NCHS eyeing second straight 2-0 start with trip to Opelousas

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(Note: A Coach Wilkerson interview about tonight’s game will air on 959fm this morning at 7:05 on KIX Classic Country.  The game will be broadcast LIVE on KIX tonight)

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OPELOUSAS – The Natchitoches Central youth passed its test in the opening week, and now the Chiefs will head to an Opelousas squad in a similar situation.

NCHS (1-0) built an early two-touchdown lead against Woodlawn thanks to two forced turnovers, but it was the Chiefs turnovers late that nearly took the lead away before fending off the Knights in an 18-14 win in Week 1.

Opelousas also built a halftime lead against perennial power Teurlings Catholic this past week, but the Class 4A Tigers youth was exposed in the second half of a 32-14 loss.

The Chiefs will turn again to sophomore quarterbacks Adam Guillet and Lannon Collum as senior signal caller B.J. Young remains out with a shoulder injury suffered in the jamboree.

But NCHS can build on a monster running attack that featured Jeremiah James, who gained 255 yards with three scores in the opening week.

MATCHUP: NCHS Chiefs vs. Opelousas Tigers

WHERE/WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m., Tiger Stadium, Opelousas

RECORDS: NCHS (1-0) Opelousas Tigers (0-1)

LAST GAME: Chiefs vs Knights 18-14 win, Opelousas Tigers lost 32-14 to Teurlings Catholic

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NOTES: In Week 1, Natchitoches Central survived the turnover big and held on for an 18-14 win against Woodlawn with a quick start and key plays late. Running back Jeremiah Miles answered a Woodlawn touchdown to keep momentum on the maroon side early in the fourth quarter before a defensive stand inside the 10-yard line thwarted the Knights’ last scoring threat. The Chiefs got off to a hot start with a Zecarious Thompson interception on the first drive that led to a 44-yard touchdown run from Miles, who rolled up 255 rushing yards and three touchdowns. On the following drive, the Knights fumbled the kickoff, which lead to another NCHS score for a 12-0 lead. The game tightened late as the rain fell in Turpin Stadium and the turnover bug hit, but the Chiefs fended off a Knights push. The Chiefs rotated two sophomore quarterbacks in Adam Guillett and Lannon Collum as they combined for 88 passing yards on 8-of-14 passing. The pair will see action again as senior quarterback B.J. Young is sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered in the jamboree. Young is expected to miss at least the first half of the season. and plan to do this same tonight as Sr Quarterback Bj young is still sidelined from an injury from the Jamboree. The receivers were led last week by Braden Woods (3-33) and Cameron Davis (4-36).

COACH JAMES WILKERSON SAYS: “We’re going on the road to a tough environment this week. We’re going to face another very athletic team. (Opelousas) is going to be very big up front on both sides of the ball. They started a lot of freshmen during the 2021 campaign and will start a lot of sophomores now, so they will be very young just like we are.”