BY MATT VINES, Journal Sports
MANY – The first four weeks of Many’s football season had a little bit of everything.
Two Class 5A wins in which the Tigers held Sam Houston and Haughton out of the end zone.
A win against the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation and the No. 2 Class 2A squad in the state. Arch Manning may have gotten Isidore Newman in the end zone twice, but he didn’t throw for more than 100 yards as he started 0-9 passing.
A road win in which Many decimated a solid DeRidder program 50-7.
While the Tigers (4-0) are undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the state regardless of classification, Many takes a bye week this week after not being able to find a willing opponent.
It may be an undesired breather, but the Tigers will rest their paws before pursuing their ninth straight district title. Many has won 29 straight district games dating back to the 2013 opener – a loss to Pickering back in the District 2-4A days.
While Many will be heavy favorites each week in district play, that isn’t to say that District 3-2A won’t offer any resistance.
Many begins in Week 6 against a Mansfield (0-4) squad that had near misses against Evangel and Ouachita Christian before a baffling 52-8 loss to Logansport this past week.
Week 7 opponent Winnfield (3-1) counts Class 5A Pineville among its wins but Class 1A Cedar Creek as its only loss.
Red River has been typical challenger the past few seasons, and after being shutout against Class 5A foes in the first two weeks, the Bulldogs revved it up in a blowout of Woodlawn before suffering a two-point loss to Loyola.
Lakeview (3-1) might be the darling of the district this season as the Gators are on a three-game winning streak with a combined 99-18 margin of victory in that streak, which included a win against previously unbeaten LaSalle.
But the Tigers are playoff-focused as they attempt to sharpen themselves for a run to their fourth straight title game.
Many didn’t need to attempt a pass against Haughton and didn’t complete a pass against DeRidder or Newman as the punishing rushing attack averages nearly 375 yards per game.
Running backs Jeremiah James and Trent Williams along with quarterback Tackett Curtis have accounted for Many’s five 100-yard rushing performances. That doesn’t include Jamarlyn Garner, who has gone over 80 yards twice.
Many might not play this week, but the Tigers won’t rest either.
They’ll nitpick their games – things like muffed punts and penalties – small stains on otherwise stellar performances.
The Tigers know what it feels like to raise the championship trophy as they did in 2020.
They also know what it’s like to be on that other sideline, the place where small stains can mean the difference in whether or not you’re getting fitted for a ring.
PHOTO: Darrin Dyess/Journal Sports
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