Sports

Farmers look to reboundFarmers look to rebound
On paper, the Madison Parish Jaguars are the perfect
opponent for the Union Parish Fighting Farmers to face
for homecoming.
They would also appear to be an ideal tonic to get the
taste of last week’s 14-6 loss against Richwood in their
District 2-3A opener out of their mouth.
Madison will bring a 1-6 mark into Doc Elliott Stadium
for Friday’s contest. They are on a four-game losing
skid after posting a 58-44 win over Delhi in Week Three
of the season.
Other than one game this season, the Jags have
been more than able to put points on the board. Throw
out one game where they only scored one touchdown,
they’ve averaged 28.4 points per game.
Defense is another matter altogether. In only one
game this year have the Jags not surrendered at least 30
points to their opponents. Their last two games – Wossman
last week and Country Day the week prior – they
gave up 50 and 70 points, respectively. They are allowingopponents to score an average of 45 points per game.
Madison is coached by Levi Washington Jr. He played
quarterback for his father, who coached Tallulah High
School for many years. In his first year as head coach,
Washington Jr. led the Jaguars to their first playoff
berth in 13 seasons.
Since 2011, the Farmers and Madison have been
district opponents. The Farmers have won seven games
against the Jags in that time, including two during a
three-week period in 2014 – a 49-8 win in Week Nine »


Farmers take four-game win streak into 2-3A opener
With a state championship
in 2013, the Union
Parish Fighting Farmers
put the cap on their rise
to the top of Class 3A
football in the Louisiana
High School Athletic Association.
After a heartbreaking
overtime loss to Haynesville
in Week 2 the following
season, the Farmers
won 10 straight before
falling to West Feliciana
in the second round of the
playoffs.
Two years of one-anddone
in the playoffs put
the Farmers in unfamiliar
territory.
“We had been the team
people didn’t want to play,
and then we became a
game folks thought they
could win,” coach Joe
Spatafora said.
Expectations for 2017
were uncertain. A shutout
loss on the road at Airline
may have heightened the
doubt in any minds.
Union Parish – ranked
ninth in the Louisiana
Sports Writers Association
Class 3A poll this
week – travels to Richwood
on Friday riding a
four game win streak.
“There are two things
we talk about every day,”
Spatafora said. “We have
on our board, ‘Get better
every week.’ The other
thing we tell them is ‘Focus
on the finish.’ I think
they’ve learned the importance
of that early this
year. It’s something we’ve
learned against a tough
schedule, something that
will benefit us during this
part of the season.”
UPHS won its last
pre-district game in convincing
fashion, cruising
to a 27-0 lead at halftime
en route to a 34-8 decision
over Franklin Parish. The
Farmers’ two-quarterback
system worked almost
to perfection against
the Patriots, with Lawrence
Glosson Jr. rushing
10 times for 125 yards
with a touchdown. Trent
Ginn added 120 yards on
13 carries and was five of
seven passing with two
touchdowns.
Richwood brings a
3-2 record into Friday’s »


Farmers face almost mirror image against Many
When the Many Tigers
line up against the Union
Parish Fighting Farmers
on Friday, with one large
exception, they’ll look like
mirror images.
Farmers coach Joe Spatafora
says he shares an
offensive philosophy with
Many coach Jess Curtis,
one that has been equally
successful for both.
In 2013, Spat a fora
coached the Farmers to
the Class 3A state title. One
year later – his first as head
coach at the Sabine Parish
School- Curtis led the Tigers
to the Class 2A crown.
In three seasons, he’s put
together a record of 38 wins
and three losses.
“They’re a lot like us,”
Spatafora said. “They like
to come right at you and
run smash-mouth football.”
That large difference
between the teams is found
in Many’s backfield. Senior
running back A.J. Carter is
a 6-2, 200-pound, three-star
prospect, ranked as one of
the top 30 running backs in
the class of 2018. Last year,
Carter made a verbal commitment
to ULCA. He rescinded
that commitment,
and pledged to attend LSU
this summer after attending
camp in Baton Rouge. A
week later, he flipped again,
committing again to play
for the Bruins.
“He’s a big, powerful
running back. A true D-1
prospect,” Spatafora said.
“They got a big offensive
line that does what they
have to do to give him
space.”
Many, who lost in the
Class 2A semifinals last
season in triple overtime
against Sterlington, comes
into the contest with a 2-1
record. After opening the
season with convincing
wins, 40-0 over Peabody and
50-12 against Marksville,
the Tigers couldn’t hold
onto a halftime lead against
North DeSoto and fell by a
20-12 final to the Griffins.
Union won their second
straight and improved to
2-1 on the season with a
27-8 win against Rayville.
After holding a 20-0 lead at
the half, Spatafora said the
Farmers made “came out
flat and made too many mistakes”
with turnovers and
penalties and allowed the
Hornets to cut into the lead.
“Then our kids did
what we preach to them all
the time,” Spatafora said.
“When we give up a score,
we’ve got to get one ourselves.
They responded and
gave us a three-possession
lead again.
“We’ve got to eliminate »


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