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Blanchard pleased with young Pelican squad

Written by John Dupont on .

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Port Allen coach Guy Blanchard saw plenty of potential — and a few areas that need work — Thursday in the spring football scrimmage against Kentwood.

Blanchard likes the attitude and enthusiasm the Pelicans showed against the longtime Class 1A power, but the loss of some experienced players will require plenty of preparation over the next two months.

“We were alright, but we’re extremely young,” he said. “I knew that going in and we got just what we expected.”

Kentwood scored two touchdowns against one for the Pelicans.

The outcome did not surprise Blanchard.

“Kentwood was as good as advertised … a pretty good team,” he said. “I was pleased with what I saw.

“We know there’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m excited about our kids,” Blanchard said. “I think it’s a good group, so we have a lot to look forward to.”

Kevin Branson scored on a 1-yard sneak for the Pels.

PAHS had some drives stalled by turnovers.

“Again, we were dealing with freshman and rookie mistakes,” Blanchard said. “Once these kids get the game night experience, we’ll be okay.”

Blanchard was particularly enthusiastic about the defense, which looked very physical against the Kangaroos.

“I thought the defense played very well,” he said. “They did exactly what they’re supposed to do.

“I know Coach Parker was disappointed in a couple of the breakdowns, but as young as we are, you have to expect that,” Blanchard said. “To have only two breakdowns in fifty plays, you have to be pleased.”

Blanchard must fill the void left by Darian Claiborne, who signed earlier this year with Texas A&M.

Jamarcus Franklin and Alex Hebert – both sophomores -- will compete for the spot during the off-season.

“We’ll have a lot of work to do on offense, a lot of fundamental work to do and a lot of experience to make up for,” Blanchard said. “Overall, it’s a talented group, and I think they’re going to surprise some people.

“A lot is expected out of this group,” he said. “We’re all so young, so the most impressive stat we had tonight was that we did all we did without three starters who were out.”

Other top returnees include Marcus Keys, Morris Miller, Jarian Thomas, Charles Mullins and Troy Latiolais.

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