several years. Red River has a new coach, Jeff Harper, and a new approach on offense where it averages 52 points per game.

“They do a lot of good things on offense, score a lot of points, so we’re looking forward to the matchup,” said Many coach Jess Curtis, whose defense has given up only one score in the last two weeks in routs of 4A North DeSoto and Tioga, outscoring them 96-7.

The Bulldogs leader is quarterback Tre Smith, who has committed to play for U.S. Naval Academy next season.

Many has outscored its last three opponents 157-33. Red River’s scoring margin in its three wins is 168-81, including a 41-25 victory last week in its district opener at Winnfield.

The Tigers, averaging 47 points per game overall, feature the state’s leading rusher and scorer in London Williams, who received the Hard Hat Award last week. Williams has 940 yards on 85 rushing attempts and has scored 17 touchdowns. He’s averaging 11.1 yards per carry. Complimenting him in the backfield will be sophomore Jeremiah James.

One reason the Tigers have had so much success running the ball is the play of the offensive line. The line features tackles Joseph Cryer and Jakorey Jones (who won the game ball last week), guards James Hickman and Garrett Foster, and a center platoon of Cole Pickett and Thane Mitchell. The line will lead an explosive ground game of smash mouth football while the Bulldogs will be more spread and throw the ball more.

The Tiger defense will be led once again by Tackett Curtis, Tylen Singleton, and Keaton Montgomery. The defensive line is progressing weekly with Swayze Carheel and Demario Glover showing a lot of improvement.

The Tiger secondary is the strong point of the defense with Jayvion Smart, Kedric Gosey, Trenton Williams, along with Curtis and Singleton. Garet Culverson and Marquiese Maxie (Sledgehammer Award winner last week) have been in on numerous plays as well. The defense will be tested by the high octane offense of the Bulldogs.

This game has been circled on each school’s schedule since the district season schedule was made.  You do not want to miss this one. 

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