Gametime on Yurview Louisiana will be in Livingston Parish on Thursday for another District 4-5A battle as the Walker Wildcats visit the Live Oak Eagles.
Former All State standout at Amite and Tulane star Lester Ricard is in his first season as the head coach of the Wildcats. Ricard has Walker (5-3, 2-2) in position to a host a first round playoff game.
Live Oak (3-5, 1-4) is fighting for a playoff berth in the 5A playoffs. Brett Beard is the head coach of the Eagles and in his first two seasons, he’s led Live Oak to the postseason, hosting playoff games in each year.
Live Oak has dominated this series in recent history, winning the last five games played between the two teams and seven of the last eight contests.
But Walker believes this is the year to beat their parish rivals. The Wildcats already have impressive wins over Dutchtown and Parkview Baptist. They are coming off a 27-0 shutout win over another parish rival, the Denham Springs Yellow Jackets.
Walker has dealt with injuries at the quarterback position and plan to start freshman Christian Ard on Thursday, who has thrown five touchdown passes to three interceptions.
The Wildcats top receiver is senior Darius Hampton, who has caught 25 passes for 456 yards and seven touchdowns. Hampton also excels as the Wildcats point guard on the basketball team.
Senior Triston Taylor leads the ground attack, with 650 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He weighs over 200 pounds and is a hard to bring down.
BJ Lockhart is Walker’s most explosive player on offense. Lockhart averages 6.5 yards a carry and he’ll also line-up at quarterback in the wildcat formation.
Lockhart also starts in the defensive secondary and has 44 tackles and three interceptions.
Calvin Watson is a ball hawk at free safety with six interceptions. Avery Smith leads the team with six sacks and Josh Cook at middle linebacker is a hard hitter, with 74 tackles, 50 of them are solo.
Quarterback Sal Palermo leads the Live Oak offense as he has nine rushing touchdowns and two passing TDS. Sophomore Kee Hawkins is evolving as a complete back and has rushed for 587 yards and five touchdowns. He’s coming off a game in which he scored two touchdowns in a 30-0 win over district foe Belaire.
Live Oak recently moved senior Khalil Smith from linebacker to fullback in the Eagles power run attack. Smith is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and is averaging close to five yards a carry.
On defense for Live Oak, they have an up and coming college prospect at defensive end in Jalen Lee, who is six-foot-three, 245 pounds and is related to Ricard.
The outside linebackers for Live Oak are very good. Zach Legendre and Steven Poindexter are excellent in the run game and can cover as well.
In the secondary, senior safety Landon Roberts intercepted a pass last week, while Eli Johnson makes plays all over the field.
The Eagles have two senior corners who have a lot of experience in Ray’shion Brumfield and Jordan Lee.
Both teams are excellent in the kicking department. Live Oak’s Nathan Holliday is averaging 35 yards a punt. Walker’s Caleb Wall is also excellent at flipping the field with his leg. Hampton has returned a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.
A perfect night for football is expected weather wise in Watson, Louisiana, and it’s a perfect night for two longtime parish rivals to put on a good show. Join us for the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies Countdown to Kickoff at 6:30 CT. The action gets underway shortly after 7 PM CT.