There are times when high school football has its own unique ties that bind.
Last week it was the Zachary High vs. Catholic High game that matched a father, Catholic coach Dale Weiner, against his son, ZHS coach Neil Weiner.
Two other kinds of football ties will be on display this week as Denham Springs (1-0) at Woodlawn (1-0) and Scotlandville (1-0) at Parkview Baptist (0-1) help highlight the second week of the regular season.
The two south Baton Rouge-based games are part of a nondistrict schedule that includes one Thursday game - Cohen-New Orleans vs. Southern Lab (1-0) at Mumford Stadium.
“This can be some kind of game if we both play well,” Woodlawn coach Don Jones said. “I have all the respect in the world for what Dru (Nettles, DSHS coach) has done with that program. This figures to be one of the best teams they’ve had in a long time.
“Denham Springs is big and strong up front and they’re athletic and deep. They play aggressive on defense. Their isn’t much else you can ask for.”
The game will be a homecoming of sorts for DSHS’ Nettles, who served as baseball coach and then as football coach at Woodlawn before returning to his alma mater.
Meanwhile, the Scotlandville-Parkview game will serve as a reunion point. Scotlandville coach Ken Hilton previously coached against Parkview when he was head coach at his alma mater, Baker High. Hilton also spent one season as an assistant coach at then 3A Redemptorist.
More importantly, Scotlandville has provided one of the biggest surprises of the season. The Hornets have scored 98 points in their jamboree and Week 1 victories.
“We don’t really know Scotlandville that well,” PBS coach Kenny Guillot said. “But we know Ken from when he was at Baker and Redemptorist. We know he (Hilton) will bring in a team that is well-coached and will play hard. And right now, it certainly looks like they’re putting it all together.”
Other 5A-4A games to note include Donaldsonville at third-ranked Dutchtown (1-0), of 5A, Central (1-0) at St. Thomas More (1-0), Thibodaux (1-0) at Zachary (1-0), Catholic (0-1) at Mandeville (1-0), McKinley (1-0) vs. Glen Oaks (0-1), at Memorial Stadium, and St. Michael the Archangel (1-0) vs. The Dunham School (1-0), at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium.
The Central-STM game also marks a reunion. Central coach Doug Dotson, son of the late Bill Dotson, the legendary coach at Denham Springs and Acadiana, was once an assistant on STM coach Jim Hightower’s staff. Hightower picked up his 339th win last week and ranks third all time among Louisiana prep coaches.
Jones felt comfortable dishing out the compliments to Denham Springs, a 20-6 winner over Broadmoor in the debut of the school’s new artificial turf stadium. Nettles did likewise, noting Woodlawn’s 41-31 road win over Lafayette.
The 5A teams play in different districts, making a nondistrict matchup a natural for Woodlawn and Denham Springs.
“Woodlawn is so talented,” Nettles said. “No matter where you look, they have speed and weapons and can score from really any place on the field.”
The Yellow Jackets could get a boost from the return of junior running back Kaleb Blanchard, who has been sidelined for two weeks with a shoulder injury and could be cleared to play this week, said Nettles.
Hilton said his team has managed to take advantage of mistakes by opponents in spread formations for two weeks. He knows Parkview, ranked first in Class 3A, represents a different challenge.
“Parkview is another creature entirely,” Hilton said. “Spread teams try to get by you. Parkview is big and they just come right at you. They don’t make a lot of mistakes and they’ll be our toughest test yet.”
Top-ranked White Castle (1-0) travels for a rare early-season Class 1A showdown. The Bulldogs play at No. 9 Central Catholic-Morgan City (1-0).
Sixth-ranked University (1-0), of Class 2A, travels to 1A Ascension Christian (0-1), while Episcopal (1-0) travels to Donaldsonville to take on Ascension Catholic (0-1). EHS coach Travis Bourgeois is a former ACHS quarterback.
Other games in 3A and below include Capitol (0-1) at Class 3A No. 8 East Feliciana (1-0), Brusly (1-0) at Baker (0-1), Pointe Coupee Central (0-1) at Port Allen (1-0) and Springfield (1-0) at Albany (0-1).