When they cracked the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Top 10 poll for the first time last week at No. 10 in the Class 2A rankings, there wasn’t much, if any, idle chatter over the development in the Opelousas Catholic locker room.
The Vikings simply went out, registered their first shutout of the year in a 42-0 District 5-2A victory over Jeanerette and improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0.
With Opelousas Catholic facing its toughest test to date — hosting No. 3 Catholic-New Iberia (7-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. in a battle of undefeated district members — don’t expect a lot of commotion over the Vikings’ new No. 6 ranking they’ll take into that showdown at Donald Gardner Stadium.
“I didn’t really hear a lot about it,” OC first-year coach Dane Charpentier said. “I think someone told me about it, but I don’t think any of our teams goals are centered around the polls. I was kind of happy that none of them were talking about it. It’s nice, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. If you buy into it too much, it can hurt you.”
OC’s latest win, coupled with losses by the Nos. 6-7-8 ranked teams, hastened the big jump for the Vikings with 66 total points, just ahead of No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas’ 64.
Catholic-NI continued its back-and-forth with undefeated Riverside Academy with the No. 3 Panthers getting outpointed 107-103 by the No. 2 Rebels, while Many remained atop the Class 2A poll.
Surging Teurlings Catholic (6-1) created the third new No. 1 team in Class 4A, rallying for a memorable 56-46 comeback win over previously top-ranked St. Thomas More.
Neville (6-1) took over the top spot with six first-place votes and 116 points, while Teurlings is up three positions to No. 2 with three first-place votes and 104 total points. STM (6-1) slipped to No. 5 with Rayne (6-1) remaining No. 8 and Breaux Bridge (5-2) No. 9. The Rebels weren’t ranked until three weeks ago at No. 10.
Church Point (7-0) flipped-flopped with District 5-3A archrival Livonia, moving to No. 5 after its 59-20 win over Northwest, with Notre Dame of Crowley (5-2) still No. 8 and Kaplan receiving points.
There was no change in Class 1A with Vermilion Catholic (6-1) at No. 3 following a 46-21 District 7-1A win over Highland Baptist.
OC, which advanced to the Division III state quarterfinals a year ago, has been nothing less than dominating thus far in 2014 with a 30-point margin of victory.
The Vikings have permitted a total of 69 points with 32 of those coming in a 46-32 win over St. Edmund. They’ve allowed a touchdown or less in five other games.
“I told the kids before the season, just because you’re not picked to win the district, just because no one thinks you can’t win the district, doesn’t mean our goal shouldn’t be to win the district,” Charpentier said. “If your goal isn’t to win the district, then what’s our goal?
“Our main team goal all season has been to win the district championship, and it just so happens we’ve got a giant standing in our way,” Charpentier said. “It’s going to take a massive effort to get that done, but if we can win Friday, that would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.”