NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPLC) - It’s been 27 years since the Jennings Bulldogs last touched down at the Superdome. Nothing could prepare the Dogs for the venue.
“I’ve driven up to this place in a vehicle, bought a ticket to get in, but I mean when you come over the interstate and you see this off of Poydras, it’s for real then," Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps said of making it to the state title game.
“It’s one of the greatest feelings ever,” Jennings running back Trevor Etienne said of going to the state championship. "This is been a long season a long long time. I think they were going to dream we made it to the dome.”
“It’s just amazing man, I always dreamed of it as a child," Jennings running back Jalen Lewis admitted. "I’ve been wanting to be here. Now I’m finally here.”
From the bright lights of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the number one seeded, undefeated St. James Wildcats, these Jennings players say they’re not intimidated.
“I mean we never look at a team by their rankings," Jennings quarterback Bub Wilridge said. "As you can tell we’ve been the underdog coming in here. We’ve played the number two, number six, number 7, so we are just going to play them as any other team.”
“I wouldn’t say to let the number dictate what we are, we had a lot of heart and a lot of fun and we won’t give up until the last second," said Jennings defensive tackle Keenan Landry.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats’ road to the dome couldn’t be any more different. St. James dominated this year and are 14-0, while the Dogs have been in playoff mode since week four.
“I think it’s been a tale of two seasons, we started 0-3, but all we needed was a little confidence," said Phelps. “For ten weeks battling, being in a ten-week playoff just to get where we are at. You know, just finally made it.”
“Once we got over that hill and realized our team and the talent we have, it was on from there,” said Wilridge. “This is history-making, the number 23 seed in the championship with the number one. A lot of fun.”
Number one St. James, number 23 Jennings - it’s been compared to David and Goliath - but all we know is Friday night, 7 o’clock, it’s the Bulldogs and Wildcats clashing for the 3A state title.