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Braves, Patriots are gunning for 2-0

H.L. Bourgeois quarterback Todd Adkins (left) and Ellender running back Ralph Singleton hope to lead their teams to 2-0 records on Friday. (Photo by File Photos)

After a couple of losing seasons, H.L. Bourgeois and Ellender enjoyed a taste of victory during their regular season openers on Sunday.

Ellender snapped a 32-game losing streak with a 26-7 win over Terrebonne, while H.L. Bourgeois, which lost eight games to end last season, overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat J.S. Clark, 30-24, on Sunday.

When the Braves and Patriots meet for a nondistrict showdown at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, both teams will try to create winning streaks and stay unbeaten at 2-0 overall this season.

"Another win would be nice," second-year Ellender coach Terry Washington said. "It would be great to get out to a 2-0 start. If we can play 48 minutes and stick together, we feel like we can compete against anyone. We are a lot better than we were last year."

H.L. Bourgeois coach Ben Powell, who is also in his second season, said the Braves share the same goal — to stay perfect.

"It really is a big deal," Powell said. "We're 1-0 and starting off the way we want to. We're feeling pretty good about ourselves. Obviously, Ellender is coming off a pretty big win for the program. Coach Washington and those guys are doing a great job. Those guys are so much better in so many different facets of the game than they were a year ago. You can tell they are really putting in a lot of effort into it as a coaching staff. The kids are buying into what they are doing, so it should be fun. Our kids are excited about this game, so we're looking forward to it."

After getting an emotional win against Terrebonne, Washington said Ellender got all of the celebrating out of its system on Sunday, and now it is focused on playing H.L. Bourgeois. The Braves used a late touchdown catch by former receiver Derian Moore to beat Ellender, 25-21, last season.

Washington said he watched H.L. Bourgeois play against Clark on Sunday, and he came away impressed.

"They are a good football team," Washington said. "We're going to have to play like we did against Terrebonne to get a win. Our goal is to get better every week."

Although it committed 11 penalties for 105 yards with a turnover against Terrebonne, the Patriots got it together right before halftime when quarterback Dustin Creppel (19-for-27, 211 yards, three TDs) tossed two touchdowns (to Dan Mitchell and Thomas Johnson each) in the final minute.

Washington said the key for the Patriots will be to play their style of football and limit mistakes.

"We just want to be able to be consistent running and throwing the football," Washington said. "If we can get some consistency on a weekly basis, I think we will be able to compete against anyone."

H.L. Bourgeois trailed by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter against Clark, but it scored two touchdowns in the final period to come away on top.

Powell said his team showed a lot of character in its comeback win.

"It was big to fight through that," Powell said. "I think we made some mistakes, and we allowed ourselves to get into that position. It's good to see the kids overcome that adversity. When we were down by two scores, it would have been easy to just kind of give up, but our kids didn't. They kept playing hard and we got a couple of breaks we needed, and we were able to pull it out at the end."

During practice this week, Powell said the Braves worked on cleaning up some areas of their game, including running better screens on offense and lining up correctly on defense.

H.L. Bourgeois, which got a game-high 81 rushing yards and a touchdown from running back Jordin Starks and a 45-yard game-winning fumble recovery for a touchdown from Michael Flakes, finished with 192 yards on offense, but allowed 197 on defense (181 in the second half) to Clark.

Powell said the Braves will have to play better on both sides of the ball in order to defeat Ellender.

"They are a good football team," Powell said. "They've got a really good quarterback and talented skill guys. I think they are going to be real dangerous in that District 8-4A district. It'll be fun. A win over Ellender will be a quality win this year. The team that is 2-0 after this game will be putting themselves in a good position."

Washington said that he knows that Ellender's players, students and fans will be fired up for its first home game of the season on Friday.

"Everybody in the community is excited about what's transpired so far, but we're trying to keep an even keel," Washington said. "It's got to be one game at a time. We hope that the fans come out and support us this Friday. We hope that we can give them another good time."



Ellender has started the season 2-0 only twice in school history (1994 and 2006) ... H.L. Bourgeois opened the season at 2-0 last season before losing its final eight games ... Washington said Ellender's starting free safety Nicholas Robinson will miss the game after suffering a heat-related illness during the Terrebonne game. Robinson spent a couple of days this week in the hospital, but he is reportedly in good condition ... The Braves used two quarterbacks (Todd Adkins and Jake Broggi) against Clark. Adkins finished 6-of-20 for 23 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while Broggi went 3-of-8 for 20 yards and a touchdown. Powell said Adkins will get the start, but both players are expected to play.