MANY, La (KMSS/KTAL) – For the second time this season, the Many Tigers edged the Avoyelles Mustangs. More importantly, for the third straight season, the Tigers will play for a state championship.
“We fought tooth and nail with those boys from Avoyelles to try and get to New Orleans,” said Many Tigers Head Coach Jess Curtis. “I’ve got a ton of respect for those guys. I understand the hurt and the pain they’re experiencing right now. They’ll build on this and if they follow (Avoyelles Mustangs Head Coach) Andy Boone, they’ll go far.”
The game started off perfectly for the Tigers, after forcing the Mustangs to turn the ball over on downs, London Williams scored the first points of the game in the first two minutes of the first quarter. After that, the Mustangs settled down, and quickly retook the lead on a Travon Prater touchdown run. Each team traded blows for the first half, with Many taking a 26-22 lead into the break.
But no player had more of an impact on the field Friday night than senior running back London Williams, who scored five total touchdowns, none bigger than the go-ahead score in the fourth that put the Tigers up for good.
“I was just trying to get positive yards, to help my team out and not let them down,” said Williams. “We just wanted to get to the next level, which is the Superdome.”
For Avoyelles, their season ends after falling to their district rivals for the second time. Even in defeat, it was nothing but respect for the Tigers performance from Mustang Head Coach Andy Boone.
“It was clean play out there the whole night,” said Coach Boone. “My God, there was some hitting going on, they’re laying wood to us, we’re bringing it to them. It was one of those games where someone had to lose and we lost. We’ll be down there next week in New Orleans rooting for them and hopefully they’ll win it all.”
As for the Tigers, Many has a chance to win back-to-back state championships for the first time in school history when they take on Amite in the 2A state championship next Friday, an opportunity not lost on Jess Curtis.
“This is is our third trip to the state championship. That just don’t happen,” said Coach Curtis. “You gotta pinch yourself a little bit. We’ve gone six times with our staff to the dome, three times in a row. So we’re just proud of these kids. It’s tough to repeat. Everybody is coming for ya. They’re giving you their best game. So it’s a grind to get back here. I’m so proud of them. They’ve done it. We got one more week, one more week of grinding and we’re gonna put it on the line, 3:30 Friday night, next week.”