It will be a role reversal for Catholic High.
A talented cast led by running back Derrius Guice, an LSU commitment, has made the sixth-ranked Bears (3-0) one of the Class 5A teams plenty of people are watching.
The favorite’s role in Week 4 belongs to top-ranked Rummel (2-0). The Raiders, winners of two straight state titles, meet Catholic on Friday night at Olympia Stadium. Rummel played No. 3 Acadiana (1-1) Saturday night.
It’s a game that may do more than showcase two of the state’s top Class 5A teams who will compete in the Division I select playoffs later this year. The game also will highlight the Baton Rouge schedule.
“You don’t ever want to get ahead of yourself by looking around the corner at the next opponent,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “We knew coming in this would be a real test for us, regardless of what our record was.
“Rummel has been so solid and consistent in what they do under Jay (Roth, Raiders coach). They’ve really got a program that’s rolling.
“They’ve won two straight state titles, and this team looks as impressive, just like the last two.”
Rummel vs. Catholic offers a curious puzzle for the Catholic fans. Until two years ago the teams experienced similar football fates. That changed when Rummel won the Class 5A state title in 2012. Roth’s team followed it up with a Division I select crown last season.
Catholic has never won a football state title but was in the 1990 4A title game and has a string of semifinal appearances under Weiner, who notched his 291st win in a 35-13 victory over Denham Springs in Week 3.
The Rummel-Catholic game is not the only notable showdown in Class 5A.
District 4-5A play begins in Week 4 with one key contest — Zachary (2-1) at Scotlandville (2-1). League play for Districts 7-3A and 6-2A play also gets off to a running start.
“I just think 5A football in Baton Rouge is outstanding regardless of which district you’re in,” Scotlandville coach Eric Randall said. “Of course, I know from experience that these coaches and teams in 4-5A give you plenty to prepare for.
“It’s a little different with Zachary this year with coach (David) Brewerton being the head coach. They’ll be ready for us, I’m sure of that. To be honest with you, I like both teams. Zachary played (fourth-ranked) Byrd (3-0) down to the wire and could have won. We had our chances to beat East St. John, so we both could be unbeaten at this point.”
Brewerton, who coached Livonia to the Class 3A title game a year ago, said figuring out Scotlandville didn’t require much research.
“Byrd was extremely talented,” Brewerton said. “Without a doubt, Scotlandville is the most athletic team we’ve faced so far and may be the most athletic team we’ll see all year.”
Other 4-5A openers include Walker (0-3) at Broadmoor (1-2) and Denham Springs (1-2) at Live Oak (0-3). Preseason favorite Central (2-1) looks to rebound from a Week 3 loss at Jesuit. The Wildcats host McKinley (2-1) for a nondistrict game.
Seventh-ranked Plaquemine (3-0) of 4A travels to 3A Jennings (3-0), a team that upset the No. 6 4A team DeRidder in Week 3.
Woodlawn (2-1) has perhaps the biggest nondistrict challenge, hosting 4A No. 1 Warren Easton (3-0). Other notable 5A-4A games include Captain Shreve (3-0) at Dutchtown (1-2), Brother Martin (3-0) at East Ascension (2-1) and St. Amant (2-1) at Lutcher (3-0), ranked eighth in 4A.
The District 7-3A season opens with No. 2 University travelling to Brusly (1-2). West Feliciana (3-0) at Port Allen (2-1) and Parkview Baptist (2-1) at Baker (1-1) are the other 7-3A games.
Ninth-ranked Episcopal (3-0) opens 6-2A play with an open date. The league’s other unbeaten, Northeast (3-0), plays East Iberville in nondistrict action, making The Dunham School (1-2) at East Feliciana (1-2) the most intriguing matchup.