In three preseason scrimmages, the Leesville Wampus Cats surrendered just two touchdowns, one on special teams, while racking up almost 100 points offensively.

In three preseason scrimmages, the Leesville Wampus Cats surrendered just two touchdowns, one on special teams, while racking up almost 100 points offensively.

But all of that means nothing as those games didn’t count. However, they starting counting this week as the Wampus Cats, under veteran head coach Tommy Moore, will entertain the Westlake Rams and first-year head coach Phil Fontenot at 7 p.m. Friday night.

The Wampus Cats throttled DeRidder in jamboree play last week, 27-7, while Westlake fell to Class 5A and 10th-ranked Barbe, 19-7, fumbling three times in the red zone.

The turnover problem is something the Wampus Cats will hope to exploit, while the Rams have been working specifically on ball security this week during practice.

“We want to continue to play physical football,” Moore said. “We need to force a few turnovers defensively and try to make their quarterback uncomfortable. Plus, we will need to play sound on the back end of our defense.”

“We have preached ball security to the kids and have reinforced the importance of it this week,” Fontenot said. “And we turned the ball over on our first three possessions last week in the jamboree, so we need to clean that up.”

According to Moore, the Rams are a very explosive offensive team running out of the spread offense. Veteran Westlake quarterback Hunter Racca, who passed for over 1,500 yards a year ago, is a versatile playmaker with the ability to throw and run.

“They do a lot of zone read and their quarterback is pretty athletic back there,” Moore said. “They also have a couple of good backs and receivers. We will have to play sound football.”

Brevin Ned was the “hot” running back last week, according to Fontenot. But the Rams rotate several backs in the game, including Joseph January, Michael Boudreaux and Daniel Eaglin. January also plays receiver and possesses 4.3 speed.

“We don’t have a feature back like Leesville. We will rotate a lot of guys at running back,” Fontenot said. “It just happened that Brevin was the hot back last week. It could be someone else this week.”

Defensively, the Rams will have the task of stopping a Leesville offense led by junior tailback Cory McCoy.

“He’s legit,” Fontenot said of McCoy. “They are going to feed him the ball and we are going to have to stop that.”

Moore knows that every team on the Wampus Cats’ schedule will be gearing up to shut down McCoy and the ground game. With the focus on that, Moore is hoping senior quarterback Caden Wheeler and the passing game can get on track.

“We are going to have to throw it some to be successful,” Moore said. “People are going to stack the box to try to stop Cory, so we are going to have to be successful in the passing game. We will also have to find creative ways to get Cory involved.”

Skylar Beabout and Theron Westerchil are the outside targets for Wheeler, with E.J. Ane a very capable receiver at tight end. Fullback Cody Williams will also be pivotal in the passing attack.

“We are gaining confidence every day with our receivers,” Moore said. “I’m anxious to see how they will do this week.”

If you can’t make it to Wampus Cat Stadium for the action, you can catch it as it happens on 93.5-FM KJAE with Sam Fertitta and Chuck Owen on the call.