LCS looks to crown homecoming queen, earn region win on Friday

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

It is homecoming week at Lafayette Christian (4-1) and with that comes a lot of fun, camaraderie and unfortunately, distractions. The Cougars are set for a crucial region matchup against New Creation on Friday.

“I am a little worried about the lack of focus this week,” LCS coach Jarred Pike said. “We just need to focus and pay attention. 

“We have been keeping the same schedule as any other week so the guys don’t overlook this game. Homecoming is a crazy week, so it’s about focus.”

The Cougars handled New Creation last season in their season opener 38-8 and will feel confident they can repeat that performance as long as they stay focused and engaged. 

“They have some guys that have some speed on film, but it needs to be a game we go out and take control of in the first quarter,” Pike said. “It is a game that we should handle if we come into the game with the right focus and attitude.”

The second half of last week’s game against Central Christian was far from perfect, but Pike got a focused and engaged team, especially in the first half, after suffering their first loss of the season against Unity the week prior. 

New Creation (1-4) has lost two games in a row by a combined score of 110-12 coming into their matchup against LCS. The Crusaders have been outscored by 150 points this season and their lone win of the season, a 22-6 victory over Hearts Academy on Sept. 1, accounts for over half of their total points this season.

The Cougars come into the game on a hot streak with their only loss coming by one score to Unity. The offense has scored at least 22 points in every game so far this season.

The offense is led by Ephraim Snyder, who is edging closer to 1,000 yards on the ground this season and hit double-digit touchdowns in just three games. He scored the first two touchdowns for the Cougars last week as the team came out inspired by his leadership.

The senior running back has been the heartbeat of the offense, but the team would not be where it is without the strong play of their defense. They are allowing a shade under 15 points per game and have only allowed more than 16 points in one game, the Cougars’ 30-22 loss to Unity. 

The defense has been thriving even when the offense becomes a bit sluggish. Last week, the offense became bogged down after the first quarter, but the defense stepped up with two huge defensive touchdowns — one on a pick-six from Paul Batistini and the other another on a fumble recovery by Noah Childree.

Despite playing what appears to be an inferior opponent on paper this week, Pike knows that his team has to play better than they did the last two weeks to avoid any chance of an upset. The team has turned the ball over nine times in the last eight quarters of football.

“We have had dropped passes, bad fumbles, a lot of mistakes in the last two games,” Pike said. “I’m not sure if it is lack of focus or what, so we have been working on handling the ball this week.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. with the 2023-24 LCS homecoming queen to be announced at halftime.