This is game No. 38 out of the top 40 games played by Concordia Parish teams.

Former Delta Charter football coach Zach Rogel was part of a lot of big wins as head coach at his alma mater Trinity Episcopal and as assistant coach at Mississippi College, Marshall Academy and Copiah Academy.

But there was something different about being the head coach for Delta Charter's first-ever playoff win over Homer on November 11, 2016.

Delta Charter began playing varsity football in 2015. The Storm was playing its first season being eligible for the playoffs.

"There were a lot of wins that meant a lot to me personally, but this was the first time I was happy for other people," Rogel said. "I was extremely happy for the seniors and our administration that helped built that school."

Delta Charter, which finished 4-8 in 2016, came into the playoffs ranked No. 19, while Homer was seeded No. 14.

"Some games we knew we were outmatched given the history of the school and the fact that we were still building," Rogel said. "A lot of times that team across the sidelines looked intimidating. But we felt good going against Homer. They had a longtime head coach (John Sampson) and a winning tradition, but we knew there was one or two guys (quarterback Shaun Monroe was the top threat) we needed to stop. We had a pretty good defensive game plan. And we had a good group of seniors getting their first taste of the playoffs."

Delta Charter made its first-ever trip to the playoffs one to remember as the No. 19 Storm upset No. 14 Homer 28-26 in Homer Friday night.

"It feels great," Rogel saidl. "I didn't realize the magnitude until afterwords. We were on cloud 9 all the way back. I'm excited for the guys and the program. A lot of hard work went into it."

Homer scored in three plays after receiving the opening kickoff.

But Delta Charter answered with a 60-yard pass from Lee Lancaster to Dawson Woodruff and a two-point conversion for an 8-6 lead.

"That 's something we haven't really done as a team," Rogel said. "But that was huge to answer that score. You always want to come back and answer a score and we did. We put a compete game together."

DCS would not give up the lead for the remainder of the game.

DCS led the rest of the way, despite having a 50-yard TD run by Lancaster and 40-yard TD run by Mike Smith called back.

"Our guys played with a lot of guts," Rogel said. "That kind of stuff happens. Freddie (Mango) went down early in that game, but Mke Smith stepped up big."

Lancaster also tossed a touchdown pass, having to use his left hand after having his right arm in the clutches of a Pelican tackler, to pass five yards to Trey Poole for the score.

Lancaster also had a rushing TD, along with Drake Smith. Da'Vern Mays ran in a conversion.

"We made some adjustments on defense at halftime, and those guys did a good job in the second half," Rogel said.

Delta Charter fell to No. 3 Kentwood, the defending Class 1A champion, 46-0 the following week in Ferriday. Current LSU Tiger Trey Palmer caught a 40-yard TD pass in that contest.

Kentwood lost to state champion Logansport in the semifinals. 

"We came out a little timid because we were a bit intimidated," Rogel said.  "But the guys played hard. We actually moved the ball on them at time, and got within the red zone two or three times. But we just didn't match up with those guys. They were the type of team you couldn't run at them or throw the short passes. We had to try and find some holes and run a little trickery."

Kentwood, which defeated Haynesville 40-7 in the Class A state championship last year, improved to 8-4 with the win.

Rogel is the owner of Top Tier Iron Doors LLC in Ridgeland, Ms.He and wife Brittany have three children.

"I definitely miss coaching," Rogel said. "But the time I have with my family is irreplaceable. When our kids get to that age where they can play ball, I will have some experience in coaching."




(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.