Newman coach Nelson Stewart won’t have to use any special motivational speeches Friday when his team travels to face Opelousas Catholic in the regional round of the Division III playoffs.
The Greenies know the Vikings all too well.
Last season, Newman lost at home to Opelousas Catholic 28-26 in the bidistrict round.
“It’s a big game for us,” Stewart said. “It was a real tough loss for us last year. They came out and really went after us. That loss served as a big motivator for us during the offseason.”
Newman is the No. 5 seed, while Opelousas Catholic is the No. 4 seed. Last year, the Greenies were the No. 7 seed and the Vikings were a 10 seed.
“They are a better than they were last year,” Stewart said. “They run the ball well. They play really fundamental. We respect their program. Hopefully we are a little better than last year too.”
The winner advances to the semifinals to face the winner between top-seed Catholic-New Iberia and Northlake Christian.
Newman might have to try to win without its most explosive offensive player.
Senior running back Kendall Bussey, a Nebraska commitment, injured his leg in the third quarter of last week’s opening-round win over Redemptorist. Stewart lists Bussey as “questionable for Friday’s game.
Bussey has rushed 148 times for 1,240 yards and 28 touchdowns this season for the Greenies (10-1).
“You can’t replace a player like him,” said Stewart. “We are just trying to use every opportunity we can to see what the situation is and if he’ll be able to go.”
Quarterback Myles Lapeyre (1,459 passing yards, 19 TDs) and Jay Tyler (346 rushing, 252 passing) lead Newman’s offense.
Capers-Smith hits 3,000 yards
Warren Easton quarterback Deshawn Capers-Smith continues to pile up jaw-dropping numbers this season.
Last week, in a bidistrict round victory over Woodlawn-Shreveport, he accounted for six touchdowns.
For the season, he has completed 161 of 257 passes for 3,184 yards and 37 touchdowns.
He can add to his totals Friday when the Eagles (9-2) travel to play Peabody in the Class 4A regional round.
The winner will play the East Jefferson-Benton winner.
East Jefferson ended Warren Easton’s season last year in the quarterfinals.
For the second straight season, Landry-Walker will host LaGrange at Behrman Stadium in the regional round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Charging Buccaneers rolled to a 34-7 victory last season and reached the semifinals, where they lost to rival Karr.
Javon Conner, who started at running back in place of an injured Tevin Bush (ankle), rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 38-29 bi-district win over Cecilia.
The winner of Friday’s game will play the Franklinton-Rayne winner.
Rummel still at 10
Rummel remained ranked No. 10 nationally in the USA Today Super 25 released Tuesday.
The Raiders (10-0) had a bye last week and will play Teurlings Catholic at 7 p.m. Saturday at Yenni Stadium in the quarterfinals of the Division I playoffs.
Rummel is also ranked No. 4 in the South according to the MaxPreps Computer rankings. They moved up two spots after being ranked No. 6 last week. The South region includes teams from Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Washington D.C., Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.