CCHS preps for LCA, elite RB Hargrave

Central Catholic’s Sydney Holder, left, and Blake Byrne converge
on a Ascension Episcopal ball carrier during last week’s contest. The Eagles, who have rebounded from an 0-5 start with two straight wins, will try to make it three in a row when they travel Thursday to face Lafayette Christian in District 7-1A play.

By GEOFF STOUTE

gstoute@daily-review.com

Central Catholic will try to win its  third straight when it faces district newcomer Lafayette Christian Academy on the road Thursday.

The Eagles, who after starting the season 0-5, have won their last two contests, against Hanson Memorial and Ascension Episcopal.

In last week’s 41-24 win against Ascension Episcopal, Central Catholic’s Stefano Guarisco had more than 400 all-purpose yards.

The sophomore has been key for the Eagles all year as he has rushed for 759 yards on 112 carries and scored nine touchdowns, while he has caught 30 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns.

In last week’s win, he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and later, a punt for a score.

While teams know about Guarisco’s ability, not many thus far in district have been able to keep him in check a whole game as he has been vital for the Eagles in the receiving and running game as well as on special teams.

“He has real good speed. He’s tough. We do have other guys we can get the ball to. He just happens to be the guy that makes big when we get the ball. I’m obviously very pleased with his performance and the other guys.”

However, Fuhrer knows that opponents will keep trying to take away the Eagles’ valuable weapon and in doing so, he said it will allow his team to showcase the talents of other players.

“That’s a good thing to have because they’ll forget about the other guys that can make plays too,” Fuhrer said.

While this week’s opponent, Lafayette Christian, may be competing for varsity honors in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for the first time, they are not an average first-year full membership program as they boast one of the state’s leading rushers in Dylan Hargrave.

“They’re big,” Fuhrer said of the Knights, noting they are bigger than many teams they have played this year.

Hargrave, who led the state in rushing a week ago, did not play in the Knights’ 28-24 win against Berwick a week ago due to an injury, Fuhrer said.

Hargrave has rushed 129 times for 1,225 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is averaging 9.5 yards per carry.

“I expect him to play against us, and if he doesn’t they got some guys back there that could carry the load,” Fuhrer said.

Other weapons for the Knights include Myles Lawerence, who filled Hargrave’s role a week ago. This season, he has rushed 42 times for 315 yards and two touchdowns this season, while quarterback Regan Miller has 65 carries for 377 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Lafayette has rushed for 2,056 yards this season, averaging 7.67 yards per carry.

Through the air, Miller has completed 51 of 90 passes for 535 yards and three touchdowns and seven interceptions.

His leading receivers are Sterling Miller, who has 22 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns; and Alex Williams who has caught 13 passes for 134 yards and one score.

“The quarterback’s very athletic,” Fuhrer said. “They have athletic receivers.”

Fuhrer said the Knights run a spread offense.

Central Catholic, whose offense is nearly balanced with 1,077 rushing yards for the season and 1,128 passing yards, also has received big offensive contributions from quarterback Nick Case, who has completed 94 of 168 pass attempts for 1,128 yards, 11 scores and seven interceptions; Tyler Hoffpauir, 49 catches for 527 yards and five scores; and Eriq Blanchard, 45 carries for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Thursday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. at Lafayette Christian’s campus.

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