Many travels south down Hwy. 171 to face DeRidder on Friday

DERIDDER – Not many teams sign up to play Class 2A power Many in the first place, and the Tigers learned this offseason that even fewer programs wanted to play Many again in the second year of the two-year scheduling cycle. 


The only team to honor the return game this season is Class 4A member DeRidder. 


The Tigers (1-0) head down Hwy. 171 Friday to take on the Dragons (1-0) in a 7 p.m. kick. 


Many demolished a Dragons squad 61-26 that ended up winning seven games and nearly snatched a first-round home playoff game in 2021. 


The Tigers continued their dominating ways this season with a 38-3 shellacking of Class 5A Sam Houston to open the 2022 campaign. 


The Week 1 victory pushed Many’s regular-season winning streak to 10 games dating back to a 2021 Week 1 loss to Union Parish. 


The defense smothered Sam Houston’s spread offense to the tune of 103 yards allowed, and now the Tigers must switch gears to match DeRidder’s veer offense that controlled the clock in a 26-12 Week 1 win against parish rival South Beauregard. 


“We were very happy with Week 1,” said Many coach Jess Curtis. “We want to finish our drives because we felt like we left some points out there. 


“We expected to be good on defense with 10 starters returning, and we played really well against Sam Houston. Now we have to be disciplined and assignment-ready against DeRidder’s veer.” 


Many used its punishing running attack in Week 1 to gain 287 of its 322 offensive yards led by Jeremiah James (172 yards and two touchdowns). 


But quarterback Tackett Curtis was a show-stealer, returning two punts for a touchdown with a third punt return score wiped out by penalty. 


Add a lengthy kick return from Jayvion Smart and a made field goal from kicker Deacon Lafollette, and the Tigers special teams is playing at a championship level. 


“Special teams was an area of focus in the offseason because we felt it hurt us in the (2021) state championship game,” Jess Curtis said. “We have some weapons in that area with (Lafollette and Curtis). 


DeRidder and Many share some program ties, including DeRidder coach Brad Parmley. 


Parmley played football at Many for his father Eric Parmley. 


The younger Parmley replaced the elder at DeRidder in 2014 when Eric Parmley stepped down as the head coach after turning the Dragons program around. 


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