TDL: Two-A-Days - Jennings Bulldog
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Fresh off their eighth quarterfinal appearance since 2011, the Jennings Bulldogs enter the new season with plenty of confidence. Although with only nine starters back, there will be some growing pains.
“The 11 or 12 seniors that we have, they have played a lot of football here and they know the expectations,” said Jennings coach Rusty Phelps. “They have been around two pretty good football teams and they kind of picked up where we left off with the big senior class last year and the one from the year before.”
And that experience starts with running back Trevor Etienne. The four-star and likely future SEC runner, totaled over 1,400 yards a season ago. Despite seeing nearly eight seasons of Etiennes, Trevor’s impact still impresses Phelps.
“I don’t like to compare him to his brother, but there are times when you will see something that he does with or without the football and you’re kind of like, ‘did you see that?’”
And those moments this season will come at a number of positions.
“I feel like you will see me some at receiver, quarterback maybe, running back and defense at free safety, strong safety and maybe linebacker,” said Etienne. “It’s fun for me because I get to learn different positions. When I am on defense and I’m lined up against an offense, I know offense, so I see this happening and I can help other guys. If I am on offense, and I know the defense, I know how to pick the defense apart.”
But Etienne isn’t the only threat on offense. Fellow running backs Jamaric McZeal and Rejohn Zeno will be relied upon in the Bulldogs’ veer attack as will senior tight end Clay Broussard. Quarterback Austin Ewing will take over the reins of the offense and will be responsible for making it go as Jennings’ first run-first QB in a number of seasons.
“I think you will see more of a running threat and probably more play-action passes that will come off the beer and the sweep and stuff,” said Phelps. “That’s his style of quarterback.”
While the offensive line may take some time to gel with three new starters, their defensive counterpart will be the strength of the defense.
“I think it’s a good starting point. We have three guys back upfront that started for us. We are missing Landry, but Jayden Sonnier started in the Superdome and he’ll play one defensive end. Korey Hebert will play the other defensive end and Isley Mouton, who is going to be a senior, will take Landry’s place. He’s been playing since he was a sophomore. Those three guys bring a lot of experience.”
It’s a unit that won’t get much credit because of the headlines the offense will make, but linebackers like Owen Dugas aim to be up to the challenge— along with Etienne on big drives.
“If we need a stop, we can put No. 5 back there,” said Phelps. “Hopefully, he’ll stop them up.”
With the memory of their trip to the Superdome in 2019 still fresh in their minds, the Dogs come into the season with one goal.
“Your first game to the last one, everyone counts,” said Broussard. “We want what everyone else wants— that state championship. We have to do what it takes to get there and I think that our team will.”
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