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Farmers face almost mirror image against Many
, staff@fgazette.com
09-21-2017

When the Many Tigers
line up against the Union
Parish Fighting Farmers
on Friday, with one large
exception, they’ll look like
mirror images.
Farmers coach Joe Spatafora
says he shares an
offensive philosophy with
Many coach Jess Curtis,
one that has been equally
successful for both.
In 2013, Spat a fora
coached the Farmers to
the Class 3A state title. One
year later – his first as head
coach at the Sabine Parish
School- Curtis led the Tigers
to the Class 2A crown.
In three seasons, he’s put
together a record of 38 wins
and three losses.
“They’re a lot like us,”
Spatafora said. “They like
to come right at you and
run smash-mouth football.”
That large difference
between the teams is found
in Many’s backfield. Senior
running back A.J. Carter is
a 6-2, 200-pound, three-star
prospect, ranked as one of
the top 30 running backs in
the class of 2018. Last year,
Carter made a verbal commitment
to ULCA. He rescinded
that commitment,
and pledged to attend LSU
this summer after attending
camp in Baton Rouge. A
week later, he flipped again,
committing again to play
for the Bruins.
“He’s a big, powerful
running back. A true D-1
prospect,” Spatafora said.
“They got a big offensive
line that does what they
have to do to give him
space.”
Many, who lost in the
Class 2A semifinals last
season in triple overtime
against Sterlington, comes
into the contest with a 2-1
record. After opening the
season with convincing
wins, 40-0 over Peabody and
50-12 against Marksville,
the Tigers couldn’t hold
onto a halftime lead against
North DeSoto and fell by a
20-12 final to the Griffins.
Union won their second
straight and improved to
2-1 on the season with a
27-8 win against Rayville.
After holding a 20-0 lead at
the half, Spatafora said the
Farmers made “came out
flat and made too many mistakes”
with turnovers and
penalties and allowed the
Hornets to cut into the lead.
“Then our kids did
what we preach to them all
the time,” Spatafora said.
“When we give up a score,
we’ve got to get one ourselves.
They responded and
gave us a three-possession
lead again.
“We’ve got to eliminate
flat and made too many mistakes”
with turnovers and
penalties and allowed the
Hornets to cut into the lead.
“Then our kids did
what we preach to them all
the time,” Spatafora said.
“When we give up a score,
we’ve got to get one ourselves.
They responded and
gave us a three-possession
lead again.
“We’ve got to eliminate
those types of mistakes
and continue to improve,”
Spatafora said. “After this,
we’ve only got one more
game before we start district
play.”
After three weeks at
home, the Farmers are on
the road next week when
they travel to Franklin
Parish. They’ll play at Richwood
on October 6 to open
District 2-3A play.

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