Port Allen advance 1101

The Port Allen defense makes a stop during a game against East Feliciana earlier this season.

Pelicans hope to make most

of battle vs. Church Academy

Port Allen heads into Week 10 on the heels of perhaps their biggest win of the season, and perhaps a spot in the postseason playoffs.

The Pelicans (2-7, 1-4) host The Church Academy (0-9, 0-5) on Friday for the regular season finale. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

The Crusaders enter the game after a 44-0 loss to Northeast.

A win against the young Church Academy program could give PAHS the boost necessary to land a spot in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 2 non-select playoffs. Bracket will be announced Nov. 4.

"We're right there on the cusp of being in the playoffs," Coach Don Gibson said. "The LHSAA hasn't released power rankings yet, but we were around 32 last week, so I'm hoping this can get us a little higher.

"I want these guys to reach the playoffs, and let them get the feel of the postseason run," he said. "It's a different season at that point, so you never know what can happen."

Even so, the Pelicans cannot afford to overlook Church Academy, who have struggled with new coaches and a new owner of the school.

Mindset will play as big a factor as physical performance for PAHS, Gibson said.

"I know they're going through rebuilding, but need to focus on ourselves, continue to get better, continue to work hard and stay the course," he said. "Even in Week 10, working to get better.

"They've had their challenges, but they're not a bad program, and our players need to remember that," Gibson said. "We don't want any letdowns, respect the opponent, no matter what the record indicates."

PAHS needs a repeat of the showing they had against Capitol, he said.

"We stayed ahead in the game for the most part, felt good going into the game and managed to stop a very good 5-3 team," Gibson said. "They were ranked 14 in power rankings, and we needed the win to keep chances alive.

"We hope this week to get rewarded. We stayed ahead in the game for the most  part, felt good going into the game, and even though 5-3 team, had good chance," he said. "We hope we'll get rewarded after this week with a playoff berth, but we still have to take care of business."


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