Written by Kyle Valdez
In arguably the best rivalry in the state, the East Ascension Spartans took care of business and handed St. Amant a 34-7 loss. Spartan Stadium in Gonzales reached its capacity, with crowds of people standing along the fencing around the stadium. Multiple college coaches were in attendance, including Kansas and former LSU head coach, Les Miles. Although the halftime score was just 10-7 in EA’s favor, the Spartans scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to secure their 8th win of the year.
East Ascension, now ranked 4th in 5A, used strong plays from their defense to force turnovers and get extra possessions. None were bigger than Jyren Ester’s pick-6 to end the first half to give EA a 10-7 lead. Along with the stout defense all night, receivers Jyrin Johnson and Hobert Grayson IV came up with big TD receptions. QB Cameron Jones only threw 8-23 for 156 yards but rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries.
After a defensive battle in the first quarter, East Ascension was the first to get on the scoreboard when Alex Phelps hit a 30-yard FG with 5:58 left in the half. St. Amant responded with a 75-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard TD run for Reggie Sims with 2:28 left. After forcing EA into a three-and-out, St. Amant had a shot to stretch the lead with 1:18 left in the half. With their offense taking control from the 50, on the first play of the drive, QB Cole Poirrier went deep and had his pass intercepted and returned 85 yards by Jyren Ester to lose the lead going into the half.
The Ester interception changed the whole momentum of the game, as the second half was all East Ascension. Cameron Jones found a wide-open Hobert Grayson for an easy 70-yard TD. The next possession, St. Amant QB Cole Poirrier was sacked, and fumbled the ball deep inside his own territory. A few plays later, Jyrin Johnson caught a 4-yard pass to take a commanding 24-7 lead. After the short burst offense, EA would control the rest of the second half: adding 10 more points via an Alex Phelps FG and a Jyrin Johnson TD with 4 minutes left in the game.
Entering the contest, EA head coach Darnell Lee discussed the rivalry, “It’s hard to just treat it like any other game when you have two communities that come together as one this week... Honestly a playoff-type atmosphere. I told my guys that won’t play college football, ‘this is as close as you will get to it. Just soak it all up.’”
East Ascension looked like the real deal all night. A real threat to make it the dome and possibly win a state championship, the Spartans have won 4 straight contests and appear to be peaking at the perfect time. They have one of the more talented rosters in the state, and now have a solidified home field advantage for the playoffs. Looking forward to their Round 1 matchup against Terrebonne, EA is obviously the favorite, but still needs to play a good game if they want to advance. Terrebonne has one of the best rosters in the state behind FSU commit Ja’khi Douglas and five-star DT Maason Smith. If EA plays like they did against St. Amant, they should have no problems until the state quarterfinals.
Head Coach Brandon Brown has been preaching since he got the job at East St. John last year that he wanted to change the culture. Well, the culture looks like it is slowly changing in his second year as head coach at his alma mater. Senior kicker Alexis Reyes connected from 27 yards out as time expired to give the Wildcats a 15-13 win over the Tigers.
The Wildcats struck first with a 3 yard touchdown run by running back C.J Gardner to give his team a 6-0 lead with 2:24 left in second quarter. Their next score would come when quarterback Sean Shelby hit Dontae Fleming *UL commit* for a 12 yard touchdown pass to give them a 12-0 lead with 9:02 left in the 3rd quarter.
Terrebonne’s dynamic athlete Ja’Khi Douglas *Florida St commit* would finally get his team on the board with a 5 yard touchdown run that would cut the lead to 12-6 with 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter. Douglas lead his team down the field once again on 75-yard drive, which ended in him connecting with A.J Walter for a 6 yard touchdown pass. The Tigers would take a 13-12 lead with 3:17 left in the the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats would start the next drive on their own 30 yard line. Quarterback Sean Shelby would connect with Rydell Jackson for a 35 yard pass between three defenders to get them down to the Tigers’ 35 yard line. Two questionable pass interference calls on the Tigers would put the Wildcats in the 10 yard line, which led to the game-winning field goal by Reyes.
Terrebonne ATH Ja’Khi Douglas finished the game with 97 yards rushing & 2 touchdowns (running & throwing). Terrebonne defensive back Kwan Allen had a big interception in the fourth quarter that led to the Tigers’ scoring on their next possession.
East St. John quarterback Sean Shelby finished the game with 192 yards passing & 1 touchdown. Receiver Markel August made his presence felt all night finishing with 9 catches for 90 yards. East St. John defensive backs Kevon Breaux came up with 1 interception & Shawn Sterling finished with 2 interceptions on the night. Defensive lineman Welland Williams caused havoc all night finishing the game with 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, & 5 tackles.
East St. John improves to 7-2 overall & 4-1 in district play. They will take on Thibodaux Friday night at home with a shot to share the district title.
Terrebonne falls to 4-5 overall & 2-3 in district. They will take on Central Lafourche Friday night at home.
Written by Kyle Valdez
After suffering a tough loss to Destrehan last week, Thibodaux’s offense regained their footing and shook back in a big way. In Week 9 action, the Thibodaux Tigers completely dominated the second half en route to a 49-14 blowout win over the H.L. Bourgeois Braves.
Thibodaux’s QB Luke Alleman led the Tiger offense by throwing 16-22 for 278 yards, including 5 TD passes. Alleman’s favorite targets on the night were receivers Marquel Price and Kyren Lacy. Although Price had two receptions on the night, he finished with 72 yards and two TD receptions. Lacy (ULL commit, offered by Miami, Kansas, Virginia) caught 4 passes for 41 yards and 3 TDs.
Prior to the game, Lacy discussed his team’s focus, “We had to come in more focused than last week. I had to get on them, not take it too lightly, and play hard every play.” Lacy backed up his words by scoring the game’s first points on a 3-yard TD reception from Alleman.
The next drive, Thibodaux lengthened the early lead 14-0, via a TD reception of 25 yards by Marquel Price. At that moment, it felt like the Tigers were well on their way to making the game a blowout sooner rather than later. However, the HLB defense stood up and shut out Thibodaux for the remainder of the first half.
At the 8:03 mark in the second, the Braves cut the lead to 14-7, when QB Jordan Rainey rushed for six yards on a keeper. The next drive, HLB sophomore Da’Wuan Diggs picked off an Alleman pass to give HLB the ball back. After bringing the ball inside the Thibodaux 35-yard line towards the end of the half, the Braves failed to put the ball in the endzone.
After letting HLB hang around for the first half, Thibodaux’s offense woke up and started finding the endzone again. In the first two minutes of the third, Alleman found Lacy twice for catches of 15 and 23 yards to extend the Tiger lead to 28-7. The next drive, Alleman hit Maurquel Price for a 47-yard score. Thibodaux finished their scoring for the night when Tyren Young picked off a Jordan Rainey pass and returned the ball 45 yards to give Thibodaux a 49-7 lead.
The dominant win brings Thibodaux’s record to 7-2 on the year, and 3-2 in district play. With a district championship out of sight, the Tigers are looking to go on the road and get a win against a very solid East St. John team. It appears that the Tigers are bound to host their first playoff game since 2016.
Maruquel Price commented on the idea of Thibodaux hosting a playoff game, “We hosted a playoff game four years ago, but it was a bad outcome. It’s been a while since a Thibodaux High team won seven games, and if we win next week, that’s 8-2. That’s two home games: that’s great, and we haven’t had that before.”
For HLB, they dropped to 1-8 on the season and 0-5 in district. The Braves disappointing season continues to drag on for yet another week. Although they’re still relatively young, the Braves have still underperformed. Maybe not winning games is the goal, but they have been flat out outclassed the past five weeks. In district play, they have been losing by an average of 44.4 points. To give the young squad some credit, they kept tonight’s game entertaining for the first half: only trailing by one score. However, the wheels fell off in the second half. It was ugly to watch some players flat out not put any effort into plays; multiple times you could find an HLB not move a muscle on a snap. Looking forward to their Week 10 matchup, they will close their season as they travel to face Archbishop Shaw.
Are The Pels Done, The Saints Super Bowl Bound, LSU Favorite To Beat Bama, Top 5 High School Football Teams
Written by Kyle Valdez
The 2019 LHSAA season is already coming to an end. It felt like yesterday that John Curtis outlasted Edna Karr in a Week 1 showdown. Eight weeks later, and here we are: district schedules ending, teams battling for playoff seedings, and others gearing up for a long playoff run. While some teams have two weeks left in their season, the true contenders are prepping to be on the field for seven more games.
Breaking down a composite top 9 list seemed nearly impossible at first due to the abundance of teams that have a rightful case. Although it’s not based off a mathematical power point formula, I decided to base the list off a list of factors: record, strength of schedule, win probability for the playoffs, margin of victory, team potential upside, and roster talent were all put into consideration. After much time and thought, I decided to put these teams in my Week 9 LHSAA composite Power Ranking:
9. Edna Karr
Many people would consider this season as a disappointment for Edna Karr. Despite suffering two early season losses, it’s hard to blame the Cougars for losses against Curtis and Catholic-BR. The 35-point loss to Catholic was hard to watch, but the reason they are so high on the list (and I contemplated leaving them off) was due to their recent trend of letting lesser teams stay close. Beating Landry-Walker by 4 points? And Wossman by 13? Maybe Karr has a switch to flip, but the real problem is the health of the squad. The full squad hasn’t been fully healthy since Week 1. Being in 4A, Karr still has roughly 4-5 weeks to rest up until their season is truly put on the line. Despite the questionability of the team, they still have a strong chance to make it to Poydras St. in mid-December.
Sitting at 8-0 and ranked #1 in Class 4A, the Titans always seemed to be overlooked by the more notable programs throughout the state. The first four weeks of the season didn’t prove the most, but their two October wins over De La Salle and Westgate proved that they are a serious threat (and possibly the favorite) to win 4A. Their defense is elite, but their offense flows strictly through QB Christian Westcott. With two favored matchups left on the season, Lakeshore will likely finish this season at 10-0 and secure the 1 seed. Barring any serious injuries, the Titans should be on their way to the dome for the second time in three seasons.
7. St. James
St. James has been impressive all season long. Currently with an 8-0 record, the Wildcats seem to be en route to a perfect regular season with their two remaining games against Patterson and E.D. White. Regardless of how mediocre their district schedule is, they proved themselves during the first five weeks of the season with big wins over East St. John, Destrehan, and Assumption. Regardless of class, the Wildcats have enough power-five talent on the field to compete with nearly any school in the state. Considering that St. James is in 3A, I don’t see them running into any problems until the semis. However, being in 3A makes me hesitant to place them higher on the list due to the lack of challenges in their district/class.
6. St. Thomas More
Sitting at 6-2 on the season, STM has proven themselves as the easy favorite to win the Division 2 state championship. After their week 9 matchup against Carencro, STM has no more serious threats for the rest of the season. Win or lose, STM already has the 1 seed going into the playoffs and should glide through the Division 2 bracket this year. With past threats such as University and De La Salle having down years (compared to their expectations), STM is in a different league. Their two losses could have been avoided and they could be going for a perfect season, but the 52-50 thriller against Catholic didn’t go their way, and they dropped a game to Westgate 24-21. If not for the Westgate loss, STM could very well be in the top 3 of this list.
5. West Monroe
Being from northern Louisiana, West Monroe lacks some of the attention that the NOLA/BR area schools receive. Moreover, it makes it harder to gauge a northern team’s season. West Monroe seems to put out a top 5A team in the state every year, and this year is no different. Currently at #2 in the Class 5A rankings and holding a 7-1 record, the Rebels seemed prepared for another deep playoff run. Their lone loss was a 10-point defeat to Longview, TX. Excluding the Longview loss, West Monroe has allowed an average of just 4.4 points per contest. Their top win of the season was over 4A powerhouse Neville by a score of 41-14.
Acadiana is ranked #1 in Class 5A and are rolling through their schedule with an 8-0 record. Their high-powered offense is averaging nearly 48 points per game behind the dual-threat RB combination of Army commits Dillan Monette and Jeremiah Brooks. With quality blowouts victories over LCA and Carencro, Acadiana is bound to make noise in the playoffs.
3. Archbishop Rummel
Many would put Rummel at the #1 spot on this list, but I feel like the two teams ahead of them are even more deserving. Either way, Rummel will have a golden opportunity on Friday against John Curtis to prove who the best team in the state is. Rummel’s defense has allowed just 3.1 points per game. Their schedule is one of the hardest in the state, and they have strung out 8 straight. In Catholic League action, they beat Brother Martin 30-0, St. Aug 16-12, and Holy Cross 17-7. Earlier in the season, they also defeated two quality out-of-state programs. If Rummel can knock off both Jesuit and Curtis in the following weeks, they are fully deserving of the composite #1 spot. However, they can’t lax in Division 1 because they will most certainly face either Catholic-BR or Curtis in the state semifinals.
All season long, Catholic has done the job each week. Their first season-defining win was the 47-12 beatdown on Edna Karr. Then followed by a 52-50 victory over STM. Being in District 5-5A, the Bears have had competition throughout their district slate, but have proven even more why they are the real deal. With beatdown wins over St. Amant and East Ascension, they look ready to finish the season at 10-0. Currently the #1 seed in Division 1, it will be a huge deal if they can secure the #1 seed to avoid both Rummel and Curtis until the eventual state championship game.
1. John Curtis
John Curtis is currently 8-0, but still has two big games left on the schedule against Rummel then Brother Martin. The #3 seed in Division 1, it looks unlikely that Curtis will steal the #1 seed, resulting in playing either Catholic or Rummel in the state semis. Either way, I feel like Curtis will beat both teams in the playoffs and will repeat as State Champions. Behind electric RB Corey Wren and QB Collin Guggenheim, the Patriots can score on anyone, and their defense is proven elite. Without facing a serious threat all season, the Patriots appear to be the clear favorite as the #1 team in Louisiana.
Vance decommitted from the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 22 opening up his recruitment again. “When I committed to Arkansas earlier this year I kind of rushed that decision,” Vance said. “I needed to really evaluate the whole situation to make sure I was making the best decision for the next four years of my life.”
The 5-foot-10 long & rangy corner currently holds 16 offers from some power five schools like Auburn, Mississippi St, Virginia, Louisville, Arizona St, & Kansas.
Vance just recently took an official visit to Louisville on October 18. The Cardinal coaching is pushing hard to land Vance led by defensive coordinator/DB coach Bryan Brown. “Me & my family really enjoyed it in Louisville,” Vance said. “I liked what they have going on up there a lot. Coach Brown sat me down & showed me how they would use me in their defense. Their scheme is setup for the secondary to get a lot of turnovers. They played Clemson while I was up there & their secondary caught two interceptions against Trevor Lawrence. I can see myself playing up there & being a playmaker in that defense.”
The Edna Karr product is only eying a few schools going forward before he makes his decision. With four official visits left, Vance only had one setup at the moment. “I’m going to take an official to Houston soon,” he said. “I’ve been up there a couple times unofficially & their whole staff always show me how bad they want me up there. I’ve also been hearing a lot from Notre Dame, Memphis, & Arizona St but I have no plans on taking an official to any of them at the moment. I don’t have an exact date when I want to commit somewhere, but it’ll be soon.”
The 3-star prospect is the most technically sound corner in the state in my mind. He can play press man, off man, or zone which will bold well for him for wherever he lands on the next level.
Destrehan looked to be hitting their stride again after a huge road win versus a very talented Thibodaux team. The Tigers were 6-1 & ranked number 4 in 5A coming into the game.
The story of the game for the Wildcats was the rushing attack from Razan Keller & Kyle Edwards *Alabama commit* rushing for over 200 yards & 7 touchdowns. But the Wildcats defense was just as impressive keeping a really good Thibodaux offense in check most of the night. They were able to get some key interceptions by Jaden Harding & Eric Jones at pivotal moments in the game.
The Tigers offense has scored 30 points or more five times this season. Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux eluded to that they would have to win up front if they wanted to slow their talented offense down. “We knew the quarterback Alleman was a big time player & we wanted to get him off his spots tonight,” Robicheaux said. “He’s been on fire this season & that receiving core is tough to stop. I was proud of how we stepped up to the challenge & got it done tonight.”
Thibodaux falls to 6-2 overall & 2-2 in district. They’ll face H.L Bourgeois on Friday.
Destrehan improves to 5-3 & 2-2 in district. They’ll take on Central Lafourche on Friday.
Saints Best Team In NFL, Can Auburn Upset LSU, Are The Pelicans Playoff Contenders, Top 5 High School Football Teams
Written by Kyle Valdez
On Friday night in New Iberia, the Lakeshore Titans and Westgate Tigers were set for a usual 7:00 p.m. kickoff. All the factors for a great game were in place: perfect conditions with the temperature hovering in the mid-to-low 60’s, a clash between two top 4A teams, Westgate fresh off an upset win over St. Thomas More, and Lakeshore putting their undefeated record on the line. The only problem was unexpected traffic for the visiting Lakeshore Titans. Interstate traffic stretched the 2.5 hour drive to nearly five hours.
After a 45-minute delay was given to Lakeshore for warmups, the Titans showed up and rolled past Westgate 35-13 behind the impressive play of QB and LB Christian Westcott. Westcott played nearly every snap of the game, making big plays on both sides of the ball: he rushed for 178 yards on 26 carries, ran for all five of Lakeshore’s touchdowns, and recorded a crucial sack in the second half.
Lakeshore struck first with 8:01 in the first quarter by a Westcott 26-yard keeper. Over the next seven minutes, the Westgate offense got hot. Quarterback Brennon Landry found Kayshon Boutte (LSU Commit, #2 recruit in Louisiana, #7 WR nationally) and Makholven Sonn (Kansas St. Commit) for two big touchdowns receptions. The two early scores gave Westgate a 13-7 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. However, the Makholven 46-yard reception would be the Tigers’ final score of the night.
Lakeshore responded with a Christian Westcott seven-yard rushing touchdown. The Titans took a 14-13 lead into the half after missing a FG attempt that hit the upright. Lakeshore dominated the whole second half, outscoring Westgate 21-0. A combination of suffocating defense by Lakeshore, and undisciplined plays by Westgate, resulted in the Tigers inability to score. Lakeshore’s offense was carried by Christian Westcott. Three rushing touchdowns from 2, 11, and 13 yards from Westcott opened up Lakeshore’s lead down the stretch.
When asked about his performance, Westcott responded by giving kudos to his linemen, “If I could give this interview to anyone else, it would be the whole O-Line. Without them, the score is not like it is... They made blocks that were key, and we drove it up and down the field running the ball. It’s because of them.”
Lakeshore’s past two victories over De La Salle and Westgate have proven that they’re the real deal. After weeks of questioning their legitimacy, it is finally evident that they are serious contenders to play in the Superdome for Week 15. Their defense is elite, and they have Taysom Hill Jr. playing on both sides of the ball. Westcott only completed 3 of his 10 passes on the night, but still made the biggest impact. The Titans’ final three games of the season should be three wins, setting themselves up for a district championship and a good seeding for the Class 4A playoffs. No matter who they get matched up with, the opposing offense should be concerned.
Cornerback Brendan Perry discussed the Titan defense and the big win, “We started out rough, it was 13-7, but we forgot about the bad plays, came back and made better ones... We played good [defense], we knew they had good receivers. We had the pass rush there, and when the quarterback made bad throws, we had to capitalize.”
For Westgate, nothing went right. Their communication was lack-luster, they looked undisciplined, and they were simply outplayed and outcoached for the final three quarters. Especially with such a huge win coming last week against STM, it just seemed like Westgate ill-prepared. The offense was shut down for final three quarters. Two bright spots for the night were the receivers: Kayshon Boutte reeled in five catches for 91 yards, and Makholven Sonn had three catches for 78 yards. Quarterback Brennon Landry finished with 175 yards, but was inconsistent for most of the night. Along with throwing multiple interceptions, too many tipped passes and fumbles haunted the Tiger offense all night. Next week, the Tigers look to rebound against a tough team in Teurlings Catholic on the road. Currently ranked 10th in 4A, a win against Teurlings would be very beneficial to Westgate’s seeding and confidence.
The three-star prospect out of St. James High School announced on October 13th that he was committing to the University of Texas-San Antonio via Twitter.
Smith was on his official visit when he made the announcement, which made head coach Frank Wilson & his staff elated about the news. “I had my mind made up since the beginning of the season that I wanted to commit there,” Smith said. “My relationship with the coaching staff has been great, & that played a big role into why I was so comfortable committing to them. They call me almost everyday & we talked about more than just football.”
With 24 total offers, the dynamic playmaker knew he would have to really do his homework to make sure he found the right fit for the next four to five years. “This process has been fun, but at the same time I had to keep a level head through it all,” Smith said. “I really like a lot of the schools that were recruiting me, but when I was on my official at UTSA I felt like that’s where I needed to be. Coach Frank(Wilson) is different & he is somebody I feel like I can relate to.”
All throughout high school Smith has been asked to play quarterback, but he will be a full time receiver & return specialist once he arrives on campus. One plus for Smith is that his former high school teammate Lowell Narcisse is currently the starting quarterback at UTSA. “I’m excited about the coach’s plan for me at receiver & in the return game,” he said. “Getting to catch balls from my big bro Lowell will be fun as well because we’re real familiar with each other.”
Smith still plans to take three more official visits before signing day to Colorado, Colorado St, & Southern Miss.
The UTSA coaching staff will have their work cut out for them until Smith signs on the dotted line on signing day with the type of year he is having. He has his team off to a 7-0 start & ranked number one in 3A. Smith is one of the most electrifying athletes in the state with the ball in his hands & he could easily start gaining traction from bigger schools before it’s all said & done.
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