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Farmers take four-game win streak into 2-3A opener
, staff@fgazette.com
10-05-2017

With a state championship
in 2013, the Union
Parish Fighting Farmers
put the cap on their rise
to the top of Class 3A
football in the Louisiana
High School Athletic Association.
After a heartbreaking
overtime loss to Haynesville
in Week 2 the following
season, the Farmers
won 10 straight before
falling to West Feliciana
in the second round of the
playoffs.
Two years of one-anddone
in the playoffs put
the Farmers in unfamiliar
territory.
“We had been the team
people didn’t want to play,
and then we became a
game folks thought they
could win,” coach Joe
Spatafora said.
Expectations for 2017
were uncertain. A shutout
loss on the road at Airline
may have heightened the
doubt in any minds.
Union Parish – ranked
ninth in the Louisiana
Sports Writers Association
Class 3A poll this
week – travels to Richwood
on Friday riding a
four game win streak.
“There are two things
we talk about every day,”
Spatafora said. “We have
on our board, ‘Get better
every week.’ The other
thing we tell them is ‘Focus
on the finish.’ I think
they’ve learned the importance
of that early this
year. It’s something we’ve
learned against a tough
schedule, something that
will benefit us during this
part of the season.”
UPHS won its last
pre-district game in convincing
fashion, cruising
to a 27-0 lead at halftime
en route to a 34-8 decision
over Franklin Parish. The
Farmers’ two-quarterback
system worked almost
to perfection against
the Patriots, with Lawrence
Glosson Jr. rushing
10 times for 125 yards
with a touchdown. Trent
Ginn added 120 yards on
13 carries and was five of
seven passing with two
touchdowns.
Richwood brings a
3-2 record into Friday’s
district 2-3A opener for
both teams. The Rams
also received votes for
the Top 10 in this week’s
LSWA poll.
Spatafora said coach
Robert Arvie’s approach
to moving the ball hasn’t
changed.
“They’ve got a big
O-line and love to run the
football,” Spatafora said.
Since the season opener,
the Farmers are allowing
11 points per game.
“Coach (Pete) Gutierrez
has done a good job of
coming up with plans to
stop people, and our men
are carrying out those
plans,” Spatafora said.
One area where the
Farmers weren’t facing
uncertainty coming into
the season is the offensive
line, where five of six
starters were returning.
They’re a primary reason
the Farmers are averaging
200.0 yards per game
rushing and 99.8 yard per
game passing. Starters
from tackle to tackle are
Courtland Nation, Tymoski
Dismuke, Kerry
McNeal, Alex Hill and
Lance Wilkins.
“Coach (Jerry) Ginn
has worked with them and
helped get them focused
on their assignments
and thinking about what
they’re supposed to do,”
Spatafora said.

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  • Strong finish fuels Farmers