It’s the second season for the Port Allen Pelicans, but it’s not much easier than the first.
After a season-opening win at Brusly, followed by losses to Plaquemine and Donaldsonville, PAHS looks to the District 7-2A starter as a chance to refocus with a clean slate.
The Pelicans (1-2) will head into district fare at home on Thursday, Sept. 21, when they host Dunham (2-1), coached by second-generation mentor Neil Weiner, son of recently retired Catholic-Baton Rouge coaching veteran Neil Weiner.
“We look at this as every win is 0-0,” Pelican head coach Don Gibson said. “They’re a great team and Weiner is one of the finest coaches in the area, and he was taught well by his father, a man for whom I have tremendous respect.”
While Port Allen lost two games after its season opener, the Tigers have bounced back with two wins after a 42-28 loss to 5A foe Central in Week One. Dunham followed with a 43-3 route over 4A St. Michael and Week Two and 52-42 offensive showcase against 3A Baker in Week Three.
Dunham has averaged 37 points per game this season.
“They have an explosive offense led by some very talented players,” Gibson said. “To beat a team like that, we have to keep their offense off the field and the players will need to remember the assignments.
“We can’t afford to let a team like Dunham get the early advantage against us,” he said. “They’re big and they’re dangerous.”
Gibson was enthusiastic Monday after a solid practice.
“The kids look like they’re ready to put the last two losses behind them and look ahead, and in turn they had one of the best practices since I started here,” he said.
Weiner coached the Tigers to a 9-2 season last year that ended in a 41-40 loss to Newman in the Division III Select Playoffs.
The Tigers bring plenty of talent to the field this season and figure as an early contender in the 8-2A title race. Ashton Domingue returns as quarterback for his senior year.
He will have at his disposal a capable group of wide receivers in juniors Kobe Semien and Nicholas Cambias, along with junior running backs Austin Richard and Treylan Mouton. Senior tackles Tyler Johnson, Cobin Leindecker will play a prominent role on defense, along with defensive ends Shelby Hanks and Talbot Daniels.