Three Livingston Parish football teams will continue their seasons Friday night with the start of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state playoffs.
All three are on the road in the first round facing teams with single-digit seeds.
No. 25 seed Live Oak (6-4) makes its first playoff appearance since 2012 when the Eagles travel to play No. 8 Ouachita (6-3) in Monroe. No. 30 seed Denham Springs (5-5) joins Live Oak in the Class 5A bracket and will head to No. 3 Destrehan (9-0) for a matchup with last year’s state runner-up.
Springfield (2-8) qualified for the 2A playoffs, despite winning only two games during the regular season and finishing 0-6 in 9-2A action. The Bulldogs, seeded 29th, will be in the Monroe area to play No. 4 Rayville.
Live Oak and Denham were two of the five teams from 4-5A that punched their ticket to the postseason.
Walker (5-5) was the last team out of the 5A field with a power rating of 33, needing a finish in the top 32 to qualify.
State championship games in the LHSAA’s nonselect divisions will be held Dec. 11 (1A and 2A) and 12 (3A, 4A and 5A) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Live Oak vs. Ouachita
Live Oak is making just its second playoff appearance since joining the 5A ranks in 2009, and the Eagles secured the trip by hanging on for a 24-21 victory over Central in the regular-season finale.
“We felt like it was one of the goals we could accomplish,” Live Oak coach Brett Beard said of making the playoffs in his first year. “We had some things to clean up, but we belonged here. We knew we belonged in the playoffs, and here we are.”
Ouachita finished 4-1 in 2-5A, losing only to 5A’s top seed West Monroe. The Lions are a top-10 seed in the 5A field for the fourth time in five years.
“You’ve got to be ready,” Live Oak defensive back Cade Guillory said. “You’ve got to respect everybody, but you can’t be scared.”
Live Oak and Ouachita had a common opponent in Scotlandville.
The Eagles lost to the Hornets 34-7 in a 4-5A home game Oct. 30; Scotlandville won at Ouachita 39-20 on Oct. 2.
Denham Springs vs. Destrehan
After advancing to the second round last year with an upset of Woodlawn, Denham Springs will have to go through last year’s state runner-up to secure another playoff win.
Destrehan clinched the 7-5A championship and an unbeaten regular season with a 51-40 win over Thibodaux on Oct. 30.
Denham Springs played its final regular-season game without senior quarterback Torez Kinchen, who suffered a separated shoulder in Denham’s victory over Walker in Week 9.
The matchup with Destrehan pits a pair of LSU defensive line commitments in Denham’s Caleb Roddy and Destrehan’s Glen Logan.
Springfield vs. Rayville
Struggles during the regular season didn’t keep Springfield from making its sixth playoff appearance in eight years as the Bulldogs’ strength of schedule won the day.
Now comes the trip to Rayville and an opponent that reached the quarterfinals in 3A last year.
Rayville’s only loss in 2-2A came against district champ Ouachita Christian 42-24.