The Zachary Broncos earned their highest seeding in school history when they were announced as the overall No. 2-seeded team in the nonselect Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A playoffs, which begin Friday.

The Broncos, 9-1 on the season after Friday’s 29-18 win at Walker, raced through District 4-5A unbeaten at 5-0 to claim their second straight league title.

They’ll open the playoffs at home against No. 31-seeded Sulphur, which is 5-5 on the year, including 3-3 after a 56-42 loss to Sam Houston in their season finale. The Broncos came up just short last year in the playoffs, losing 9-3 in the semifinals to eventual state champion Acadiana.

The Sulphur Golden Tors are led by quarterback Byron Walker, who rushed for 187 yards and four touchdowns and threw for 76 yards and another score against Sam Houston. Glenn Willis and J’Cobi Skinner are the top running threats for Sulphur.

“Sulphur is a real intriguing matchup because they’ve got some impressive skill players,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “When we put that tape on the screen for our guys, I’m sure it will get their attention. And when you look at their schedule and see they lost to Acadiana 32-30 … well, that’s another attention-getter. Last year, I thought our team did a good job of staying focused on each game in the playoffs, and I hope this one can do the same.”

Special teams were the spark in the season-ending victory over Walker. Cameron Carrier blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown, and Douglas Coleman returned a kickoff 77 yards for another score. Coleman also caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr., and running back Terry Sullivan added a 2-yard touchdown run.

Scott rushed for 116 yards on 11 carries while Sullivan added 98 yards on 16 attempts.

Northeast hosts DeQuincy

Northeast will open the playoffs at home after falling to rival East Feliciana in a District 6-2A showdown, 20-12, in the final regular season game Nov. 6.

The Vikings are seeded 11th and will entertain DeQuincy on Friday to open the Class 2A nonselect playoffs. The loss to East Feliciana dropped Dave Masterson’s squad to 6-4 on the season and into a third-place tie with the Tigers and Dunham, who is at 4-3 in the league.

DeQuincy is 3-7 for the season and finished 2-3 in District 4-2A. The Tigers won their last two games, including 28-16 over Lake Arthur. Quarterback Jake Cooper led DeQuincy in that game, completing 11 of 17 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

On a muddy Viking Stadium turf, the Tigers broke open a 6-6 tie at halftime with two touchdown runs to go ahead 20-6 before Northeast got an 18-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Quinshaw Kelly to Ramon Parker with less than a minute remaining. Tyriq Kelly scored the first Viking touchdown on a 30-yard dash.

Almond resigns as coach

With the beginning of the season just days away, basketball coach Kenny Almond of Zachary High abruptly resigned late last week.

Almond coached ZHS to a 16-14 record a year ago and lost to Ouachita in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

He won three state championships as Woodlawn’s coach and had four runner-up finishes at two different schools. Almond’s career record is 892-402.

On Monday, it was announced that Jonathan McClinton, an assistant coach at ZHS for four years, will take over as the boys basketball coach effective immediately.

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