In Week 5, Rayne defeated Leesville 28-18, but the Wampus Cats will have a chance to avenge its only loss of the season and to elevate the program in the process.
The Wampus Cats take on Rayne in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs at Wampus Cat Stadium 7 p.m. Friday.
"The kids are having a good time," Leesville head coach Robert Causey said. 'This is what we play for, so enjoy it. It's not necessarily about a rematch; it's about going out and playing football again.
"They're the type of program that makes you better because when you play them, it makes you reevaluate the things you do. I'm thrilled to play them again because they make you a better football team and make you a better coach."
In the last matchup, Rayne jumped out to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter, forcing Leesville to go away from the run game.
The running game was key for Leesville in the first round, racking up six touchdowns in the 38-20 win over Franklinton. Dante Gallashaw, Tyreke Walker and Andrew Croker each ran for over 100 yard last week, and Causey says each one of the players can contribute when their number is called.
"I feel comfortable with any kid that we put back there," Causey said. "They're not perfect. We had a fumble last week, and I went up to him and said 'Don't be upset. You fumbled one time and we've given up 20 points. You should be mad at me.' We pick each other up because we believe in ourselves in believe in others.
"We have three guys back there that can run the football, and if you add in McKenzie Jackson and his ability to get to the perimeter, we have a fourth. I just feel comfortable with all of them and the offensive system."
While the Wampus Cats went away from the rushing attack, the Wolves dominated the ground game with 187 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Trent Winbush.
"I think he's still running the ball from the last time we played them," Causey said "He's a special football player. He's an I-formation tailback that they play at fullback. They find ways to get him the ball. We went back and looked at the film and and looked at what we could do better.
"They've been running the same system there for a decade. That's what makes them so good, along with having the best two running backs we've faced."
With the deficit in the previous matchup, Wampus Cat quarterback Chris Vargas had to go to the air 41 times, leading to three interceptions to go along with three touchdowns.
"That game, we put ourselves behind. We had five or six bad plays that they took advantage of because they're a good football team," Causey said. "We had to throw the football. What Chris has been able to do is improve his ability at the position. He understands how to make plays, how to read coverages, how to make adjustments. We also know that we have to be able to run the football. Chris can do what he does, and we can be somewhat successful, but we're playing a top-16 team in the state. You can't just sit back there and throw it 41 times. You have to be able to run the football."
Leesville has a chance to win 11 games for the first time since the 1995 Wampus Cats made it to the state championship, going 13-2 in the process.
"This is what I refer to as a legacy game," Causey said. "It's about the quality of opponent you're playing with a chance to go to the third round. It's a game you can build this program on and a game that people can talk for generations about as being the game we started to build this thing. From 1984-87, Leesville was a quarterfinal team every year. It was an expectation and the town got into it. There was a football fever here, and we have a chance to rekindle that. It's exciting."