Christmas is coming early for a handful of football players and fans in Iberia and Lafayette Parish.
A trip to the Louisiana Superdome — usually a December present waiting at the end of a successful season — will be part of Week 2 for Acadiana High School and Westgate.
Acadiana (1-0), the defending Class 5A state champion, will play St. Paul’s (1-0) in the second game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Action begins at 6 p.m. when another Acadiana area team, Westgate-New Iberia (0-1) takes on John Curtis.
“It’s a different thing,” said Acadiana coach Ted Davidson. “It should add some excitement for the kids and fans. It’s definitely a different type of atmosphere.”
It is an atmosphere the Wreckin’ Rams are familiar with, having won the 5A championship in 2006 before duplicating the feat last season.
“Part of the mystique of the playoffs is getting to the Dome,” Davidson said. “Anytime you are playing for a state championship, the game this week will not take off any luster of going to the Dome. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s a big building and it can be a shocker.”
Westgate coach Brian Fine, said there is a excitement and an element of uncertainty that comes with a regular-season game in the Superdome.
“I think it’s great for the state of Louisiana,” Fine said. The season isn’t a sprint. One way to get better is to play good competition. Playing John Curtis ... it can’t get any better than that.”
Coming off a loss to Breaux Bridge, Fine wants to see improvement from his squad within an unfamiliar setting.
“I want to see us be better in every phase,” Fine said. “We were outplayed in every phase. Breaux Bridge had something to do with that. We have to do a better job — me, the coaches and the players.”
Notre Dame-Crowley (1-0) travels to Breaux Bridge (1-0) Friday to face a Tigers offense that features LSU commitments Travin Dural and Kavahra Holmes. Against Westgate, Breaux Bridge turned a punt block by Ronald Girouard into a touchdown and benefited from a defense that allowed only a field goal.
“I have been glad to have the opportunity to play Breaux Bridge,” Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook said. “It gives us a great indication for down the line. If we can hang with these guys, we can play with any team in our league. This game presents us with things we have to be ready for down the line.”
That includes multiple formations with some two-back sets and some direct snaps to Dural.
“In the past, they (the Breaux Bridge offense) didn’t spread you out quite as much as they do now with gifted athletes,” Cook said.
The Pioneers are coming off a 43-6 win over Southwood in which Nick Gossen ran for 100 yards and Luke Broussard scored two touchdowns and finished with 56 yards rushing.
“We are still working on some positions and alternating guys,” Cook said.
“We can improve and we need to. The good thing about playing Breaux Bridge is you might think you are where you need to be and you might get exposed.”
Family ties for Dotson
When Central High travels to Lafayette to collide with St. Thomas More on Friday, the Wildcats will be led by coach Doug Dotson, the son of the late Bill Dotson, the legendary former Acadiana High coach.
Doug Dotson also previously served as an assistant coach at St. Thomas More.