Port Allen capitalized on opportunities to turn a disastrous season to one of their best in several years – and they have a chance to build on those fortunes
The Pelicans (4-4, 3-0) hope to make the most of an opportunity to claim at least a share of the District 8-2A championship when they host defending district titleholder Dunham (7-1, 3-0) in a showdown Friday at Guy Otwell Field. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Dunham, which defeated East Feliciana 13-12 in action last Friday, heads to Port Allen as the No. 7-ranked team in Class 2A in the latest polls compiled by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association.
“We’ve talked about this kind of situation, and we’re ready to embrace this opportunity,” head coach Don Gibson said. “It’s been 45 years since Port Allen has won a district title, and we want to make the most of this chance.”
PAHS heads to action against the Baton Rouge parochial school one week after the Pels breezed past Capitol 55-21. The Pelicans increased their winning streak to four games and finished October without a loss.
Port Allen began its turnaround in early October with a homecoming victory over Cohen of New Orleans. The Pelicans emerged triumphant in district games against East Feliciana, Northeast and Capitol.
The Pelicans fired on all cylinders against Capitol, with two touchdowns apiece by Mekyle Franklin and Antoine Jordan, along with one apiece by Myles Hopkins and Edward Wilson.
An 18-13 loss to Parkview Baptist in Week 3 action has been the only blemish thus far for the Tigers, led by second-generation head coach Neal Weiner, who has followed in the footsteps of his father, Louisiana High School Athletic Association Hall of Famer Dale Weiner, who coached more than 20 years at Catholic-Baton Rouge.
The loss of several key seniors gave the impression Dunham would lose a step or two in the 2019 season, but the Tigers have showed no loss in momentum from last season.
“This is a huge opportunity for us, and Dunham has won 20 consecutive district games, so we have our work cut out for us,” he said. “Neil Weiner has done a great job with that program, and we know they’ll be tough, but you only get better by playing the best. Our kids want to make the most of this opportunity.”
DHS coasted past Woodlawn and Thrive Academy in the first two games of the season. The Tigers have also posted wins over Northeast and Capitol in the district battles.
In action against East Feliciana, Dunham quarterback Anthony Stafford passed for one touchdown and scored on a keeper. Dunham held EFHS to 127 yards total offense, including 90 on the rushing attack.
The Tigers went 9-0 in regular season action for the district title last season but lost in the first round to Catholic-New Iberia.