They say it’s tough to beat a good team twice.
The St. Thomas More Cougars will try to do just that as they aim to defend their 2019 state title in a rematch with De La Salle on Monday for the Division II championship.
And beating a good team twice would come with making history, as the 2020 Cougars could become the first team in program history to finish undefeated in the regular season and win a state championship.
“Any time you win a state championship, that’s special,” Cougars head coach Jim Hightower says. “This would be real special. To go undefeated, it would be a huge accomplishment.”
“It’s gonna be really special, not only for the seniors and the juniors, sophomores, everybody that’s part of this team,” Cougars senior wide receiver Jack Bech says.
The perfect 9-0 record the Cougars have built this season boasts wins over Catholic High of Baton Rouge, local powerhouse Carencro, and U-High.
LSU commits Walker Howard and Jack Bech are part of an offense featuring a plethora of weapons, scoring an average of 46 points per game.
“We’ve got great players all around us, you know,” Cougars junior quarterback Walker Howard says. “Our o-line’s been doing a great job. I’ve got stud receivers: Jack Bech, Carter Domingue, Carter Arceneaux, Paxton, Jaxon Moncla. They’re doing a great job. We’ve got Tobin in the backfield. Everyone’s doing a great job. Hey, we’re hard to stop, but Coach Savoie does a great job. He runs the best offense in high school football.”
Defensively, STM’s physicality and veteran experience has held opponents to an average of just below 16 points per game.
“Physical every week,” Cougars senior cornerback Dominic Zepherin says. “We have to be the most physical team. So far, it’s been working out for us.”
“They’ve been super, and I think that comes back to senior leadership,” Hightower says. “They’re motivated players, and that’s a good starting point.”
The finish line of this 2020 campaign brings a familiar opponent in the top-ranked De La Salle Cavaliers, the team STM beat in the finals last season to win state.
“Last year, they played us with underclassmen, young guys,” Hightower says. “They’re all back. They’re all bigger. They’re all faster. They’re all better. So it’s going to be a tough battle.”