Around the town of Many, Thanksgiving features three things: turkey, dressing, and state playoff quarterfinal football games.
It has become an annual tradition for the Many High School Tigers to have their walk-through practice Thanksgiving night under the lights before the game the next evening.
The No. 1-ranked Tigers, the defending state Class 2A champions, are set to host the eighth-seeded Rosepine Eagles Friday night at 7 at John W. Curtis Stadium.
This will be the Eagles’ first visit to the quarterfinals. Both teams come into the contest with 11-1 records.
The Eagles were double overtime winners in their second round game, 43-42 over visiting Red River. Rosepine quarterback Ethan Frey dominated the game scoring five touchdowns and the do-or-die two-point conversion to seal the deal.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is committed to play baseball at LSU. Frey rushed for 162 yards and accounted for 116 more on 13 of 18 passing. Grant Ducote added 68 yards on 19 carries, while Isaiah Stinson had eight catches for 67 yards.
The Eagles play hard, smart, and are well coached by Brad Ducote. A lot of the team was on the 2A state champion baseball team last spring.
Many smothered East Feliciana in the second round 51-22 on the road last Friday. In a game that was close throughout the first three quarters, the Tigers dominated the final seven minutes to pull away.
The Tigers are led on offense by running backs London Williams and Jeremiah James. Williams had 167 yards while James accounted for 161 last week. Both running backs scored three touchdowns.
The entire offensive line has had a great season leading the charge.
The Tiger defense will be led by Tackett Curtis, Keaton Montgomery, Swayze Carheel, and a host of others. Jayvion Smart had a three-interception game last week including a touchdown on one return to ignite the fourth-quarter surge by Many.
That made Smart an easy pick for the Foy Motors’ Game Ball winner. Tylen Singleton won the Tigers’ Sledgehammer Award and Cole Pickett earned the Hard Hat Award for their performances in the win at East Feliciana.
This one looks to be quite a battle in the making, pitting an upstart that’s very excited to be in the third round against a playoff stalwart that prides itself on getting to this point every season.
With a victory, Many would host a semifinal game next week against the winner of Avoyelles at North Caddo.
Cool weather, tailgating, and a fireworks show, followed by an intense high school football game — where else would anyone want to be? Two schools, 51 miles apart, fighting for a spot in the state semifinals and a chance at a state championship.
Get there early as the stands should fill up, and don’t miss the show Friday night in the Jungle at Many.
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