West Jefferson players are returning from their District 9-5A victory over Jesuit to discover that they will have to meet the team they defeated on Saturday 24-17 again in the bidistrict round of the Class 5A playoffs.
District 10-4A champion Holy Cross had little trouble brushing aside Archbishop Shaw 34-0 on Sept. 21. Now they have to do it again when the two collide at Pan American Stadium on Friday.
“Am I happy we are in the playoffs? Yes,” said Jesuit coach Wayde Keiser, whose Jesuit squad lost a battle for second place to West Jefferson two days ago. “But I don’t think (West Jefferson coach) Marcus Scott or I am happy to have to play each other again.”
After winning seven consecutive games, Keiser’s Blue Jays ended the season with losses to District 9-5A champion and the class’ No. 1 seed, Archbishop Rummel, and 7-2 West Jeff to fall into the No. 11 position. Their opponent was given the No. 22 seed by virtue of the victory.
The bidistrict rematch is scheduled for Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium at 11 a.m.
Scott, who coached under Keiser at Jesuit, said while he is not excited about a rematch with the Blue Jays, “At least we don’t have to go to doggoned Shreveport for a game.
“Some of my players texted me and wanted to know how that happened,” he said, noting that he understands Jesuit will play better that it did last weekend. “That means we will have to fix some of our mistakes this week.”
Keiser’s team was admittedly flat and never developed an offensive tempo.
“We know what we need to do. We have to show up and compete. We were lethargic. We had mistakes in crucial situations,” Keiser said. “Marcus does a great job with a group of talented kids.”
The Class 5A playoffs offer opportunities for redemption for two teams that are no strangers to the post-season, but two squads that stumbled at the start of the season.
No. 10 St. Paul’s was the undefeated 2011 Class 5A No. 1 seed when No. 32 Central shocked the bracket by eliminating the Wolves 35-28.
This season, St. Paul’s lost its first two games to John Curtis and Tallahassee-Lincoln (Fla.), then fell again two weeks later to Salmen. The Wolves then won all six District 6-5A games.
Hahnville dropped its first four games before rallying back to sweep its five District 8-5A games to gain an automatic bid as a district champion. The two will meet at Hunter Stadium on Friday.
Holy Cross and Shaw, former Catholic League rivals who hope to be reunited next season in a common Class 5A district, will also play for the second time this year.
The only losses coach Barry Wilson’s Tigers experienced were to 5A Jesuit and Rummel. They won all five games in a very competitive District 10-4A to gain the No. 6 seed. Shaw (4-5) played a difficult schedule that included seven opponents to qualify for the playoffs.
“Shaw will have the revenge factor on its side,” Wilson said. “But that’s the hand we were dealt. I know they have improved, but I like our position in the bracket.”
No. 13 Mandeville (7-2) and No. 20 Covington (6-3) played each other last week. The Skippers had an easy outing, winning 31-0 to finish second to St. Paul’s in District 6-5A.
The Class 5A top seed is Rummel (9-0), which opens against No. 32 Lafayette (5-5).
The other local top seed, John Curtis (9-0), opens defense of its Class 2A title against No. 32 Pope John Paul II (3-6).
Neville and Edna Karr could be on another collision course for the Class 4A title. Neville, which defeated Karr, 27-6, for the championship in 2011, is again the No. 1 Seed. Karr (9-0) drew the No. 2 seed. Karr opens at Behrman Stadium on Friday against No. 31 Peabody Magnet (6-4).
The rocky start that the reigning Class 3A titlist, St. Charles Catholic, had to the season dropped the District 7-3A champion Comets to a No. 18 position. The school and LaPlace neighborhoods were flooded by Hurricane Isaac were factors in the team losing its first two games.
Although St. Charles won its final seven games, it will open the playoffs by visiting No. 15 Westlake (6-3).
In a District 9-2A rematch No. 23 Carver (6-3) will again travel to Port Sulphur to face No. 10 South Plaquemines (7-2) on Friday. The host Hurricanes edged Carver 36-34 on Oct. 26.