Central Catholic Eagles hit the road to face Country Day
Central Catholic’s Logan Arias, left, and Tanner Wiggins converge on a Lafayette Christian ballcarrier during the teams’ contest last week. Central Catholic will look to win its fourth straight contest Friday when it travels to face Metairie Park-Country Day, currently ranked No. 10 in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association Class 1A poll. The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Country Day. (Photo credit: Valerie LeBlanc)
Central Catholic will look to keep its winning streak going when it takes the field Friday afternoon.
In order to do so, though, the Eagles must stop Metairie Park-Country Day, Class 1A’s 10th ranked squad in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association poll.
The two teams will square off Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Country Day’s campus in nondistrict action.
Country Day (7-1) is riding a five-game winning streak as it has fallen just once this season — a 44-3 defeat to Episcopal of Baton Rouge, who is undefeated and ranked in Class 2A’s top 10.
The Cajuns have posted two shutouts and have outscored their opponents a combined 322-102, averaging 40.3 points per contest.
Except for their lone loss, the Cajuns have scored no less than 31 points in a contest.
In his postgame remarks after the Eagles’ 30-12 victory against Lafayette Christian a week ago, Central Catholic coach David Fuhrer said Country Day would be a “big test” for the Eagles.
“They’ve been putting up a lot of points,” Fuhrer said. “They’re not bad.”
While Central Catholic’s numbers may not be as impressive as the Cajuns (Central Catholic has been outscored 215-209 this season), the Eagles opponents have a combined 43-20 mark compared to the Cajuns opponents’ 28-34 record.
Additionally, in the Eagles’ current winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 99-54.
The Cajuns and the Eagles do have one common opponent this season in Covenant Christian.
Last week, Country Day defeated Covenant Christian 31-14. Central Catholic held off Covenant Christian 19-14 in jamboree action this season.
In last week’s win, Country Day took as much as a 21-0 lead in the first half.
Senior Andrew Kern scored the Cajuns’ first touchdown on a 26-yard run, while sophomore Jase Griffin scored the second on a 76-yard carry.
Kern scored another touchdown before halftime.
Kern and Griffin lead the Country Day ground game and are returning starters from a year ago, while quarterback Michael Mann is a three-year starter at quarterback.
On defense, the Cajuns feature senior defensive lineman Richmond Jackson, a 5-foot, 11-inch, 240-pound Class 1A All-State selection a year ago, as well as senior linebacker Jackson Jansen (6-0, 190) who was most valuable player in Country Day’s district a year ago.
Jansen also is the team’s placekicker and booted a 28-yard field goal in last week’s win.
Central Catholic enters Friday’s game led by sophomore Stefano Guarisco, who has rushed for 888 yards on 134 carries and scored 10 touchdowns this season, while he has caught 33 more passes for 522 yards and four scores.
Senior Eriq Blanchard has added 55 carries for 282 yards and a score.
Quarterback Nick Case has completed 99 of 178 passes for 1,239 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while Tyler Hoffpauir is his top receiving target with 50 catches for 536 yards and five scores.
In last week’s win, Guarisco rushed for 129 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown and caught three passes for 90 yards and another score.
Case completed 5 of 10 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, while he rushed for another.
Blanchard rushed 10 times for 42 yards and caught a touchdown pass.
Placekicker Matthew Barbier also connected on a 30-yard field goal.
Defensively, the Eagles limited Lafayette Christian, without one of the state’s leading rushers in Dylan Hargrave due to injury, to 221 total yards (111 rushing and 110 passing).
Additional reporting by www.nola.com