Little did Acadiana football coach Ted Davidson think after his team’s 38-28 victory at Ponchatoula in last year’s Class 5A state regionals the two teams would be on each other’s radar any time soon.
Possibly, if their paths crossed again in the 2015 playoffs. But a funny thing happened when each team was looking to fill the second playing date on their schedules.
“We were both looking and thought it would be interesting to play each other again,” Davidson said.
No. 1 Acadiana (1-0) travels to Ponchatoula (1-0) in a game at 7 p.m. Friday that will be among the many highlights involving teams from the Acadiana area this week.
Class 4A’s No. 4 St. Thomas More (1-0) returns for the third consecutive year to participate in the Battle on the Border at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium, facing El Dorado, Arkansas, (1-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday
“We get to play at a great facility,” STM coach Jim Hightower said. “The city really goes all out in providing a quality event, and the competition’s great. It’s kind of a win, win, win.”
Breaux Bridge (1-0) managed to survive a rash of injuries after its jamboree loss to Lafayette, posting a 7-6 victory over New Iberia in which the Tigers played without as many as six starters and a top reserve.
Breaux Bridge hosts Class 2A’s No. 7 Notre Dame (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday
“I’m glad it worked out,” Breaux Bridge coach Paul Broussard said. “When you can get a victory and not have to play them when you really didn’t need to, you’re happy. I was very concerned going into the game.”
Broussard expects to have a defensive lineman, running back and offensive lineman back for the Notre Dame game.
Breaux Bridge’s go-ahead score against New Iberia came in the second quarter on Daniel Lee’s 27-yard run and Bailey Thibodeaux’s extra point. The Tigers defense allowed 145 yards, six first downs and sweated out three missed field goals.
“It was very nerve-racking,” Broussard said. “We were very fortunate to be able to hang on and survive without any of our players getting injured.”
Davidson said scheduling can be a difficult task, especially for a program such as Acadiana’s with a proven track record.
The Rams already had an open date in the ninth week when Ponchatoula coach Hank Tierney and Davidson agreed on a playing date for the second week.
“Hank was good enough to step up and play us even though he had an opportunity to play somebody closer to him,” Davidson said. “I may not appreciate it next week when we get there, but right now I appreciate him giving us the opportunity to play them.”
The Battle on the Border, which tries to match teams from neighboring states to Louisiana, has managed to bring out the best in St. Thomas More since its inception.
The Cougars defeated Calvary Baptist in their first trip and followed that last year with a 41-21 come-from-behind win over Gladewater, Texas.
STM, which opened with a 31-13 win over Sulphur, faces El Dorado, which had won three of five Class 6A state titles in Arkansas. They went 10-5 and were the state runners-up last year.
“Leading up to the game, there’s a little added interest in being able to represent our state against their state,” Hightower said. “When you see them on film, you see you’re playing a football team. Once it’s kicked off, that goes out the window.”