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St. Fred, Mangham keep running wild in 2-1A

Courtesy of the News Star / Wrtitten by Cody Futrell

In a district that produced the runner-up in both the LHSAA Class 1A and Division IV football state championships last year, every night can be a monumental battle.

Mangham head coach Tommy Tharp has had his Dragons on the radar of top 1A teams for a few years, and Ouachita Christian has also been in the thick of the 2-1A and state championship race year-after-year.

St. Frederick crashed the party as the new kid on the block of championship contenders when the Warriors advanced to the Division IV last season.

Friday, No. 1 Mangham (6-0, 1-0 2-1A) hosts St. Frederick (5-1, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Both teams have shown a unique ability to replace starting running backs due to knee injuries, and continue to pile up victories.

Steele Boudreaux (St. Frederick) and Kemme Weeks (Mangham) both suffered knee injuries in the preseason, but the depth of each team has allowed them to keep rolling right along.

"We have been really using running back by committee, and Mangham has been doing the same," St. Frederick head coach Jeff Tannehill said. "We are committed to keep running the ball to keep defenses honest. As much as we can be fifty-fifty run-to-pass."

Jakarhi Nichols (677 yards, 8 TDs) and Abdullah Rhone (592 yards, 10 TDs) have kept the Dragons firing on all cylinders with their unique blend of misdirection runs and option plays.

"We have to be able to tackle in open space," Tannehill said. "(Mangham) is really good running in open space. That is something that we did not do well last year (Mangham won 45-3)."

The Warriors rely heavily on sophomore quarterback Barrett Coon (103 yards rushing, 108 passing with 3 TDs last week) and have used a combination of running backs led by Cordarius Banks and Brock Bryant.

"This is just the next test for us in this district," Tannehill said. "It shows us how we measure up. Every team in this district gets you ready for the playoffs."

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