Edna Karr ended Neville's 11-year, 28-game home playoff winning streak in a 40-21 win on Friday night at Bill Ruple Stadium.
The Cougars fell behind early 21-7 in the first quarter, but they would remain poised & show why they are considered arguably the best high school football program in the state the last five years. The reigning state champions would score 27 unanswered points in front of a standing room only crowd.
Neville senior quarterback Andrew Brister threw for 281 yards & 3 touchdowns which were all in the first quarter. Karr quarterback Leonard Kelly continues to show why he is just as good as any quarterback in the state regardless of class finishing with 304 yards passing & 5 touchdowns (3 passing & 2 rushing). And although the Cougar offense turned the ball over four times they still managed to accumulate 497 yards of total offense.
It was evident that Neville came out ready to play, but Karr’s resiliency was just too much for the Tigers. The defense from the Cougars was magnificent after the first quarter keeping the Tigers out of the end zone & creating three turnovers. Louisville commit Jamie Vance played a big role in that by picking off Brister twice in the second half. Linebacker Torey Morgan got in on the action stripping Neville running back Max Hunter & cornerback Jamie Vance was there to recover it.
It seems like no matter how tall the task is, the Cougars always find a way to rise to the occasion on the biggest stage. “We played a really tough non-district schedule this season & I think it prepared us for games like this,” Karr head coach Brice Brown said. “When the brackets came out we knew we would meet back up with Neville. They’ve been waiting to get us down here & we were ready for the challenge.”
Edna Karr will face arch rival Warren Easton for the second consecutive year this Saturday at 3:30 for the 4A state championship. “We know they’ll be seeking revenge on Saturday but it’s not about them it’s about us,” Brown said. “As long as we take care of all three phases we should put ourselves in a good position to hold that trophy up again.”
Written by Kyle Valdez
In one of the most anticipated matchups of the playoffs, the Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams topped Zachary 21-14 to reach the Class 5A State Championship game. The Zachary Broncos were the two-time reigning Class 5A state champions, and Acadiana was the 1-seed and carried a perfect 13-0 record into the game. Since 2014, Zachary and Acadiana have squared off in the playoffs six times – with Zachary eliminating the Rams the past two years. Billy Dotson Stadium in Lafayette was packed to its capacity, holding thousands in attendance. Behind the electric, standing-room-only crowd, Acadiana’s defense stepped up all night to hold the high-powered Zachary offense to just 14 points.
Zachary’s QB Keilon Brown (Memphis commit) threw 10-21 for 119 yards and 1 TD pass, also rushing for 70 yards on 10 carries. Receiver Christopher Hilton (Top offers include LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) caught 4 passes for 61 yards. Acadiana RB Dillan Monette (Army Commit) led the Acadiana offensive attack with 137 rushing yards and 1 TD run on 25 carries. However, it was the Acadiana defense that should be highly credited for the win.
Holding a high-powered Zachary team to just 14 points is no easy task. Acadiana CB Laterrance Welch, who broke up Keilon Brown’s final pass attempt to Christopher Hilton, talked about his tough assignment for the night, “Our defense played great all year, but we stepped up even more tonight. We tried clamping up even more. I’m just a sophomore, so I stepped up and guarded a four-star receiver.”
To begin the game, Acadiana went off for a 70-yard, 6-minute drive that was completed when Tyvin Zeno scored on a 14-yard TD run. After holding Zachary, Acadiana took over and completed yet another strong drive. The Wreckin’ Rams went 65 yards on 9 plays. After originally setting up for a field goal, one of Zachary’s players jumped off-sides, causing Acadiana to go for it on fourth down. The off-sides penalty proved to be crucial as Dillan Monette would go on to break multiple tackles en route to an 18-yard TD run – giving Acadiana a 14-0 lead with 11:52 left in the second quarter.
After multiple possession changes, Zachary finally got on the scoreboard after going 63 yards on just 4 plays. The 90-second possession began with a 27-yard Hilton reception to put the Broncos inside the Rams’ 25-yard line. After Keilon Brown ran for 10 yards, Rodrick Duhe Jr. scored the ball from 2 yards out with 57 seconds left in the half.
To kill the Bronco’s momentum entering the half, Acadiana had a response of their own. In just five plays, Acadiana marched 64 yards in 49 seconds. With 8 seconds left in the half, QB Keontae Williams hit Braven Broussard for a 33-yard TD reception. The Acadiana drive proved to be crucial as the second half consisted of a defensive battle.
In the third quarter, Zachary had multiple chances to capitalize on Acadiana’s mishaps. In back-to-back plays for Acadiana, they would fumble deep inside Zachary’s territory. After going three-and-out after Acadiana’s first fumble, the Broncos would take advantage the next time. Zachary would cut the lead in half after covering 80 yards in just 2:30 - Keilon Brown threw a 22-yard TD pass to Jayden Williams with 11:28 left in the fourth quarter.
Despite Zachary scoring off the second Acadiana fumble, the Rams still stood strong. RB Jeremiah “Lucky” Brooks discussed his team’s confidence and overcoming adversity in the second half, “In times like that, people start getting down on themselves. When you are a leader like Dillan, Tyvin, and me, we all just rally together and make sure everyone’s head is up - everybody does their assignments and takes care of what they have to do.”
With the score 21-14 late in the fourth quarter, Acadiana had a final opportunity to put the game away with a score. Despite being on the Zachary 1-yard line, Acadiana would get shut down at the goal line and would turn the ball over on downs. Why did they not kick a field goal? The world may never know, but the coaching mishap would give Zachary a chance to tie the ball game with 2:40 left in the game from their own 1-yard line. The Broncos would get one first down, but Brown would later get sacked, and have the final pass of his high school career be knocked incomplete on fourth down.
Dillan Monette talked about the game and what it was like for the seniors playing their last home game of their high school career, “If you want to be a champion, you have to make championship plays. We approached this game thinking win, lose or draw, we’re going to go out there and ball... It was an amazing feeling. It all happens so fast and I didn’t really notice it until I actually lived through it. It’s a special feeling right now because the last time we were in the Dome was 2014. Now, we’re making history, we’re undefeated right now, and we’re trying to finish it off undefeated.”
Before Acadiana can claim a state championship and finish off their aspiring15-0 season, Destrehan awaits them on Poydras St. Destrehan is entering the state championship as winners of seven straight, including their insane 20-17 over #2 West Monroe. While Acadiana is still the massive favorites, the Rams must show up one more time if they want to claim a title.
Written by Kyle Valdez
The three-time reigning 4A State Champion Edna Karr Cougars continued their postseason dominance with a blowout 51-14 win over 6-seeded Breaux Bridge. The win stretches the Cougars’ playoff win streak to 18 straight games and, more importantly, gives Karr an opportunity to make it to the Dome for the fifth straight year. Leonard Kelly, Aaron Anderson, and Destyn Pazon led the offense on Friday night at Behrman Stadium in New Orleans.
QB Leonard Kelly (offers from Nicholls St. and Northwestern St.) threw for 257 yards and 5 TDs on 15-17 passing. Receivers Aaron Anderson (Offers include Colorado, Miami, Virginia) and Destyn Pazon (Top offers include Alabama, LSU, Houston) both had huge nights. The insanely dynamic Anderson caught 6 passes for 152 receiving yards and 3 TDs. Pazon, the 11th ranked player in Louisiana’s 2021 class (per 247 ranking), caught 4 passes for 56 yards and a TD reception. Breaux Bridge had trouble stopping Karr all night.
In the first quarter, Karr took a quick 13-0 lead via a Leonard Kelly QB keeper and a 53-yard pass to Anderson. Just 30 seconds into the second quarter, Karr extended the lead when Kelly hit Anderson for another TD pass to extend the Karr lead to 19-0. Not to only credit Karr’s offense, but the defense set the tone early. Breaux Bridge had questionable play-calling to start the game, choosing to run the ball often. The Karr line contained Breaux Bridge’s dynamic playmakers in Tyrese Martin and Kavion Martin for a great portion of the night. Along with the line, CB Jamie “Greedy” Vance came up with a pick in the second half.
With 10:12 left in the second, Tyrese Martin found a hole, and took the kickoff all the way for 87 yards to put Breaux Bridge on the scoreboard. Karr responded with dominant play to close the half scoring two more TDs to put the halftime score at 32-7. Breaux Bridge opened the half with a 47-yard TD run from Kavion Martin to cut the lead to 32-14. However, the score would be Breaux Bridge’s final score of the night. Kelly would go on to throw 2 more TDs to Anderson and Mister Simmons, while RB Jaiwan Newman would add a TD run with 1:30 remaining in the game.
After the game, receiver Destyn “Fatt” Pazon talked about the big win, “Our main focus was to play hard, play smart, and play together. So as long as we did that, we would get the job done. We take it one game at a time, and we have an overall goal, which is Poydras St.”
Before the Cougars can make it back to Poydras St., they have one remaining task next week on the road. Next week, they travel 4.5 hours north for a state semifinal game against one of the state’s best: Neville High School. Neville carries a 10-2 record into the matchup with their only losses coming to two of the state’s best programs in West Monroe and St. Thomas More. Both teams have plenty of playoff experience and pedigree, the Neville-Karr matchup will be two of the state’s best teams squaring off.
The former all-state point guard gave his pledge to the Colonels on Wednesday ensuring head coach Austin Claunch & his staff that he is staying home. “It just feels right & I like what they are doing with their program,” Rainey said. “They beat Pittsburgh & lost to Illinois in overtime. I was really impressed that they beat a team from the ACC & came close to beating a team from the Big 10.”
Rainey is currently enrolled at Blinn Junior College in Texas where he averaged 10 ppg & 6 apg as a freshman. Through 10 games this season Rainey is averaging 16 ppg, 5.3 apg, 5.2 rpg to go with a 49.1 field goal percentage. Rainey was a two time all-state performer in high school averaging 25 ppg his junior year & 30.1 ppg his senior year.
It was essential that the Colonels keep the talented point guard at home & Rainey expressed the excitement of being able to play in front of his family on a regular basis. “It’s going to feel good playing right up the street from my family & friends,” Rainey said. “My dad drives over 5 hours to Texas to come to my games, so it’s going to make things easier on him & my mom to come see me play now. I can’t wait to have everybody from my area pack Stopher Gym to see me play.”
This will be the second talented guard from the area that the Colonels have done a good job of being able to keep home. The Colonels starting junior point guard Kevin Johnson starred at E.D White High School & has been one of the team’s best players the last two years starting every game last season. “I’ve been knowing coach Claunch since I was a junior in high school when he was just an assistant coach,” Rainey said. “I’m comfortable with him & his style of play. Coach Deloach came seen me play a good bit of times since I’ve been at Blinn & that showed me that they really want me.”
Rainey has Blinn Junior College off to a 9-1 start this season & he’s played a vital role in the team’s success thus far.
Bonnabel & Walker came into this contest as two of the better teams in 5A. It’s no secret that these two programs have made deep runs in the playoffs the last few years. It’s safe to say we’ll see that again come March.
Both teams struggled to put the ball in the hole during the first quarter going into the second quarter tied at 6. Last year’s Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year Jalen Cook was the lone bright spot in the first half scoring 22 of the Wildcat’s 24 points. The Bruins led at the half 35-24 with some excellent guard play by Tyron Williams & Theo Johnson.
The Bruins would turn it up a notch in the second half controlling the glass with a ton of offensive rebounds & creating turnovers that led to easy buckets in transition. The Wildcats could never get over the hump by cutting the lead to under 10. The Bruins would go on to win convincingly 72-56.
Bonnabel senior Tyron Williams was terrific pretty much the whole night knocking down timely jump shots & using his length to finish at the cup all game. Williams finished the game with 19 points & 5 assists. Bonnabel junior Theo Johnson put his mark on the game finishing with 19 points on the game as well.
Jalen Cook had a game high 36 points & 4 steals to lead the Wildcats. Walker standout junior Brian Thomas did not play in the game because of undisclosed reasons.
New Iberia defeated Central Lafourche and Ellender to reach the finals of the Thanksgiving tournament versus Thibodaux. The Yellow Jackets defeated the defending 5A state champions 36-32 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Tigers defeated Morgan City & Southside to reach the finals their tournament. The Yellow Jackets started the game off up 13-3 behind some stellar play from senior point guard Stiles Jolivet & would go into the half up 23-13.
You had to know the Tigers would eventually make their run & they did just that going on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 23-22 to start the third quarter. The Todd Russ coached team would sustain the Tiger’s run to go into the fourth quarter up 27-22.
The Yellow Jackets would close the door on the Tigers late creating a crucial turnover down the stretch with under 30 seconds left in the game. Junior guard Jatterius Fusiler would knock down two free throws with 11 seconds left to make it a two possession game & give the Yellow Jackets the win.
Jatterius Fusiler led all scorers with 18 points & Stiles Jolivet chipped in 11 points for New Iberia. J’Mari Carter led Thibodaux with 16 points.
Written by Kyle Valdez
In the Class 5A playoffs, things were shaken up in the second round with #3 Alexandria and #4 East Ascension dropping tight games. Instead of EA and Alexandria, now #20 Ruston and #19 Mandeville get to continue their season in hopes of playing in mid-December. As for the rest of the bracket, the top teams handled their business, highlighted by #1 Acadiana’s 49-0 win over #16 Walker. Some teams barely slipped past their opponent like #5 Zachary’s 21-19 over #12 Hahnville, and #11 Haughton’s 23-21 win over #27 Comeaux. However, at this point in the season, a win is a win and every team can beat each other. With the quarterfinals approaching during Thanksgiving week, here are the previews for 5A:
#1 Acadiana vs #8 Airline
Acadiana may be one of the most dominant Louisiana high school teams that we’ve seen in recent years. The Wreckin’ Rams’ offense is putting points on the scoreboard at a crazy alarming rate - averaging almost 52 points per game. Army commit RB Dillan Monette ran for 253 yards against Walker and their offense moves the ball down field almost too easily. Not just their offense, but the defense shut out a solid Walker team that scored 63 points on Thibodaux the week prior.
Airline has a 10-2 record and may be Acadiana’s hardest opponent yet. This will be Airline’s second trip to the quarterfinals in the past three years. Although finishing 3-7 last year and missing the playoffs, Airline is 7 wins improved and gets to host a quarterfinal game. Even with Acadiana having to travel 3.5 hours north to Shreveport, the Rams are still the favorites and will continue to be the favorites until they either lose or win the State Championship.
Final: 52-21 Acadiana
#2 West Monroe vs #7 Destrehan
A week ago, West Monroe topped Captain Shreve 38-21 and Destrehan beat Covington 17-7. Since 2012, West Monroe has been to two state championships and three semifinals. Destrehan has been to two state semifinals in the past three years. Both teams in this highlighted matchup have plenty of playoff experience and pedigree. West Monroe is currently 11-1 with their lone loss coming to the hands of out-of-state Longview, TX. The two teams both look very solid on paper, but West Monroe is clearly the more battle-tested team with games against Ruston, Neville, Longview, Ouachita Parish, and Alexandria. Nineteen of West Monroe’s starters are seniors; led by offensive linemen Daniel Hawthorne (Offered by Baylor) and Ethan Boyer. Destrehan has dynamic playmakers in Kyle Edwards (Alabama commit) and Quincy Brown (Former Miss St. Commit), but West Monroe’s defense is elite, allowing just 7.8 points per contest. Even though Destrehan is the host and has more power-five talent, West Monroe seems more equipped for a return to the semifinals.
Final: 34-13 West Monroe
#5 Zachary vs #20 Ruston
After completing the regular season at 5-5 and getting seeded at #20, it was obvious that Ruston was the most underrated seed in 5A. After facing two additional serious opponents in the past two weeks, Ruston officially has the hardest schedule in Louisiana with games against Rummel, Acadiana, West Monroe, East Ascension, Dutchtown, Alexandria, Neville, and Airline. Although Ruston finished the regular season with five losses, they stayed competitive with every team besides Rummel. After achieving their two biggest wins of the year, Ruston has no time to ease up for their next opponent.
Zachary, the 5-seed, holds a 10-2 record and is the two-time defending 5A state champions. Led by QB Keilon Brown (Memphis commit) and receiver Christopher Hilton (Top offers include Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Notre Dame), the Broncos have tremendous playoff experience. Dating back to 2014, Zachary is 23-2 in the playoffs. However, this year’s Zachary isn’t the same dominant team that we’ve seen in past years. There have been many close calls during Zachary’s current 10-game win streak. When predicting the outcome, you must factor in that the only mutual opponent that the two teams share is East Ascension; Ruston defeated EA by 8, while Zachary lost by 9. Out of the four quarterfinal matchups, this game has the highest upset alert - even for the two-time defending champs.
Final: 22-21 Ruston
#19 Mandeville vs #11 Haughton
After completing a crazy 13-12 upset over #3 Alexandria, Mandeville’s road to the Dome gets a little harder this week. Alexandria was a tough matchup, but this game will take place at Haughton High in Shreveport. Haughton carries a 10-2 record into the matchup and has shown glimpses of crazy high upside. Haughton beat East Ascension by 18 points and hasn’t lost a game by more than 7 points all season long. Regardless of how the teams played in the regular season, it’s hard to predict the outcome of the game based on how well both teams have played so far in the playoffs.
While some teams struggle on the road, others feed off the atmosphere, and fewer off-field distractions allow the players to keep their heads clear. Haughton is a perfect 6-0 at home, and Mandeville has a 5-1 record on the road. Mandeville has recorded four wins of less than three points, with three of those games coming on the road. With the long bus ride during Thanksgiving break, there should be no distractions for the visiting Mandeville. The Skippers have a better resume at this point in the time and great late-game experience: I expect them to be the hungrier team come Friday night.
Final: 28-24 Mandeville
Written by Kyle Valdez
The #10 Westgate Tigers traveled to Napoleanville to face the #7 Assumption Mustangs. Westgate looked polished and sharp all night, resulting in a 27-6 win. After taking an early 13-6 lead in the first quarter, the Tigers never looked back and put the game away in the third quarter. Star receiver and LSU commit Kayshon Boutte (Ranked the #1 recruit in Louisiana per ESPN) was presented with his Under Armor All-American jersey in the morning. Boutte finished off the day by catching seven passes for 224 yards and two TD receptions.
Boutte’s teammate and quarterback Brennan Landry also had a huge night, throwing 16-26 for 319 yards and 2 TDs. For the Mustangs, junior receiver Jaden Tyler caught five passes for 73 yards. Assumption QB Sage Rivere threw for 161 yards, but struggled at times, throwing 11-36. RB Tyran Cassie rushed for 75 yards.
After forcing Assumption into a three-and-out to begin the game, Westgate’s offense got going on their third offensive play. Despite solid double coverage, Landry connected with Boutte for a 59-yard reception to take a 7-0 lead with 8:40 left in the first quarter. Assumption responded with a strong drive that resulted in a Tyran Cassie 1-yard TD run.
Westgate offense moved the ball down at their own will. Landry ran the ball 7 yards to score a TD. The Tigers completed the 80-yard, 2:20 drive to take a 13-6 lead with 1:29 left in the first quarter. Before the conclusion of the first quarter, the Mustangs threatened to score. With the ball inside the Tiger 10-yard line, Rivere’s pass was intercepted by Westgate CB Damarion Davis on the 1-yard line. Westgate lengthened their lead to 20-6 later in the second quarter after an Amaaz Eugene 10-yard TD reception.
Before the close of the half, Assumption threatened to put the ball in the endzone again after Rivere connected with Ra’Shaun Jarvis for a 40-yard completion. With the Mustang offense inside Westgate’s 30-yard line, Tyran Cassie fumbled on a run up the middle. In the second half, both offenses lacked execution with just one score for the 24-minute interval. Assumption failed on multiple fourth downs, and Rivere threw an interception via Westgate freshman Derrick Williams. The lone score was a 17-yard TD pass from Landry to Boutte in the back of the endzone. The TD brought the lead to 27-6 with 3:55 left in the third.
QB Brennon Landry discussed the big win, “We knew it was going to be a big game. We knew their D-line has some of the best players. Their secondary was lacking. If you’re not going to double the number one player in the state, we’re going to take the shots... One on one, we have the best receiving core in the state. If you double one of them, we have another [receiver].”
Westgate looks forward to their quarterfinal matchup against #2 Neville. This will be Neville’s 11th straight trip to the quarterfinals. Neville, who has a 9-2 record, seems to be the more battle-tested team; however, I don’t want to make the mistake of underrating Westgate for the second week in a row. Westgate is peaking at the perfect time: their offense looked rejuvenated, and their defense shut out Assumption for the final 39 minutes of the contest. Putting 450 yards of offense on Assumption is no easy task. Along with the offensive execution, they didn’t commit any turnovers and played a complete game.
To read the full prediction, a Class 4A Quarterfinal Preview for all the matchups will be released
Written by Kyle Valdez
A week ago, the LHSAA playoffs began with a full slate of games for Round 1. In Class 4A, there weren’t many upsets in the bracket; #20 Warren Easton blew past #11 Peabody 44-6, but I wouldn’t consider that an upset for the ages. The top 12 seeds took care of business, but #17 Leesville, #18 DeRidder, and #19 G.W. Carver all spoiled the fun by upsetting the higher seed. With multiple exciting matchups set for Round 2, the 4A bracket looks destined for multiple upsets - the madness is coming in the second round:
1 Lakeshore vs. 17 Leesville
Lakeshore, winners of 11 straight, haven’t been seriously challenged since their Week 1 28-21 over Fontainebleau. Since then, no team has come within 20 points of the Titans. Leesville, who just beat Pearl River 47-21 on the road last week, gets to host their first playoff game since a 2nd Round matchup last year. The home field advantage will be more of an upper hand than most recognize, as Lakeshore must travel four hours west to the Texas border. No matter how far they travel, if Lakeshore plays their brand of football, the Titans should be on their way to the quarterfinals. Their defense is elite, giving up just 14 points combined in their last four contests. And with Christian Westcott under center, the offense should be moving the ball down field effectively.
Final: 42-7 Lakeshore
2 Neville vs. 18 DeRidder
Neville will travel three hours on the road to DeRidder. This will be DeRidder’s first home playoff game since 2014, so you know the stands will be packed and ready to go. However, Neville is also prepared. The Tigers have won five straight games, including their 41-14 first round win over South Lafourche. Furthermore, Neville’s non-district schedule has prepared for them for deep playoff games: opponents such as West Monroe, St. Thomas More, University, Ruston, and Ouachita Parish. DeRidder, on the flip side, just slipped past #15 Minden by a score of 14-13 last week. This pick feels like a no-brainer.
Final: 35-7 Neville
3 Edna Karr vs. 19 George Washington Carver
This may be the most-anticipated matchup of the second round. Edna Karr is one of the best programs in the state, and G.W. Carver is one of the most slept-on teams in the state. Karr is still the favorite in this game but shouldn’t underestimate their opponent. Carver has shown the potential to keep up with top-notch opponents in their close losses to Brother Martin, John Ehret, and Warren Easton. Although unable to win those games, that still gives a team much confidence. If Karr plays to their potential, they should breeze their way into the quarterfinals, but you never know what can happen in the playoffs.
Final: 35-23 Karr
4 Tioga vs. 20 Warren Easton
This may be the most even matched #4 vs. #20 matchups that I’ve ever seen. Tioga comes into the contest at 10-1, and Easton enters at 6-4. However, I feel like Easton is the far better team. Tioga hasn’t played any serious contenders all year, while Easton has faced Karr, De La Salle, East Ascension, Landry-Walker, Holy Cross, and G.W. Carver in the regular season. Considering that Easton is the home team and Tioga will travel 3.5 hours to Pan American Stadium in New Orleans, there’s no reason why Easton doesn’t dominate the #4 seed.
Final: 40-21 Easton
5 Carencro vs. 12 Northwood-Shreveport
Carencro breezed past #28 Salmen 41-7, while Northwood squeaked past #21 Rayne 7-6. After surviving a first round test, Northwood needs to turn things around if they want to stay competitive with Carencro. Northwood reached the quarterfinals as the 7-seed a year ago, but don’t seem to be prepared this year. Carencro is battle-tested and has multiple wins against quality 4A opponents such as Westgate, Teurlings, and Sam Houston. Factoring in a long drive for the visiting Northwood, Carencro should get it done at home.
Final: 35-17 Carencro
6 Breaux Bridge vs. 11 Belle Chasse
Both teams come into this game after a convincing first round win. Breaux Bridge defeating #27 South Terrebonne 35-12, and Belle Chasse defeating #22 Huntington 28-14. Looking at both team’s resumes, it’s difficult to judge who the better team is due to the two teams sharing no mutual opponents. Breaux Bridge seems to be the more accomplished team, finishing with an 8-2 record and only losing those games by 7 and 6 to Thibodaux and Teurlings Catholic. Belle Chasse seems to play down their competition often, with very few big wins. Along with a 2.5-hour drive for Belle Chasse to Lafayette area, the Cardinals are looking at an unfavorable matchup.
Final: 28-16 Breaux Bridge
7 Assumption vs. 10 Westgate
A very intriguing second round matchup, this game feels like a coin flip when attempting to predict the outcome. Assumption has a 10-1 record with their lone loss coming from St. James. Westgate has an 8-3 record with their losses coming understandably to LCA, Carencro, and Lakeshore. Outside of Westgate’s 24-21 over STM, the Tigers haven’t won a close ball game. The team struggles to keep their composure and fails to remain disciplined when things aren’t going their way. Although Westgate looks better on paper, I get the feeling that Assumption will be advancing to the quarterfinals.
Final: 34-31 Assumption
8 Eunice vs. 9 Bastrop
A year ago, Eunice was tearing up 3A en route to a 59-47 state championship in the Superdome. However, things are different in 4A. When Eunice hits the road for a 3.5-hour trip to Bastrop, they should expect nothing easy. Bastrop is an underrated #9 seed who has shown the ability to compete with any team in 4A, and just destroyed North Vermillion 56-14 a week ago; beating Evangel Christian 32-25, losing to Neville 19-14, and losing to Ouachita Parish 35-26 also shows high upset potential. Eunice has a quality win over Tioga, but have multiple questionable performances (20-16 L vs. Rayne, 35-27 W vs. Plaquemine) that increases the upset alert on this matchup.
Final: 32-30 Bastrop
Written by Kyle Valdez
In the first round of the Class 5A playoffs, East Ascension’s defense locked down Terrebonne all night en route to a 20-6 victory. East Ascension’s D-line got to Terrebonne’s quarterback all night, giving Ja’khi Douglas (FSU commit) and Ryan Williams no time in the pocket. Although EA won convincingly, Terrebonne put up a good fight all night, keeping the game within one score until 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. QB Cameron Jones led EA’s offense by throwing for 75 yards on 8-19 passing. Receiver Hobert Grayson IV caught two passes for 30 yards and 1 TD reception
For Terrebonne, dynamic ATH Ja’khi Douglas only finished with 46 passing yards on 6-15 passing. Douglas and RB Jaylin Lucas only combined for 68 yards on 24 carries for the night. Receiver AJ Walter caught 2 passes for 30 yards. Despite having multiple chances to reach the end zone, the Tigers couldn’t capitalize at the right times. The two scores were via kicker Wyatt Guidry converting on FG’s from 42 and 46 yards in the first half.
A defensive bout, EA’s front seven was too much too handle. Nearly every snap, Douglas was forced to scramble; leading to multiple intentional grounding penalties. He had no time in the pocket to work with and was sacked too many times. EA may have the fastest and physical lines in Louisiana.
In the first half, neither of the offenses were clicking. After a back-and-forth defensive display for the first 12 minutes, the score was tied 3-3 via a field goal by each team. EA’s Evan Kern hit from 34 yards out, and Terrebonne’s Wyatt Guidry connected from 46 yards out with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. After holding EA to begin the second, Terrebonne marched inside the Spartan 20-yard line but couldn’t find the endzone. Wyatt Guidry connected on a 42-yard attempt to give Terrebonne a 6-3 lead with 8:13 left in the half.
After stopping EA again, Terrebonne’s AJ Walter fumbled deep inside his own territory to give EA a prime opportunity to score the game’s first touchdown. Terrebonne’s defense held strong, causing EA to use kicker Evan Kern for a 17-yard FG. Before ending the half, Cameron Jones found receiver Hobert Grayson for a 19-yard TD pass to give EA a 13-6.
The second half was very similar to the first half. The defensive bout continued all third quarter, resulting in neither team scoring. Both teams’ defenses looked dominant all night. EA had a chance at the beginning of the fourth quarter to bring the lead to 10 when they got the ball to the opposing 15-yard line. The score remained still after missing a 32-yard FG wide right. With 7:56 left in the game, QB Cameron Jones found the endzone on a 2-yard keeper to bring the lead to 20-6. Terrebonne’s offense would be shut out the rest of the way.
Defensive end Jerrel Boykins (Offered by Kansas and McNeese St.) talked about the Spartan defense, “It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen all week at practice. We knew he [Douglas] could run around, we knew that he could scramble, we knew he was fast, speed, everything. We knew they weren’t going to lay down for us, all we had to do was stick to our assignments and do our job.” In a game that was won by defense, the Spartans looked extremely impressive. If Terrebonne didn’t have as solid of a kicker, the score could have easily been 20-0, considering that few high school kickers can consistently convert from 40+ yards.
EA continues their road to the dome with a second-round matchup in Ruston. Ruston comes in as the 20-seed but may be a top-five team in the state. A team that loses to Acadiana, West Monroe, Rummel, Neville, and Alexandria by one score should not be feared. Although Terrebonne's defense was very solid, there should be some concern for the Spartan offense as they struggled all night to find an offensive rhythm. EA is still the favorite to win but will have to hit on all cylinders for a road victory.
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