Cardaye Spencer and Shane Francis aim to lift Acadiana to the Class 5A state championship in 2012.
Only two years ago, the Wreckin' Rams captured the 5A crown by knocking off West Monroe; if Acadiana is to climb to the top of the mountain again this fall, the Rams will need big years from Spencer, Francis and QB De'Edward Cormier.
"I had 500 yards rushing with six touchdowns as a junior," Spencer said. "I'd like to gain 1,500 yards with 20 touchdowns and possibly make all-state. I have good vision and hit the hole hard."
Francis (5-6.5, 150, 4.4) saw significant action last year until an ACL tear ended his season in week eight vs. Carencro.
"I ran for 600 yards before the injury," Francis said. "My long was a 97-yard touchdown against Sam Houston. My rehab went great. I would describe myself as a back who gives maximum effort. I try to do as much as I can when I get the ball."
Francis was asked about the 2012 forecast.
"We need to stay healthy and not let anything get us down," he said. "We look great. Our offensive line is athletic and strong, and should give us an extra push.
"I'd like to rush for 1,500 yards. I haven't had any colleges interested in me, so that's a goal: to get recognized by recruiters. I might attend junior college and then try to sign with a four-year school. I've always liked Florida and the way they use their backs."
Spencer (5-8, 185, 4.5) is also thinking of trying the JUCO route, although he's academically qualified with a 3.6 GPA and 19 ACT.
"I've heard that McNeese State and Arizona Western are going to see what I do," he said.
What does Spencer see as the key to getting back to the Superdome?
"Not losing focus and just doing what we do," he replied. "Our defense continues to get better and our offensive line has gotten way better. Shane is a speed back in our option offense. De'Edward is an even better passer than (last year's starter) Stryker (Trahan)."
Acadiana posted an 8-3 mark in 2011. The Rams throttled Zachary in the first round of the playoffs by a 75-21 margin. Archbishop Rummel ended the Rams' season the following week in a 24-21 defensive slugfest.
Acadiana dashed Carencro's hopes of a perfect season by beating the Bears in district, 32-14. Carencro went on to reach the state finals and finished as runner-up to West Monroe.
Spencer, Francis (pictured below) and company get the season under way vs. local 4A program Northside in week one.