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|Vidalia visits Marksville|
The faces may be different, but it's still Marksville High School.
And when Vidalia rolls into Marksville Friday for the Tigers' Homecoming, Viking head coach Gary Paul Parnham expects the same type of Tiger team that Vidalia has failed to beat since the two teams were put into the same district in 2007.
"They are always going to be tough, especially at their place," Parnham said.
Longtime Marksville coach J.T. Dunbar retired before this season for medical reasons.
Bryan Gendron has stepped in this season after serving as an assistant coach at Denham Springs High and has the Tigers at 2-4, falling to Pineville. West Feliciana, Eunice and Winnfield.
"We have been in almost every ballgame," Gendron said. "We have played a tough schedule, but it's gotten us ready."
The Tigers beat Buckeye Thursday in their district opener.
"It's going to be a challenge for us, but this team will be ready to play," Parnham said. "I have been very proud of their effort this season."
Buckeye tried a double reverse pass on fourth-and-15 at the Marksville 40, but came up two yards short and the Tigers ran out the clock.
"Every team has a trick play and we knew they don't throw the ball a lot, so we were expecting something like that," Gendron said. "Corbin Hawkins made a nice open field tackle on the play and we were able to ice it."
Senior running back Devin Batiste leads the Tigers.
Gendron said he has been impressed with how district teams have performed this year.
"We all thought it would be Avoyelles and Caldwell, but Buckeye and Jena have been surprised teams," Gendron said. "Whichever team wins this district will represent the district well. I think four teams out of this district can make the playoffs."
Marksville beat Vidalia 68-7 last year.
"Vidalia is much improved this year," Gendron said. "They run the type of offense that was run at Marksville last year. And their defense is very aggressive and they do a good job of going to the football. We're expecting a big challenge."
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