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|Patriots take on Gators this Friday|
One of the areas top rivalries kicks off this Friday night when the Delhi Charter Gators visit the Franklin Parish Patriots at 7 p.m. in Winnsboro.
The Gators are coming off a 20-13 loss in their jamboree to the Block Bears. The jamboree also included a game between Ferriday and Vidalia High School.
The Gators quickly fell behind when the Bears scored on a touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage. The Gators climbed back in control in the second half with some adjustments that helped put DCS up 13-8 with two minutes remaining. The Bears then drove the field and scored on a tipped pass that Block came down in bounce with. On the ensuing drive, DCS appeared poised to win the game when an errant pass was picked off and returned for a touchdown which gave Block a lead they would not relinquish.
Delhi Charter defeated the Patriots 20-12 last season, but neither coach is buying into either team worrying too much about last seasons outcome.
"They aren't the same team and we aren't the same team," FPHS head coach Barry Sebren said. "Right now they have the bragging rights. It is just a good rivalry. We want to beat them badly and they want to beat us badly too."
The Delhi Charter School staff has been impressed by what they have seen from the Patriots and think that the size advantage that the Patriots have could be a problem.
"We got a chance to see them in the jamb against Mangham," DCS coach Bret Raley said.
"They look huge up front and this is the smallest we have been since 2005."
Raley hopes to prepare his team for the new option scheme the Patriots are running on offense because it can be quite tricky to figure out.
While the defensive front may be smaller than a year ago at DCS, Sebren sees the Gators still having plenty of solid talent on that side of the football.
"On defense, it looks like they have some guys that are pretty dang good," Sebren said. "Whoever wins this game has a chance to have a solid season."
Sebren's Patriots beat Mangham 22-14 in there jamboree contest last week.
It was a game that Sebren felt was a good test for his young squad.
"Mangham was a very talented football team," Sebren said. "They weren't very big but they had good skill people who were fast."
It was Mangham's speed that caught the Patriots off guard to begin the game.
Mangham raced out to a 14-0 halftime lead. In the second half, the Patriot defense dominated with four forced turnovers.
Wilson Curtis made the play of the game with a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown that sealed the deal for FPHS.
Trevo Pleasant also recored a pick for the Patriots.
Quarterback Steven Williams scored on the first touchdown run on offense and later Noble Johnson scored on a dive play near the goal line.
Sebren knows that this week his defensive front could be the difference in the outcome against DCS.
"There backfield is better this season," Sebren said. "They have a powerful running game that you have to line up and stop."