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Cardinals, Mustangs are ready for prime time

Assumption's Acquindas Brown (2) and E.D. White Catholic's Bobby Businelle (5) and Corey Dauzat (54) will lead their respective teams in Thursday's nondistrict showdown at Yockey Bernard Field at Harvey Peltier Stadium in Thibodaux. (Photo by File photos)

Cox Sports Television will provide the lights and the cameras, while E.D. White Catholic and Assumption will provide the action.

For the first time since CST began broadcasting high school football games, two area teams will be featured on the network's Louisiana High School Athletic Association's Game of the Week.

The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday on Yockey Bernard Field at Harvey Peltier Stadium.

Cox Sport Television is channel 311 on Charter Communications, channel 271 on Comcast and channel 43 on Vision Communications.

E.D. White coach Kyle Lasseigne said having the game on television is an opportunity to showcase both schools and the brand of football played in this area.

"I think it is more of a big deal for our area, than it is for us or Assumption for that matter. (CST) wanted to come down and see the caliber of football we play down here," Lasseigne said. "It is a great opportunity for us and Assumption to get on television and get some exposure. I know their games are primarily from north or central Louisiana and some of that is because of match-ups. We are excited that they are finally going to come down here."

Television viewers across the state will get to see a long-time rivalry that has produced thrilling finishes and physical battles.

The one hitch in the preparation for both teams is the short week.

Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, both teams started their seasons on Saturday and now have to quickly turnaround to get ready for a Thursday game.

Assumption first-year coach Anthony Paine said it is exciting to be on television, but the focus is on trying to go 2-0. The Mustangs (1-0 overall) opened the season with a 28-6 win over Donaldsonville.

"(The Donaldsonville) game is over, and our focus is the next one. We were already a day short and now we are two days short because we are playing on a Thursday," Paine said. "I think E.D. White will be physical and they will bring it. We now know what it is like to play four quarters, and we need to a better job in our conditioning. It is on television, and no one wants to cramp up on television. Our kids are resilient, and I didn't have one miss a practice with (the storm) going on."

While both coaches are down playing the game being televised, the players understand it is their time to shine.

E.D. White running back Bobby Businelle said that there is added pressure with the television cameras, but he doesn't see it being a distraction.

"We are very excited to play our rival, and we need to get some payback from last year," Businelle said. "There is some added pressure with television, but we are going to focus on playing our game. We don't want to focus on the television and concentrate on them and get the win."

The Cardinals (1-0) are coming off a 27-15 over Vandebilt Catholic.

E.D. White wide receiver Colby Masse said being on television is great but going 2-0 would be even better.

"We have a lot of momentum coming into this game. We are playing another rival, and we can build momentum in hopes of putting together an successful season," Masse said. "We got a lot of talent and we want to show it off. We don't want to get distracted. We just want to play our game and come out with a win."

The Assumption players are also excited for the opportunity to showcase their talents to the rest of the state. However, Mustangs wide receiver Malik Mills said the team doesn't want to get caught in the hype of being on television.

"We just got to out there and play our roles and do what we have to do," Mills said. "We will only get a few days of practice, so we have to work hard to be prepared."

Assumption quarterback Cameron Blame said with just two days of practice, the team will have to improve quickly in preparation for E.D. White.

"We got to fight through the struggles of a short week. There will be no slacking (at practice)," Blame said. "We did alright (against Donaldsonville), but we have a lot of room for improvement. We should be able to fix (our mistakes)."

No matter the outcome, Lasseigne said the true winner of Thursday's game will be the entire area. While the game is between the Cardinals and Mustangs, it is an opportunity for the area to put its best foot forward for the state to see.

"This is definitely special. It is a Thursday, and it will be the only game in town. Television is coming, and that brings the best of everything," Lasseigne said. "It is the best crowd, opponent, officiating crew, LHSAA staff, everyone is going to be here. We need to live up to that and we have to recognize the importance not only for our schools, but the area. I think both teams want to put on a good show and show the type of football we play. There is a lot of positives about this. "I just see so many positives that it is well worth moving the game to Thursday."