The Acadiana Rams should be 8-1 and poised for one of the top seeds in the Class 5A playoffs (which begin next week) entering Thursday's regular season finale vs. Lafayette High.
Unfortunately, the Rams are actually 4-5 after the school discovered that a transfer backup player -- who only saw action at the tail end of blowout wins -- was ineligible and had presented the school with an altered birth certificate.
As a result of that misfortune, Acadiana was forced to forfeit four victories and now the Rams - a perennial 5A powerhouse in Louisiana - will need to get a win this weekend against their crosstown rival in order to make the playoffs.
"Our school has come together," said senior offensive guard Cade Dawes when asked about the current atmosphere at Acadiana. "People are making signs to support us and are rooting for us.
"They're telling us to keep our heads high. We're using this situation as motivation. We're going to keep fighting."
According to Dawes, the Rams - with a win this week - are expected to garner a seed in the No. 27-30 range in the 5A playoffs; meaning that Acadiana would take to the road in round one for a matchup that normally wouldn't take place until the quarterfinals or semifinals.
"We can't wait to get out there each week - no matter who we play," said Dawes. "If we get a chance, then we'll be fine."
Behind the blocking of Dawes (5-11, 230) and University of Louisiana commit Nick Smith, Acadiana has been an offensive juggernaut, amassing 401 points through nine games.
"We're just doing exactly we expected to do," Dawes said. "Our motto is hard work and we got up for 6 A.M. workouts during the offseason."
What does Dawes have to say about his fellow senior standout teammates: offensive tackle Smith, RB/DB Micah Eugene, and RB/DB Bakari Hollier?
"Bakari and Micah - especially Bakari - are my two favorite guys on the team," he said. "Bakari is one of those leaders who isn't vocal. He speaks with his play on the field. He's such a good person and player, and he's the type of player that everyone wants to be like; because he's so good.
"Micah is the hardest worker on the team. He plays the whole game at running back and defensive back. Every time I look up in the huddle, he's on the field with the offense and when I'm on the sideline watching the defense - he's out there too. He stays on the field all the time and I don't know how he does it.
"Nick and I play side-by-side and we have fun. There's a serious side to it, but we like to have fun and crack jokes while we're out there. He helps lighten up the mood."
What does the future hold for Dawes?
"I'm planning on attending UL and I've thought about walking on," he said. "It's a decision that I'm going to have to think about - whether to play football and go to school or just concentrate on my studies.
"I'm not sure what I want to major in yet, but it will have something to do with sports."
What about the idea of taking over one day for legendary Acadiana head coach Ted Davidson?
"That would be a dream and an honor," said Dawes.