TDL: Two-A-Days - Jennings Bulldogs - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

TDL: Two-A-Days - Jennings Bulldogs

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

"I think every year we come in with the expectations around here with the tradition and stuff to put really good football teams on the field, and I don't think this year is any different."

Make no bones about it, Jennings will miss four-star running back Travis Etienne, who totaled nearly 9,000 yards in his prep career. But the Bulldogs have the athletes to fill the void. 

"Defense wins games. Defense matters every game, but with Travis we were able to outscore many people and it made our defense slack up a little bit, but now, we have to be on our toes much more and play harder."

"Mostly all of the pressure was on him, but now it's time for us to spread it out and give more so everyone can shine. "

With eight starters back on defense, it should be the Jennings defense that shines the brightest. The coaching staff said the defenders have grown a lot since 2015.

 "Two years ago we threw them out there and they did the best they could. They were all sophomores at that time and now they've grown up and they're seniors. We have the opportunity to play six or seven defensive lineman and all but one of them are seniors. Those guys are going to be pivotal to us. "

But the experience of this team isn't the only thing that stands out.

"It's the biggest team we've had upfront both offensively and defensive line of wise and I've been here a long time."

Speaking of that offensive line, a core of the group played as sophomores last season and are once again lining up together. Pair that with a dual-threat quarterback in Kole Myers, four experienced receivers and running backs who can really go-- And you've got a confident offense. And while losing one Etienne, another returns in the backfield in Darrian Achane.

"I think you can look at a guy who was just a few yards short of rushing for 1,000 last year. He had a big game against Brusly in again he went 200 yards in filling in for Travis after he got nicked up early in the game. Another guy who rotated in and out with him last year, was Tyrik Sonnier. He is a guy that can run the ball through the tackles and he is just a steady hard-nosed football player. "

While Jennings doesn't enter the season the favorite to win district, the Bulldogs are happy to remain underdogs.

"It makes us work harder and we're just ready for any challenge that comes to us. It gives us motivation because you can't listen to all of that on the outside, you have to stay focused on the inside."

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