For the past three seasons, the Larose-Cut Off Middle School football team has won the coveted Lafourche Parish Championship – the highest honor the team could attain.
But according to assistant coach and defensive coordinator Adrian Rios, this year’s title was the most special.
That’s because the Bulldogs rolled to a perfect 9-0 record after instilling a new spread offense – a formation change that LCO head coach Kyle Pelt thought would make the boys’ transition to high school much easier.
The icing on the cake for the perfect season came last Tuesday night when LCO broke a 6-all halftime tie and soundly defeated Golden Meadow to clinch the unbeaten year.
“The boys this year were the most willing to be coached up,” Rios said. “As coaches, we knew we had buy-in from our team. This was the first time LCO had ever run a spread, read-option type of offense, but we knew we had the athletes to do it, we just needed to teach them. This group has a desire to please and do what is asked of them in order to be successful. They are genuinely a good group of kids.”
Rios mentioned his good group of kids. Those Bulldogs are awfully talented, too.
Offensively, LCO was able to master its new offense and push the ball down the field to equal points.
Quarterback Drew Rios tossed for more than 600 yards on the season with standouts like Brock Bailleaux, Jelby Cheramie, Marcus Matherne and CJ Detillier making plays on the edges – a must in any spread offense.
“We knew we had the athletes to run it, we just needed to teach them,” Rios said. “The kids knew it was different, but they also knew it would work and were willing to play anywhere needed for us to win.”
Of course, what made it all a smooth transition was a dominant performance from the team’s offensive line.
Rios said that LCO’s offensive strength is its line – a dominant group of blockers led by Blaine Ougel, Koby Trosclair, Evan Cloutier, Noah Plaisance and Gavin Zeringue.
That group got in the trenches and did the dirty work so that Rios and the team’s playmakers can keep putting points on the board.
“Our line was great, first and foremost,” Rios said. “That was our area of concern at the beginning, but when your QB passes for over 600 yards in junior high ball, those guys have to be No. 1.”
With every point LCO scored, the team’s defense was equally dominant, keeping opponents out of the end zone and putting the Bulldogs’ playmakers back on the field.
Rios said that LCO’s starting defense allowed just one touchdown in the entire season. A lot of the team’s defensive playmakers are the same as offense because the Bulldogs play a lot of guys on both sides of the ball.
But Rios praised the work of Jake Galjour – a playmaker he said had tons of heart.
“We relied on Jake Galjour from the linebacker position to make us click defensively,” Rios said. “This kid has more heart than I can explain. He plays like he’s 6-feet tall. He was the backbone of our defense.”
For the Bulldogs, the win marked a second undefeated season in the past three years. In this year’s schedule, LCO was able to play every other team in the parish, winning ‘em all.
E.D. White provided the Bulldogs with their toughest test on the scoreboard, but the team’s game with Golden Meadow to close the season was, as always, an emotional affair.
“E.D. White beat us last year during the season and we ended up playing them in the championship game and we came out with the win,” Rios said. “But Golden Meadow is our most emotional game. The boys are playing for bragging rights for the rest of their lives. That’s the game, in my opinion, that means the most to them. That’s the game against your rival. That’s the last that most of those boys will ever play against one another. It was a great game for us to win.”
For most of the eighth graders involved, the next step for both LCO and Golden Meadow’s players is high school ball at South Lafourche.
Rios said South Lafourche head coach Dennis Skains will be awfully happy about what the future will hold.
He said that the Tarpons will be receiving players from both feeder schools that will be able to blossom and make plays at the next level.
“SL should be very excited right now,” Rios said. “The linemen from two years ago together with the group that they got last year and the group they will get next year from both us and Golden Meadow are some really good football players. A couple in that group may even be considered special!”
Posted on Tue, November 4, 2014
by Casey Gisclair, Contributing Writer