Mangham High head football coach Scott Wilcher talks to his team all the time about facing adversity.
After having its game with Lakeside cancelled because of Covid-19, Wilcher was able to schedule 4A Richwood, which cancelled its game with Franklin Parish after a Patriot player tested positive.
Mangham took the change in stride, defeating Richwood 44-28 in Monroe Friday.
“This whole year has been strange,” Wilcher said. “But we talk to our players all the time about being able to adapt. You don’t know who you will play week to week and what players will be available. On Monday you just prepare as normal. Our kids are focused and we will continue to focus no matter what happens. Actually it turned out better for us playing Richwood. We’re excited about the win. It’s good to get that first win.”
After the Rams took an early lead on a 20-yard run by quarterback Michael Sherman, Mangham answered with two scores.
Dragon linebacker Joe Williams picked off a pass deep in Richwood territory and returned it to the Ram 2-yard line.
“Joe had a really good game,” Wilcher said.
Cam Wilmore put the Dragons on the board with a 2-yard run on the next play.
JT Smith scored from 10 yards out to the Dragons in front.
Richwood head coach Marcus Yanez didn’t have to check the tape to see why his team opened with a loss.
“I thought Mangham played with more heart and ultimately wanted it more,” Yanez said. “We didn’t compete the way we should have. We came out with a lot of energy, but we didn’t maintain it. We have to be able to put consecutive halves together.”
Yanez said he was glad to be able to play Mangham.
“I know Franklin Parish did everything in their power to follow the guidelines,” Yanez said. “There were a bunch of games around the state cancelled. That’s a challenge we’re facing through the season. There is just so much uncertainty. We’re basically playing week to week right now. We don’t want to be in a position where we may play only six games. We’re doing everything we can to play a full season.”
Mangham plays at Delhi Charter Friday.
“We still have things to work on,” Wilcher said. “We gave up too many big plays on defense against Richwood and didn’t get off the field when we should have. We have to get better on special teams. We have a lot of young guys playing there, so we have to shore that up. We have to go into Delta Charter ready to compete.”