Dutchtown High has enjoyed lots of football success in recent years. The Griffins advanced to the quarterfinals a year ago and are ranked No. 2 among Class 5A teams.
Zachary High coach Neil Weiner wants his program to experience the kind of success Dutchtown has. To do that, Weiner decided to schedule the District 5-5A Griffins. There will be plenty on the line as Dutchtown (3-0) hosts Zachary (3-0), of 4-5A, in a game that helps highlight Friday’s schedule in Class 5A and 4A.
“Our goal is to compete on the highest level possible in Class 5A,” Weiner said. “That’s why we went out and scheduled teams that have won championships before and are capable of winning them again.
“This year is unique in 5A because there may be six or seven teams out there capable of making it to the finals in December. Dutchtown is one of the those teams. We’ll get to find out if we belong in that conversion.”
The nondistrict game between ZHS and Dutchtown is part of a busy Week 4 schedule that includes the start of league play in District 6-4A. All games start at 7 p.m.
In 6-4A, fourth-ranked Lutcher (2-1) hosts Tara (1-2). Istrouma (0-3) vs. St. Michael (3-0) at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium and Broadmoor (2-1) vs. Belaire (0-3) at Olympia Stadium are the other games.
“Zachary is a very good football team,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “They’re so explosive on offense and the quarterback does a good job of making sure the ball gets in the hands of the right people.
“This is the week where we need to show some more improvement on offense. We’ve been scoring points, but we only have three starters back from last year. It’s a matter of getting everybody doing the same things consistently.”
Saia’s hopes to see other running backs step in to complement standout Landon Collins, considered the state’s top recruit as a defensive player.
Collins, also a linebacker, has made a score of big plays on offense and ran for 115 yards and two TDs in a win over Sulphur last week. Quarterback Mason Nickens passed for 248 yards and three TDs a week ago.
Zachary’s Mason Pace has 317 passing yards in the Broncos’ win over Class 3A East Feliciana. Weiner is reminding his team that their margin for error gets smaller this week.
“We had six turnovers last week,” Weiner said. “Normally, you don’t win a game like that. You can’t have six turnovers against Dutchtown or some of the other teams on our schedule and expect to win.”
East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois expects to be on the sideline for Friday’s other battle of 5A unbeatens, Mandeville (3-0) at EAHS (3-0), despite being in involved in a serious auto accident.
Bourgeois was involved in an accident on his way home from last week’s win over Walker High. He suffered broken ribs and needed stitches.
East Ascension running backs Jamarcus Jarvis and Sione Palelei have combined for near 600 rushing yards in three games.
• Catholic High (0-3) enters Friday’s game with Central (1-2) in an unfamiliar situation. The Bears are 0-3 for the first time since 1986 when Lowe Irvine was head coach.
• Lutcher coach Tim Detillier calls the matchup of skill players for his Bulldogs and Tara even. Detillier said that makes the battle of the linemen in the trenches pivotal.
• Scotlandville (3-0) has scored 60 or more points twice going into its game tonight with Class 2A Northeast.
Woodlawn (2-1) also is prolific offensively, averaging 40 points per game.