The District 3-5A version of the College Football Playoff is set for Friday.
The league’s top four teams — Acadiana, Barbe, Carencro and Sulphur — are all tied for the league’s lead with 4-1 records and play one another.
While Barbe (6-2) travels to Sulphur (5-3), the spotlight in the Acadiana area will be at Carencro’s “Cro Dome” when the Bears (6-2) host the Wrecking Rams (5-3).
“It’s a big game, and we’re excited,” Carencro coach Roland “Rip” Eveland said. “We hadn’t had a big (home) game like this since 2011. I think it will be rocking. It should be a good time.”
Unlike the new College Football Playoff model where the two semifinal winners advance to the national championship game, Acadiana hosts New Iberia (1-7, 0-5), while Carencro visits Lafayette High (4-4, 1-4) in regular-season finales.
“It’s come to being a big game with district implications to it,” Acadiana coach Ted Davidson said of the Acadiana-Carencro series. “For a while it almost overshadowed the Lafayette High game. There’s a lot intertwined between the two communities, and there are kids that went to middle school together. It’s been a pretty good sized rivalry.”
Both escaped tight Week 8 battles with Carencro pulling out a 28-24 win at New Iberia on a 2-yard pass from Tyler Gaspard to Tyreik Campbell.
“All the games are tough,” Eveland said. “If you mess up, you lose. We’re not good enough to just beat people. We’re still making mistakes and keeping the games close, and New Iberia did a good job.”
Acadiana relied on an 87-yard touchdown from linebacker Kevin Moore who recovered a fumble with 1:37 remaining for a 28-21 win over Sam Houston.
“It was a strange game with more momentum switches than I can remember,” Davidson said. “It was back and forth, a play here and a play there and you think you’ve got control and boom it’s the other way.”
The total margin of victory for the four winning teams Friday was 31 points with Barbe’s 43-30 win over Comeaux the largest.
“That’s parity like some of those NFL divisions where each week someone can step up and win that you didn’t expect,” Davidson said. “The district’s playing out in a different way than it has in the past.”
The Acadiana area will also feature some other Week 9 games of interest with Loreauville (5-3, 2-1) traveling to No. 3 Catholic-New Iberia looking for a share of the District 5-2A lead.
No. 5 Church Point (8-0, 3-0) looks to maintain the District 5-3A lead with No. 6 Livonia (7-0, 3-0) when the Bears visit Ville Platte (3-5, 2-1), while Kaplan (6-2, 3-0) hopes to do the same with No. 8 Notre Dame of Crowley (6-2, 3-0) when the Pirates visit Abbeville (0-8, 0-3) in District 6-3A play.
Moreover, Central Catholic-Morgan City (6-2) hosts No. 7 Country Day (7-1) in a Class 1A nondistrict encounter.
“This is always a big game for us and Catholic,” Loreauville coach Trent Delahoussaye said. “But it’s always late in the season, and you hope the game has some meaning to it when we play each other.”
Catholic’s coming off a 42-26 road win over No. 6 Opelousas Catholic (7-1, 2-1), sending the Vikings into a three-way for second in the league with Loreauville and Delcambre (4-4, 2-1).
Since a 27-6 loss at Opelousas Catholic three weeks ago, Loreauville has posted impressive wins of 50-22 over Delcambre and 54-13 over Westminster Christian Academy.
Running back Kevin Maxie rushed 12 times for 215 yards and 3 TDs in the Tigers most recent win. Will Strickney added scoring runs of 10 and 66 yards.
“We’ve kind of had some bumps in the road along the way, but we’re continuing to get better,” Delahoussaye said. “(The Panthers) just have a phenomenal team this year. There’s no weak spot at all.
“It’s probably one of the most balanced teams they’ve had since I’ve been at Loreauville,” Delahoussaye said.
“They can throw it and run it and their defense is very fast and physical. It’s going to be a great test for us, and we’re definitely going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”