As Carencro High waits to host a Class 5A semifinal game Friday night, coach Brent Indest knows that an experienced foe is making the trip to the Cro-Dome.
Third-seeded C.E. Byrd-Shreveport (12-0) has 39 seniors, including defensive back Nicholas Peoples, who has picked off five passes.
“The first thing that jumps out (about Byrd) is how hard they play,” Indest said. “They are flying to the ball on defense, and they are disciplined while doing it. Their front does a great job and allows their secondary to not stick their noses where they don’t need to be.”
Seventh-seeded Carencro (12-1) is coming off a win over No. 2 Jesuit-New Orleans in which running back Alex Johnson rumbled for 227 yards and two scores (one as a receiver).
“Last week was an anomaly in that we turned the ball over three times,” Indest said. “We have to not give up the big play on defense?and keep the chains moving on offense. That has been our formula for success.”
While Indest is happy to be home for the semifinal, he doesn’t think the trip from Shreveport will present a huge challenge for Byrd’s big senior class.
“I never put stock in the travel,” Indest said. “It’s neat for a high school kid to get on a travel bus. Kids get fired up for it.”
Fourth-seeded Breaux Bridge (12-1)?will also be at home for its opponent. BBHS meets top-seeded Neville-Monroe (12-0)?in a Class 4A semifinal.
Coming out of District 5-4A, the Breaux Bridge defense had seen the likes of St. Thomas More quarterback Brandon Bergeron and Teurlings Catholic quarterback D’Shaie Landor (a University of Louisiana at Lafayette commitment). Neville’s John Diarse will pose his own threat.
“Scheme wise, Diarse is like Landor at Teurlings,” said Breaux Bridge coach Paul Broussard. “Maybe he is not the thrower that Landor is, but he is a good athlete.”
Breaux Bridge is counting on receivers Travin Dural and Kavahra Holmes, both LSU commitments to provide production in the passing game from their receiver spots.
“Neville plays a four-man front, and they play a lot of man coverage,” Broussard said. “Hopefully, that will be a good matchup on the perimeter.”
No. 2-seed Vermilion Catholic (13-0) plays West St. John-Edgard (11-2)?in its 1A semifinal. The VCHS duo of quarterback Aaron David and running back Jacoby Davis will face a WSJ defense led by defensive end Ronnie Feist, an LSU commitment. The Rams have allowed just 15 points in the playoffs.
“Overall, West. St. John has good size, and they are fast on both sides of the ball,” Vermilion Catholic coach Trev Faulk said. “They are a good football team.”