Two programs heading in different directions clash tonight when the Kaplan Pirates take on the North Vermilion Patriots in a matchup of two Vermilion Parish playoff teams last season.

The Pirates, who began the season with two shutout losses to Lafayette High and Church Point, have bounced back strongly, posting three double-digit wins in a row over Westminster, Iowa and St. Martinville. Last week against the Tigers, the Pirates rushed for 372 yards in a dominating 32-7 victory. Julius Johnson finished the game with 162 of those yards, while Grant Frick added 94. And defensively, they were very stout, holding the Tigers offense to 31 total yards.

"I think our offensive line has improved over the last couple of weeks," says Kaplan Head Coach Stephen Lotief.

It was also a game which saw Jr. QB Jade Herpin making his return after suffering a concussion in Week One.

"He's a leader; he works extremely hard," says Lotief. "He loves the game. Everything you could ask for in a quarterback, he's got. He leads by example...he does everything to the best of his ability."

North Vermilion, meanwhile, is off to a 1-4 start, just like last year. And just like in 2013, the Patriots only victory through Week 5 was against St. John and they were coming off a loss to the Church Point Battlin' Bears. But, NV won a thriller 29-28 over Kaplan in Week 6 and have the opportunity to provide some deja vu once again.

"They're going to play their best game against us, which they've done the last two years, and they've come out ahead of us," says Lotief. "I'm always concerned about playing North Vermilion. Great people over there, just like in Kaplan. Hard-working kids...I think their skill positions are exceptional. Hopefully, we'll win the line of scrimmage and make it rough on them.

You can listen to the game on Newstalk 96.5 KPEL. Ian Auzenne and Brandon Comeaux will have the call.