Following a thrilling 22-21 overtime win over rival Port Allen, the Brusly Panthers hit the road Friday to take on a formidable opponent.
The Alexandria Trojans enter the game with a 1-0 record following a 35-22 victory over Ferriday last week.
“ASH is a good team,” said Brusly head coach Hoff Schooler. “They’re well-coached. They’re accustomed to playing against good competition. They’re a totally different team (from Port Allen). They’re big up front and have more depth. That’s what it is when you play a school of that caliber.”
The Panthers may be heading into the contest short-handed with a couple of players suffering from injuries.
“We have some injuries, but we’ll have to move some guys around and get them ready for Friday night,” Schooler said.
Sophomore defensive back Sydney Moore isn’t expected to play and senior running back Dale Gordon is day-to-day, according to the coach.
Alexandria quarterback Judd Barton leads the offense with Chris Gray getting the majority of the rushing attempts. Gray carried the ball 23 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns against Ferriday.
Jarvis Newton is also a factor in the run game but made his mark on special teams last week, which included a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown.
Jacobian Guillory (6-2, 320) leads the defensive line, while Virginia commit Bud Clark spearheads the secondary.
For Brusly, the emotional win over Port Allen provided a glimpse into what the potential of the 2019 Panthers could be, Schooler said.
“The toughness they showed to be able to finish the game was great,” he said. “It was 0-0 at halftime, so you knew it would come down to someone needing to make a play and we made that play.”
The excitement of a win over an in-parish rival lasted less than 20 hours as the Panthers began preparation for the Trojans Saturday morning.
“For us, Port Allen was over and we’re on to ASH,” Schooler said. “It’s the nature of this. It’s a great win, but it’s one win.”
In the win, Brusly quarterback Nick Penell scored the game-tying touchdown and the game-winning conversion attempt.
In his third season as a starter, Schooler said his quarterback has consistently improved each year as he looks to lead the team in his final season at Brusly.
“His maturation as a quarterback has been big,” Schooler said. “We’re able to put more on him. He makes decisions faster.”