The high school state football playoffs won’t begin for another three weeks, but with big games for some and cool weather for all, Week 8 arrives with some postseason flavor.
Matchups that highlight the area schedule Friday include Brusly (5-2, 2-0) traveling to face No. 1 St. Charles Catholic (7-0, 2-0) in District 7-3A action, Christian Life hosting Southern Lab (6-1, 2-0) in 7-1A and No. 3 University High (7-0, 2-0) making the trip across town to play Dunham (4-3, 2-0) in a 7-2A showdown.
All six teams involved in those three games have unbeaten records in district play.
All six, thanks to a cold front that hit Louisiana earlier in the week, will take the field in playoff-like weather conditions.
“It’s just been one of the hottest football seasons I’ve ever been through,” Brusly coach Erik Willis said.
“It’s finally football weather. We’re going on the road to a great place and will play in a great atmosphere. Just couldn’t be happier to be in the position we’re in. Everybody’s pumped up.”
Brusly will have its hands full against a St. Charles team that has won all seven of its games by at least four touchdowns and has occupied 3A’s top ranking for seven weeks.
But from the hostile crowd to the championship-caliber opponent, the Panthers see the trip to LaPlace as the kind of experience they hope to replicate next month.
“We’re going to treat it like a rehearsal for the playoffs,” Willis said. “We’re playing a real good team that’s used to being on top, and we just want to see how we stack up.”
An upset would send Brusly into sole possession of first place in the 8-3A standings.
Similar stakes await The Dunham School as the Tigers, who enter Friday’s game sharing the 7-2A lead with a 2-0 mark, look to hand U-High its first loss. The Cubs have already beaten Episcopal, ranked sixth in the 2A poll.
“It’s two teams undefeated in district,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “Whoever comes out 3-0 will not have clinched anything, but will certainly be in good position moving forward.”
Southern Lab and Christian Life look to keep pace with Kentwood (4-3, 2-0) in what has become a three-team race for the 7-1A championship.
The Kittens, who have held their opponents to 8.6 points per game, should be tested by Christian Life’s high-powered offense. The Crusaders average 40.7 points behind quarterback Trey Fisher, receiver Frank Bartley and running back Jerrell Richardson.
“The fact we have to travel into their house and have to play good football on their field, it’s going to feel like a playoff-atmosphere for sure,” Southern Lab coach Nick Mitchell said. “That’s the kind of position we’re hoping to put ourselves in for down the road.”