Louisiana College looking for elusive eighth win
|Linebacker Peter "Phil" Ford
is one of the lynchpins of the Louisiana College defense. "We are
all just flying around and having fun; we're always running to the
ball," he said.
Louisiana College athletics photo
Who doesn't like the number seven? It's the number of international super agent James Bond, 7-Up is a tasty lemon-lime beverage, the No. 7 has been worn by some of our greatest athletes like Mickey Mantle and John Elway, and it's just plain lucky. However, the Louisiana College football program may have a different view of the number as it has kept them from the playoffs for the past four seasons.
The Wildcats collected the infamous win No. 7 for the fifth straight season Saturday in a 72-14 massacre of Mississippi College, leaving one opportunity for the Wildcats to finally get over the hump against Hardin-Simmons on their home field Saturday.
A victory would mean not only the best record in the school's history at 8-2 but could propel the American Southwest Conference school into the NCAA national playoffs for the first time.
Standing in the way of those achievements and threatening the possibility of a fifth consecutive 7-3 season for the Wildcats is Hardin-Simmons. HSU boasts the No. 2 offense in the nation at 556.6 yards per contest, and the Cowboys are gunning for a 7-3 record.
However, Louisiana College is determined to climb beyond the plateau, and in the meantime get a little revenge. Last season, after a late loss to McMurry, Louisiana College still had a chance to go 8-2 and get an at-large bid, but HSU defeated the Wildcats in Abilene, 41-27.
This season, seventh-year coach Dennis Dunn has challenged the largest group of seniors he's had since taking over to make history.
"Certainly we feel like we're poised and put ourselves in the position to have the opportunity. Now it's before us and for a lot of people from the outside looking in, the jury is still out on whether our guys can respond in a big game," Dunn said. "I've challenged our seniors that this is their team and their opportunity. What legacy will they leave that's been different than the one left for you? And, the question can only be answered Saturday."
The past Wildcats teams had been defined by their offenses, especially when Ben McLaughlin was at the helm at quarterback. However, Dunn said that the defense has exceeded expectations this season, allowing the team to become more balanced and a better ground team offensively.
"Our defense has been lights out for most of the year," he said. "We've struggled in years past, but we've been extremely consistent this year, and [it] has been a real strength for our team, where in 2010 we were simply having to outscore people."
The Wildcat defense has forced 15 fumbles this season, recovered 14, picked off 14 passes, broke up 56 passes, and scored three defensive touchdowns while holding opponents to just 312.8 yards per contest.
Junior linebacker Peter "Phil" Ford leads LC with nine tackles for a loss, six sacks and...