Many hosts Independence tonight opening defense of state crown

The No. 1-ranked, defending Class 2A state champion Many Tigers kick off the 2021 LHSAA football playoffs tonight when they host the 32nd-seeded Independence Tigers at John W. Curtis Stadium.

Kickoff is 7 p.m., with the game broadcast on 99.9 KTEZ FM with Randy Bostian and Brad Ford. Their pregame coverage starts at 6:25.

Many (9-1) hasn’t lost since the season opener, a down-to-the-wire 42-32 defeat to Union Parish. Last Friday the Tigers dominated Lakeview 50-0 on the road in a game that used a running clock after Many raced to a 29-0 lead eight minutes into play. London Williams scored four touchdowns in the first half for MHS.

The Foy Motors’ Player of The Game was Trevor McLendon. The Sledgehammer Award went to Malik Garner, and the Hard Hat Award winner was Jack Deville.

Independence comes into the playoffs with a 3-5 record having recorded wins over Central Private, Northlake Christian, and Varnado. Their losses were to STA, Kentwood, Pine, Amite, and St. Helena. The visitors run a double wing offense and throw the ball out of the shotgun when in passing situations. They have some good athletes but none the caliber of former star LaBrandon Toefield who had a stellar career at LSU.

Many has rested some players the past few weeks and appears to be healthy and ready to roll headed into the playoffs. The offense is averaging right at 50 points a game and features a dominant line producing holes for a bevy of outstanding backs.

The line features Joe Cryer, James Hickman, Cole Pickett, Jakorey Jones, and Garrett Foster. Jakolby Jones has filled in admirably up front. Piling up the stats behind the massive line will be a starting backfield of Tackett Curtis, London Williams, and Jeremiah James. Jack Deville and Blake Matkin also start on the offensive side.

The defense of the Many Tigers will be led by middle linebacker Keaton Montgomery, safety Tackett Curtis, and end Swayze Carheel. Other defensive linemen are Nick Tatum, Demario Glover, and Jakoryean Smart. Garet Culverson and Marquise Maxie round out the linebacking group of the Tigers. Other players that will rotate in the secondary will be Tylen Singleton, Trent Williams, Jayvion Smart, Malik Garner, and Kedric Gosey.

With a victory the Tigers will play the winner of Pine and East Feliciana. If No. 16 Pine prevails at home tonight, it will set up a second-round game at Many while a victory by No. 17 East Feliciana would put the Tigers on the road down south.

The Drive for 5 and Many Made phrases go hand in hand with the playoffs. Come out and support the M and cheer the Tigers on to victory tonight.

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