That is the situation facing Abbeville Wildcats head coach Ward Courville as his team travels to Opelousas at 7 p.m. for a return to District 5-4A action. Leesville nipped Abbeville 27-25 on a late field goal last Friday. Courville said the fast turn-around is a good thing, but the Wildcats must help themselves.
“We have to learn to finish a game,” said Courville. “We have played well, we just have not finished games.”
The Wildcats have suffered a pair of heart-breakers during the past couple of weeks -- Abbeville lost 15-8 to St. Martinville in overtime on Oct. 10. Courville said the close losses sting.
“The kids are frustrated,” said Courville. “It’s growing pains, more than anything else. As a coach, you expect things like that can happen.
“As a player, though, you can’t understand why you are not winning.”
The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) will look to add another number to the win column as they take the field against the Tigers tonight. Opelousas’ top running back, Donovan Williams, is out with a knee injury. That creates an element of uncertainty as to what OHS head coach Mickey Autry will do on offense.
“Him not being in the game is a question mark,” said Courville. “We are not sure what they are going to do. They can continue to run the offense they have run, or they can just start throwing the ball a lot.
“We don’t really know and won’t know until we get in the game.”
Regardless what the Tigers do, the Abbeville defense will look to remain solid, while the offense continues to get better by the week.
“We are improving on offense,” said Courville, “without a doubt.
“Hopefully each week we just get a little bit better.”
T.J. Lumar gave a boost to the running game last week. In his first extensive action in the backfield, Lumar rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Tony Boudreaux, who gained 47 yards and a touchdown last week, leads the Wildcats with 231 yards on 39 carries.
The passing game remains a threat for the Wildcats. Sophomore R.J. Frederick leads the air game with 459 yards. Frederick connected with Cody Williams, who has 10 catches for 124 yards this season, on a touchdown last week. Keelon Lee leads the team with 11 catches and is second in receiving yards with 181, trailing Jonathan Hills’ 200. Hills has nine grabs.
The Wildcats will try to add to those stats tonight in a game which Courville said he believes his Wildcats can come out on top.
“We can win this game,” said Courville, “if we play our game and limit the mistakes and turnovers.”