After countless summer practices and a combined 23 wins, Catholic-New Iberia (12-0) and Calvary Baptist (11-1) take the field one last time in the Division III state championship game of Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“There is a great buzz right now throughout the community,” Catholic-New Iberia coach Brent Indest said. “We’re getting lots of well-wishes from players of years ago, and the kids are really excited.”
Friday’s Division III final is a matchup that seems almost destined. Top-seeded Catholic-New Iberia’s last loss came in the 2013 semifinals, against the Cavaliers of Calvary Baptist.
The Panthers will look to avenge last year’s defeat at 1:30 p.m. Despite rarely kicking off games before 7 p.m., Indest said the unusual kickoff team will be beneficial.
“It actually works out perfect,” Indest said. “We will kick off near the time we usually end school. I think kicking off at 1:30 is going to work out well.”
The game will have compelling quarterback matchup with playermaker Shea Patterson going for Calvary Baptist, while Jason Pellerin lines up at quarterback for the Panthers.
Both signal callers stand over 6-foot-2’ and have strong arms, but Pellerin is known more for his running abilities.
“Both Pellerin and Patterson have tremendous résumés,” Indest said. “I think the world of my guy, and I know (Calvary Baptist coach John) Bachman thinks the world of his guy. My guy is going to do what he does, and we are just going to do the best we can.”
In last week’s semifinal game against Newman, Pellerin eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark. The Ole Miss commitment is the third Panther to do so this season, joining running backs Andre’ Bellefontaine and Seth Pierre.
All three Panthers have excelled in Catholic-New Iberia’s dangerous Wing T formation.
“The Wing T all starts with the offensive line,” Indest said. “You don’t necessarily have to have great athletes but having great athletes on offense makes everything better.”
The Panthers Wing T will face off against a stout Calvary Baptist defense, holding opponents to 15 points per game.
Indest said he will have a simple message for his team before they run out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome tunnel.
“Go out, have fun and play your tails off,” Indest said. “After we do that, we’ll look at the scoreboard, and see what happens.”