With two weeks left in the regular season, let’s look at who the contenders, the Cinderellas and the bubble teams are to make the Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs. Here’s a rundown involving the schools in southern Louisiana.
Acadiana: It’s been a successful season for first year head coach Matt McCullough. He replaced legend Ted Davidson, who retired following the 2017 season after leading the Wreckin’ Rams to four state championships. McCullough has led Acadiana to an 8-1 record. Their most impressive victory was a 28-21 win at Ruston.
John Ehret: The Patriots reached the 2015 state championship by playing great defense. John Ehret QB Travis Mumphrey was on that team and he has the Patriots on a seven-game winning streak after an season-opening loss to West Monroe. John Ehret’s best win comes in the form of a two-point victory over Destrehan.
Destrehan: The Wildcats have one of the top running backs in the nation – John Emery is committed to Georgia. Destrehan’s lone loss was to John Ehret, but they own impressive wins over Central Lafourche and Slidell.
Zachary: The defending 5A champions can’t be counted out. The Broncos usually start to play their best football at this time. After a loss to University High in week 5, Zachary has defeated its next three opponents by wide margins.
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Walker: The Wildcats lost their head coach Lester Ricard early in the season, due to an off the field issue. But interim head coach Cecil Thomas has kept the team together and they are 7-1 heading into a rivalry game against Live Oak.
On the Bubble:
Denham Springs: The Yellow Jackets are 4-4, but could easily be 6-2, had a couple of plays went their way in losses to Ponchatoula and Live Oak.
Hahnville: It’s been a tough season for the Tigers, who lost to Zachary in the 5A title game last year. Hahnville hopes to finish strong with wins over Central Lafourche and H.L. Bourgeois.
Warren Easton: The Eagles lost to John Curtis, but in three district games, they’ve allowed 22 points with a defense led by Florida commitment Chester Kimbrough.
Edna Karr: The defending 4A champs have won every game by double digits, except for a season opening three-point win over St. Paul’s.
St. Martinville: It’s been over a decade since the Tigers have a favorite to reach the Dome. The Tigers are averaging over 40 points a game.
Breaux Bridge: The Tigers are another St. Martin Parish school that’s experiencing a resurgence. BBHS has won six in a row, since dropping its first two under interim coach Chad Pourciau.
On the Bubble:
Rayne and Westgate. These two district rivals meet this Friday. The Wolves were a semi-finalist last year, while the Tigers feature one of the top receivers in the Class of 2020, Kayshon Boutte.
St. James: Don’t be fooled by the Wildcats 5-3 record. They lost by one point to E.D. White and by two points to De La Salle, but QB Shamar Smith is explosive and veteran head coach Robert Valdez is one of the best in the state.
— Coach Robert Valdez (@CoachRobertVal) October 22, 2018
West Feliciana: Don’t look now but the Saints have a winning record and could host a first round playoff game. It looked like a lost season for the defending 3A champs after starting the season 1-3. West Feliciana has won four in a row.
John Curtis: Since moving up to Division I in 2014, the Patriots have yet to win a state championship. But could this be the year? None of the Louisiana teams on their schedule have challenged them and they have an impressive 38-20 win over Warren Easton. Curtis also has experience at QB with Collin Guggenheim.
Catholic: The Bears are the defending champs and this team might be better than the 2017 state champs. Catholic had an impressive win over East Ascension last week and the defense is playing at a very high level.
Rummel: The Raiders have one loss this season and they played that game without star wide receiver and USC commitment Koy Moore. RB Jaelen Sturgis is having a good year, after two injury-riddled seasons.
Jesuit: The Blue Jays have solid wins against St. Augustine and Holy Cross. Last year, Jesuit suffered through a 2-9 season, but this year the defense is much improved thanks to a physical defensive line.
University High: It’s hard to imagine the Cubs not winning their second straight title, which would be a first for the Baton Rouge school. The team features several Power 5 prospects and have not been challenged, despite playing a grueling non-district schedule. RB Mike Hollins is having a big season.
St. Thomas More: If there’s a team that can beat the Cubs, it’s St. Thomas More, who won the Division II title in 2016. The Cougars are averaging 60 points a game and they have a talented junior QB in Caleb Holstein.
St. Charles Catholic: You never want to count out a Frank Monica team. The Comets have three losses, but those defeats came against very good teams.
Notre Dame: The Pioneers have dominated all of their opponents this season. Good luck trying to tackle Noah Bourgeois. Despite being 5-7, he’s one of the best ND running backs in school history. The defense is stout as well.
Country Day: The Cajuns are undefeated this season and have one of the top quarterbacks in the New Orleans area in Justin Ibieta. They’ve won some close games against Amite, Newman and St. Charles Catholic.
Dunham: The Tigers are undefeated and have the top high school prospect in the country in Derek Stingley Jr. But they are more than a one-person team- RB Treylan Mouton is getting healthy and WR Devin Taylor is a fantastic player.
— House of Yards (@house_of_yards) October 18, 2018
Newman: The Greenies lone loss was to Country Day, but QB Martin Butcher is putting up big numbers again.
Catholic of New Iberia: The defending Division III champs were blown out by Notre Dame this year. But they lost badly to Pioneers last year and came back to beat them in the title game. Can lightning strike twice?
Southern Lab: The Kittens are eligible for postseason play this year and they are loaded, with two LSU commitments RB Tyrion Davis and OL Kardell Thomas.
Lafayette Christian: LCA shutout its first six opponents. They allowed three touchdowns to Vermilion Catholic last week, but still won 54-21.
Catholic Pointe Coupee’: The Hornets are 7-1 and 6th in the Power Ratings after 8 weeks. QB Aiden Vosburg has played very well running a triple option attack.