Basile High tight end Justin Smith (20) seals the hole for a Bearcat runner. (Photo courtesy of Tonya Ortego)
Basile faces tough task as they travel to Oberlin Friday
Against the Gueydan Bears this past Friday night, the Basile Bearcats proved that they were ready to get back on the field of play after their two-week layoff due to COVID-19 concerns.
In that game, Basile churned up 42 points and 407 yards of total offense in a dominant 42-14 win over the Bears. Still, head coach Kevin Bertrand did admit that the start of the Gueydan game was not as smooth as it could have been.
“I thought we started off just how I expected, a little rusty,” stated Bertrand. “Not terrible, but just a step off from what we would normally see. I thought by the time the second half came around, things were getting back to where it should be.”
Since game one of the season, Basile has steadily improved their game, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The biggest factor in that turn around has been the continued growth in the running game.
This past Friday against Gueydan, the Bearcats pounded the ball on the ground 34 times for 323 yards, an average of 9.5 yards per carry. A huge factor in the success of the running game in that contest, the number of players that contributed.
Six players toted the pigskin, with no one player garnering over 78 yards. The duo of Ethan Bazinet and Ethan Langley combined for 155 yards, with the two separated by one yard of total rushing, 78-77. Even quarterback Cole Manuel chipped in, gathering 67 yards on four carries.
“It was good to see us come back in a positive way in all three phases of the game,” said Bertrand. “Playing that way gives us something to hang our hat on coming into the last regular season game of the year.”
That last game will be an extremely tough challenge for Basile as they will take on a red hot Oberlin Tiger squad. Oberlin enters the contest with an overall record of 5-1. The only loss for the Tigers this year came in week one when they bowed to the Oakdale Warriors.
Oberlin and Basile know each other very well, having played in the same district for seven of the last nine years. The Bearcats are 5-5 against the Tigers, including a loss to Oberlin in last year’s quarter-finals.
“Oberlin is a little different this season,” commented Bertrand. “Last year it was all about coming right at you. This season, because they have more speed, they tend to want to get to the outside. They are a good, solid team as usual. They run the ball very effectively and their defense is really good. We are going to have to be in the right positions and be aware where we are at all times.”