District 6-3A counterparts Parkview Baptist and East Feliciana might be at opposite ends of the seeding spectrum in the Class 3A state playoffs but have something in common this week aside from their league affiliation.
Both teams will be at home for regional playoff games Friday. Parkview Baptist (9-0) hosts No. 16 Brusly (9-2), while East Feliciana (6-3) entertains No. 6 Rayne (9-2) at East Feliciana Middle School in Clinton.
“You look around what happened in the first round and looked what happened to Lutcher and Bossier getting upset,” Parkview coach Kenny Guillot said. “St. Paul’s got upset last year. We talk to the kids about that because if you want to get where you want to be, it’s do or die. It’s sudden death.”
After a challenging nondistrict season with narrow losses to Zachary (41-40 in OT) — a Class 5A playoff participant — and Salmen, currently in a Class 4A regional game — East Feliciana has rebounded with four straight wins, including a 29-12 upset of No. 11 Caldwell Parish last week.
“Playing Salmen, Zachary and Parkview kind of prepares you for the playoffs,” EFHS coach Cedric Anderson said. “We experienced a playoff atmosphere at Zachary and playing those three quality teams all got the kids prepared.”
The 6-3A duo headlines a solid Baton Rouge area contingent going into regional play with 2011 quarterfinalist No. 21 Port Allen (7-3) hosting No. 5 Livonia (9-2).
Third-seeded University (10-1) tops 2A action against No. 14 Loreauville (9-2) at Jeff Boss Field, while No. 4 Springfield (9-1) visits No. 20 Northlake Christian-Covington (6-4) and No. 9 Episcopal (8-2) heads to No. 25 Riverside Academy (5-5) in Reserve.
Class 1A also features a Baton Rouge area matchup with No. 9 Southern Lab (9-2) visiting No. 8 Pointe Coupee Central-LaBarre (8-2), while No. 11 White Castle (9-2) travels to Edgard to meet District 9-1A rival No. 6 West St. John (7-3).
“This team is very explosive,” Southern Lab football coach Nick Mitchell said of PCC. “They have a lot of athletes. They are very well coached and can get you at any point in time if you fall asleep.”
Parkview and Brusly feature run-oriented offenses with central figures leading the way.
Senior wingback Hezekiah Randolph passed the 1,000-yard mark last week. He has 111 carries for 1,019 yards with 17 touchdowns. Quarterback Brennan Bozeman supplies nearly 1,300 yards of offense and 17 TDs (784 passing, 514 rushing).
Brusly is led by senior quarterback Jay Christophe with more than 2,000 yards of offense and 32 TDs to his credit (1,036 rushing, 1,203 passing), while Dimario Jackson is a rushing (87-613, 5 TDs) and receiving (26-316, 5 TDs) threat for the Panthers, who have won five of their past six games.
“Defensively, they’re solid and run to the football,” Guillot said. “They’ve got a good, solid football team, and they’re well coached. They’re a strong second-round opponent.”
Running back Kameron McKnight rushed for more than 120 yards and a couple of touchdowns and wide receiver/defensive back Danny Johnson had three interceptions in East Feliciana’s opening-round win.
Anderson said he will let the flow of the game dictate the rotation of his quarterbacks after sophomore Cory Hawkins started and senior Kendell Beckwith finished last week.
“They’re buying into it, and they both put team first and that’s what it’s all about,” Anderson said. “We’ll go with whoever has the hot hand.”
Southern Lab successfully bounced back from a 51-25 Week 10 defeat to Kentwood for the District 7-1A crown with a dominating 40-7 victory over Catholic-Pointe Coupee.
It also represented a positive step further into the playoffs after the Kittens suffered a 40-0 opening-round defeat to Cedar Creek-Ruston in 2011.
With more than 2,600 yards of offense and 40 TDs, senior quarterback Deonte Shorts (2,005 passing, 664 rushing) has been a driving force in Southern Lab’s offense with eight-grader Titus Nelson (84-536, seven TDs) contributing on the ground and freshman Curtlan Williams (56-801, 10 TDs) receiving.
“The fruits of the offseason are starting to pay off,” Mitchell said. “A lot of those kids who were juniors last year, they made a vow that they wanted to do better and go further than last year.”