Basile High quarterback Dawson Ashford (3) keeps the ball after faking a handoff to running back Andre Reed (7). The Bearcats are 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in District 4-1A play. They host Elton tomorrow night. (Photo courtesy of Tonya Ortego)
Battle of the bayou
Basile and Elton are merely seven minutes apart and a lot of the players from both teams know each other, grew up with each other, or are even related to each other.
However, friendship and kinship goes out the window with this knock down, drag out rivalry known as the Battle of the Bayou. It is known as such because of Bayou Nezpique which separates the two towns along with that seven minute stretch of U.S. Highway 190.
The two schools have been rivals as long as the Bearcats and Indians have had football teams. Everybody in the towns of Elton and Basile have a story about this rivalry.
Since 2009 Basile is 5-2 against Elton in the series, including a 17-16 victory over Elton in the first round of the Class 1A Playoffs in 2012. The two teams did not play in 2015 and 2016 because they were in separate districts.
“This is not one of those heated rivalries, like the one between us and St. Ed’s,” stated Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand. “But, this is a hard fought rivalry. Both teams come out and play hard to the bitter end. Neither team wants to lose to the other. It gives huge bragging rights for the year, and the winner gets to keep the trophy.”
Last year the Bearcats came out on top of the Indians 28-26.
Basile comes into the game with an overall record of 4-2 and a district record of 2-1. The Bearcats picked up a win over South Cameron last week via a forfeit, due to the fact that the Tarpons could not field enough players.
According to Bertrand, not playing a game last past week is both a blessing and an annoyance for his team.
“We had some injuries to some key players over the last few weeks, so it was good to get them healthier for the stretch run,” said Bertrand. “But, it is good to be able to play someone again. Our guys were getting a little antsy this week at practice. They are ready to go and are chomping at the bit to get back on the field.”
When Basile is firing on all cylinders, the Bearcats have an offense that can put points up on the board. Basile comes into the contest averaging 22 points per game (not including the 2-0 forfeit win over South Cameron).
Leading the way for the Bearcats are the three headed running attack of Andre Reed, Isaiah Ceasar and Logan David. Combined the three athletes have over 1,000 yards of rushing.
Also, quarterback Dawson Ashford has made his presence known this season, throwing for over 400 yards. His main targets have been Jaylen Thomas and Ceasar.
On the other side of the ball, Elton has struggled this season at times, holding an overall record of 2-4 and a district record of 2-1. The Indians average 18.1 points per game on offense, but give up a eye-popping 30 points per game on defense.
Elton fell 47-0 to St. Ed’s this past Friday night.
“Their (Elton) record is deceiving,” commented Bertrand. “They are a solid football team that can beat you if you don’t come to play. They run the ball for the most part, but will throw it to keep you honest.”
“Their main running back has some size and speed and their receivers catch the ball well,” Bertrand continued. “Defensively, they tackle well and I believe their defensive line is their strength. We are going to have to come ready to play.”