By Rhett Manuel (Special to Acadiana Postgame)

If Week One was any indication, it may be the Year of the Running Back around Acadiana.

Several running backs put up big numbers playing in the Lake Charles-area on Friday, with many putting up 200+ yards against teams with big expecations.

Jennings 41, Kinder 40

Travis Etienne is a big name in the Lake Charles area. With more performances like Thursday’s, the whole state may have to pay attention.

Etienne scored five touchdowns and ran for 259 yards on only 17 carries to lead the Jennings Bulldogs to a wild win over the Kinder Yellow Jackets.

Etienne, a junior, scored on runs of 49, 54, seven and 80 yards and a 10-yard pass, led a Jennings offense that totaled 472 total yards. But, it was a stop on a Kinder 2-point conversion attempt with 45 seconds left in the game that sealed the win for the Bulldogs over the Class 2A power that has made back-to-back Superdome appearances.

Junior running back Taylor Johnson ran for 203 yards on 23 carries to lead Kinder on the ground while senior quarterback Welles Cooley showed off his dual-threat capabilities, running for 119 while throwing for another 133 yards.

Sam Houston 41, St. Louis 28

No worries for Sam Houston, not with senior running back Trevantai Thompson on its side.

The Broncos appear to be ready to pick up where last year’s high-octane attack left off behind Thompson, who ran for 262 yards and four touchdowns Friday night.

He wasn’t alone, though. The Sam Houston defense, though without the leadership of last year’s tackling machine and current McNeese Cowboy Mason Knighton, racked up seven sacks and limited the Saints to only 107 total yards on offense.

The game was a first-half shootout with the teams tied at 21 before the Broncos pulled away.

Running back Colby Rodriguez led St. Louis, account for 77 of the team’s total offensive output with 77 yards on the ground.

Crowley 31, Iowa 13

Ty’Von Griffin and the Crowley Gents left their mark against the Iowa Yellow Jackets on Friday night, with the senior running back leaving the biggest mark of all.

The Gents forced four first-half turnovers and Griffin ran for four touchdowns and 193 yards on 26 carries to lead a senior-laden Crowley team.

They pounced on the young Yellow Jackets early, racing out to a 24-6 halftime lead and never looking back.

Iowa’s brightest spot of the game came when sophomore defensive back Darius Daniels stripped Griffin and sprinted 76 yards for Iowa’s lone first-half TD. Andre Sam caught a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zack Jongbloed late to give Iowa a bright spot heading into this Thursday’s matchup with Church Point.

C.E. Byrd 53, Barbe 14

One of the most anticipated Week One matchups in Lake Charles turned out to be a dud, as Byrd overwhelmed the 3-5A force early.

Barbe came out a bit jittery, committing three-straight offsides penalties before Byrd even ran an offensive snap.

With both teams having to replace a lot from teams that faced each other in last season’s Class 5A playoffs, it was Byrd that showed it is further ahead at this point. They jumped out to a 46-7 lead before eventually pulling their first-team offense.

Byrd ran for 312 yards on the ground, led by senior Tysen Hardman. He ran for 118 yards on just six carries.