Large schools (Classes 5A and 4A)
1. Acadiana (1-0)
What a way for the Rams to start defending their back-to-back state titles. The Acadiana defense was as good as advertised, pitching a shutout in the season-opening 49-0 win against Northside, and the veer offense was running in midseason form. Acadiana is very good again, despite losing a large chunk of last season’s starting offense to graduation.
2. Teurlings Catholic (1-0)
This is more like a 1B ranking, but give Acadiana the benefit of the doubt for prior achievement. The Rebels looked outstanding in knocking off a loaded Calvary Baptist team, and more importantly they showed they weren’t just a one-dimensional team. Stud QB Cole Kelley accounted for four touchdowns, but Teurlings relied heavily on RB Noah Harris to get the win. Kelley only had four second-half pass attempts.
3. Carencro (1-0)
The Bears barnstormed Westgate 47-0 in the opener behind a punishing ground game. RB Tyriek Campbell paced a Bears attack that rolled up more than 300 yards on the ground last week.
4. St. Thomas More (1-0)
QB Will Bellamy connected on a pair of touchdown strikes to WR Trevor Begue as the Cougars rolled to a 31-13 win against Sulphur in the opener. Keep an eye on this pair, who spent this summer working on their timing after Begue spent last season mostly lining up at RB.
5. Cecilia (1-0)
Yes, it does start and end with RB Raymond Calais, who put up his typical gaudy stats in Cecilia’s 28-0 win against Comeaux in Week 1 (228 yards, three touchdowns in three quarters). But the Bulldogs also have an emerging star in QB Landon Roberts, who carried over his strong jamboree performance into a strong opener.
Breaux Bridge, Crowley
Small schools (Classes 3A, 2A and 1A)
1. Vermilion Catholic (1-0)
The Eagles claim the top spot in the small school rankings after toppling last year’s Division II runner up Catholic-New Iberia 35-21 in the opener. QB Hunter Frith fired three touchdown passes, and Vermilion Catholic kept the Panthers’ high-flying offense out of the end zone in the first half.
2. Church Point (1-0)
The Bears pulled off a thrilling 27-26 overtime win against former district rival Rayne in Week 1, setting the tone for what should be a fine season after going 10-3 a year ago. Church Point held Rayne scoreless in the second half.
3. Catholic-New Iberia (0-1)
The Panthers dropped a tough one in their first game without Jason Pellerin at QB, but a loss to a really good Vermilion Catholic team shouldn’t put a damper on this team’s potential.
4. Ascension Episcopal (1-0)
The Blue Gators went on the road to DeRidder and knocked off an East Beauregard team that went 9-3 a year ago. With Jake Arceneaux at QB and Ja’Ceiry Linzer running the ball, Ascension Episcopal should challenge for the district title this season.
5. Notre Dame (1-0)
How good are some of the small schools in the area if perennial power Notre Dame checks in at No. 5? The Pios offense was solid if unspectacular in their season-opening win against LaGrange, but the defense was phenomenal, forcing two safeties and shutting LaGrange out in the first half.