Green Devils weather tough ‘Jacks, Field House final move could be tomorrow

HUDDLING DEVILS...Plaquemine High’s Green Devil offense huddles up during their recent preseason scrimmage 12-0 winner over 5-A Central High. From left, players are Traveon Hawkins (82), Von Lanaux (52), Dwayne Calloway (14), Troy Jones (23), Alvin Grant (3), Willie Hill (54), and Eliot James (far right, 57). PHS tangles with parish rival White Castle in the annual Port Allen Pelican Jamboree tonight (Thursday).

Plaquemine High’s Green Devils weathered their yearly scrimmage struggle against perennial Class 3-A football power Patterson High Friday and set their sights on tangle with the veteran White Castle High Bulldogs this evening (Thursday) and making a final move into their new Field House.

“They (Patterson) got the best of us, but the competition was good for our team. They know what it takes to play against a potential late-round playoff foe. I reminded the team that it was only a scrimmage, which is only a glorified practice. Our competition lacked the ebb and the flow of a regular game where opportunity and momentum play greater roles,” commented PHS Coach Bob Howell in a Sunday interview.

The Green Devil mentor said he saw plenty of positive and good play from his club. “We had success when we did it right. I certainly saw a lot of good things Working out against a strong team like Patterson helped us improve,” said Howell.

The PHS coach watched video of the practice Saturday and said every mistake by the Green Devils was correctable with practice work. He said the conditions on the Green Devil Stadium field was “sloppy” after rainfall earlier in the day and that was a factor in the scrimmage.

Howell said the key to the scrimmage as well as tonight’s (Thursday, August 26) Port Allen High Jamboree game against veteran and talented Class 1-A parish neighbor White Castle High it to continue to improve as a team and not go backwards.

“White Castle is a very talented Class A ball club with veteran players and an impressive playmaker in Martin (WCHS QB Ronald). They will be very good competition, especially in a shortened jamboree game situation. Our size and numbers will not have the time to wear them down. Again, the jamboree will be an excellent opportunity for us to prepare for the start of the regular season. Central, Patterson, and White Castle is a good challenging lineup in the preseason for us,” noted Howell.

Plaquemine only managed to put the ball into the end zone once in Friday’s scrimmage, although they drove into position earlier, but had a penalty flag stop their advancement. The Green Devil offense marched down the field to score, tallying on a 25-yard counter play.

Howell said fullback Troy Jones and wide receiver Alvin Grant had outstanding efforts in the workout. He said Jones worked overtime with fellow fullback Daylan Henderson injured and the senior back ran hard throughout the practice. “I liked his toughness out there,” noted the PHS coach.

Grant, a junior wide receiver, turned in a solid effort blocking out on the perimeter. “We have not completely developed our passing game as of yet, so it means a lot with a wideout like Alvin gives it his best blocking the way for our running game,” noted the coach.

Defensively, Howell credited the defensive secondary trio of veteran LaRen Phillips and first-year starters Deondre Philson and Devonte Jenkins for solid efforts. “LaRen is always steady out there, while Deondre and Devonte stepped it up in the workout,” said the coach.

Howell also commented on what is expected to be the final big move into the new Field House on the PHS campus. “I was told Friday no doubt,” said the coach.

Howell and the coaching staff already have moved the weight room and extra equipment into the building. “We get the kids in there last. And I have to admit the players have not nagged me to get into the building like I have nagged the contractors. And let me tell you something, those boys are so proud and excited about the Field House, I think they would sleep out there all season long, if we let them,” explained the PHS mentor.