LEESVILLE, LA. -- A lot has changed since the last time Rayne traveled to Leesville in Week 5. The Wolves handed the Wampus Cats their only loss of the season that week in September.
But this time around, Leesville is looking to see the most important change of them all: the result.
Back in Week 5's matchup, miscues plagued Leesville. The Wampus Cats tallied 3 interceptions thrown and a return fumble. They missed tackles. They struggled in the red zone. And above it all, their run game stalled.
Head coach Robert Causey says with their second chance, though, things will be much more simple.
"We felt like we left something on the field that night they came here," said Causey. "Last time we threw the ball with some efficiency, but to beat a team like this and advance in the playoffs, you have to be able to run the football."
In their last meeting, Rayne took a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, but Leesville went on a 12-0 streak in the second half. The Wampus Cats 522 yards off offense were nearly 200 more than the Wolves, but the score read 28-18 at the end of the day.
That one in the loss column, has fueled senior wide receiver Andrew Croker.
"Our rival is no longer DeRidder," Croker said. "Our rival is Rayne."
Causey says the Wampus Cats will start by simplifying things on defense then progress to being more fluent in the red zone.
And for the run game? In last week's week one playoff game against Franklinton, Leesville racked up 6 rushing touchdowns en route to a 38 to 20 win. Four of those scores came from Croker.
"We're taking this team and this game more serious than anything," Croker said. "It's the biggest game of our lives."
"They are the best team that we've played here bar-none," Causey said. "They're big, they're fast and they're physical."
No. 11 Rayne will travel to No. 6 Leesville this Friday for the second round of Class 4A playoffs. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time.