NEW ORLEANS, La. – Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium, the De La Salle Cavaliers held their final practice before their Division II title rematch with St. Thomas More.
Last year, the Cougars dominated the Cavs in the state championship game with a dominant 58-10 victory.
A game Head Coach Ryan Manale says his team and its 16 seniors remember well.
“We have to take last year as a lesson and that lesson was handed to us by an amazingly talented team. When you watch them on film, they’re even better this year than last year and that’s a nervous thing. So, I think fearing that failure, you just make sure we are mentally sharp and prepared,” says De La Salle Head Football Coach Ryan Manale.
St. Thomas More returns an explosive offense that averages 46 points per game behind one of the best pass-catch combos in the state.
Quarterback Walker Howard has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in his first season as STM’s full-time starter.
Wide Receiver Jack Bech continues to impress and had over 200 all-purpose yards and 4 touchdowns against De La Salle last season.
Both are LSU Commits.
“Two of the most impressive players you’ll see on film. No doubt you’ll see them on Saturday’s for LSU real soon,” says Coach Manale.
Much like the Cougars, The Cavs offense has stepped up its game in 2020 averaging 40 points per outing behind a balance run-pass attack that has proven it’s ready to go stride for stride with the Cougars.
Coach Manale says they key to doing that lies in the trenches.
“We have to be able to apply pressure and throw their quarterback off rhythm. He’s very good at escaping the pocket and throwing on the run but we have to get him off rhythm some type of way and in the trenches on the offensive line we have to sustain some drives,” says Coach Manale.
Two weeks of on the field preparation is in the books. Now the most important part of the Cavaliers preparation, the mental aspect, is underway.
“They need to fins a way to self-prepare. Everybody wants to get that A in the classroom, everybody wants to win a state championship.Can they look themselves in the mirror and say they’re prepared to do it and they’re ready to earn it.”
De La Salle and St. Thomas More will meet Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Northwestern State University’s Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches, La.