High-flying Zachary High clashes with John Ehret’s dominant defense for Class 5A state title _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Zachary running back Terry Sullivan hits a hole behind blocker Kelton Hollins on friday night against Catholic.

The phrase “opposites attract” is used so often that it’s often dismissed as cliché.

Second-seeded Zachary and No. 9 John Ehret may bridge the gap between cliché and football reality Saturday night.

“Defensively, everywhere you look they’ve got players,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said of Ehret. “You have to stay so sound in what you do. You can’t make a mistake because they can make a little bitty mistake turn huge fast.

“We’ve played some hammer football teams this year, and we’ve made it through. We’ve gotten everyone’s best shot. Sometimes it’s taken four quarters to get a win. We’re ready for that.”

Zachary (13-1) faces Ehret (12-2) in the Class 5A title game that closes out the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday. And the offensive-minded Broncos have much to prove as they make their debut in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

After going 25 years without putting a team in the top-classification title game, Baton Rouge now has two in back-to-back weekends after Catholic High won the Division I select title last weekend. Can Zachary equal the Bears’ feat?

Brewerton is confident in his offense, led by quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. Ehret’s Corey Lambert feels the same way about his defense, led by linebacker Michael Divinity, an LSU commitment.

“Zachary does a good job and has a lot of athletes and the quarterback is real good,” Lambert said. “But I’m a firm believer that defense wins championships; offenses score points. I think the way our defense has been playing, if we can stay true to our reads and do what’s gotten us there and be disciplined and take care of our responsibilities, we’ll be fine.”

It’s hard to find two teams that are more polar opposites. Both have the numbers to prove it. The “real good” quarterback Lambert referenced, Scott, has blazed a recording setting path.

Scott already has earned the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year award. The Syracuse commitment enters the title game with 4,686 total yards and 56 touchdowns. He has passed for 2,810 yards and rushed for 1,876.

How will Scott and the Zachary offense, which includes another 1,400-yard rusher in running back Terry Sullivan and a 1,300-yard receiver in Doug Coleman, fare against what many people believe is Louisiana’s top defense?

“We need to be able to complete some passes and loosen (the Ehret defense). If we don’t, their ears will be pinned back, and they’ll be coming for us,” Brewerton said. “I think the big thing everybody is talking about is their defense against our offense.

“And understandably so because they don’t give up a lot of points and we score a lot of them. I think our defense against their offense is going to be intriguing. Sometimes they put up a lot of points, and sometimes they don’t. They like to physically lean on you.”

Divinity stands apart from Ehret’s list of six commitments because he is LSU-bound and is expected to play sooner rather than later for the Tigers. Ehret has a group of players with 60 or more tackles along with double-digit sacks and tackles for loss. Arkansas commitment DeJon Harris is also worth watching.

Harris is a linebacker who has stepped in at quarterback and rushed for 999 yards and 15 TDs. The Patriots lost quarterback Caron Baham, a Missouri commitment, on the first play of the season.

“I like our chances, especially if it’s close in the first half,” Brewerton said. “I think everybody we’ve played has thrown everything at us in the first half. We withstand it and stay on the same level. These guys just find a way.”