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Danger ahead

Sacred Heart battles North Central in finale

The Sacred Heart Trojans know they are in the Division IV playoffs.
They also know that a win probably won’t move them up in the final power ranking of the season.
But mostly the Trojans know that their final opponent of the regular season tomorrow night, the North Central Hurricanes, is one of the most dangerous teams they will face this year.
Despite their 1-8 record, North Central is a team that, according to Sacred Heart head coach Josh Harper, can beat you if you are not one-hundred percent on your game.
Game time at Soileau-Landry field is set for 7 p.m.
“North Central has the type of talent that could realistically produce most of the all-district team voted on at the end of the season,” stated Harper. “They are so athletic. They have not been able to piece everything together this year but if they do this week, we could be in for a long night.”
The Hurricanes only win of the season came in a forfeit victory over Tara High School. North Central averages 10 points per game on offense. Defensively the Hurricanes give up 45.7 points per game.
“When you look at them on film, it is hard to figure out what they are doing scheme wise on both sides of the ball,” said Harper. “The biggest thing is they kill themselves every week. I just hope they continue killing themselves. But, when it comes to talent, they are by far the most talented team in the district.”
Sacred Heart on the other hand has been a steady team all year long. Last week, the Trojans went into hostile Opelousas Catholic territory and made the Vikings work for every one of their points in the 21-6 Sacred Heart loss.
“I thought we played one of our best games of the year against Opelousas Catholic,” commented Harper. “We just made a few mistakes against a good team, and you can’t do that. One of the biggest factors against them was depth. We only dressed out 22 players and had kids limping in and out of the ballgame.”
As of this week, the Trojans stand at 4-5 on the year and 1-3 in District 5-1A. According to Tuesday’s LHSAA power ranking, Sacred Heart was the No. 12 team in Division IV, four places out of the top eight.
A top eight spot would guarantee the Trojans a home first round playoff game. However, Harper believes that even with a win over the Hurricanes, Sacred Heart will not move up the ladder in the power ranking, if at all.
“A win would help us out some, but I really don’t think it will get us enough power points to put us in the top eight,” stated Harper. “Still, getting to the playoffs is half the battle. What we don’t want to happen is to slip in the standings because we slipped up this week.”
One of the main points of emphasis this week for Harper and the Trojans is to make sure that they keep focus on the task at hand.
“It is homecoming week for us here and sometimes the distractions can make you lose your focus,” said Harper. “We have to be able to enjoy all of the hoopla around homecoming and still maintain our focus throughout practice and the game. So far this week the players have made sure that what happens outside of practice is not brought to practice. I think we are in the right frame of mind.”

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