Coach: Zachary didn't believe it was the underdog
Some people might believe the Zachary football team pulled an upset last week, defeating top-seeded West Monroe 29-27 on its home field in a Class 5A semifinal showdown.
Broncos coach David Brewerton is not one of them. Nor are any of his players. To borrow a tired sports cliché, they believe "to be the best you have to defeat the best."
Fourth-seeded Zachary did just that against West Monroe and advanced to its second Class 5A non-select state championship game in three years. The Broncos, winners of their first title in 2015, will travel to New Orleans to tangle with 10th-seeded Hahnville on Saturday in the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. As the higher seed, Zachary High School will be designated the home team.
“I think some people would call it an upset,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “Our kids in no way, shape or form carried themselves as underdogs. They fully, 100 percent believed we were going in to win.”
Kicker Martell Fontenot booted a 40-yard field goal with 1:36 left in the game to put the Broncos ahead, then safety Rodaren Alexander batted down a potential game-tying two-point conversion with 28 seconds left and covered an onside kick to preserve the victory in Don Shows Stadium.
“You either want to play in those situations or you shy away from them,” Brewerton said after the game. “These guys wanted it. I never saw any doubt in their eyes. Never a doubt ... and they fought for 48 minutes to get it.”
Sophomore quarterback Keilon Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run and Fontenot’s 45-yard field goal helped Zachary to a 10-7 halftime lead. Darweshi Sanders’ 2-yard scoring run and Fontenot’s 29-yard field goal pushed the lead to 20-7.
However, West Monroe bounced back to take a 21-20 lead with a pair of touchdowns. Kris Simmons added a 35-yard touchdown pass from Brown and Fontenot’s 40-yard field goal boosted the Broncos to a 29-21 edge. Then Alexander stepped up to preserve the win.
The Broncos and Hahnville are both 12-2 overall this season. The Rebels advanced through the playoffs with wins over Denham Springs (42-21), Ruston (23-21), Covington (38-27) and Acadiana (43-42).
State Championship Game notes: Zachary will host a Community Pep Rally Thursday night in Bronco Stadium at 6 p.m. Any remaining game tickets and T-shirts will be available for purchase at the pep rally. General admission tickets will be available at the Superdome for $13 apiece. ... If you can’t make it to the Dome, Cox Sports television will broadcast the game on its website at CoxSportsTV.com. ... Brackets and more information are available on the LHSAA website.
Scott sparks EMCC title win
Former Zachary High quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. threw two touchdown passes to spark East Mississippi Community College to a 31-28 victory over Arizona Western in the National Junior College Athletic Association title game last Sunday.
Scott completed 15 of 28 passes for 170 yards and ran for 40 yards on 14 carries for the Lions (11-1), who entered the Mississippi Bowl game ranked No. 1. EMCC, which was the subject of Netflix's "Last Chance U," ended the season with a five-game winning streak. Scott was selected as the game's MVP, being voted the Mississippi Bowl Player of the Year.
It is the second title in three years for Scott, who redshirted at LSU and transferred to EMCC in August. He led Zachary to a Class 5A title in 2015.