Walker: Games gain more meaning as district play gets going _lowres

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH-- Karr's Warren Newman, right, attempts to elude Brother Martin's Erick Lassair last week at Tad Gormley Stadium.

The games become a bit more meaningful this week as district play begins for teams all across the state.

Some local teams come straight out of the gate with tough district openers.

But before we get to the five biggest games this week, let’s take a look back at a few highlights from the pre-district schedule.

Thirteen local teams are still undefeated.

Some were expected. Others are somewhat of surprise.

Show of hands everyone who predicted Belle Chasse, Lakeshore and Carver would be 3-0 at this point in the season.

Nope, me either.

Collectively, those three teams lost their last 11 games last year (Belle Chasse ended 2014 on a six-game losing streak, Carver lost its last three and Lakeshore dropped its last two.)

All three of those teams finished 4-7 year ago, but now are already one win away from equaling their 2014 win totals.

Most impressive 3-0 team so far? De La Salle.

The Cavaliers have steamrolled their first three opponents, including Friday’s road win at Union Parish that gets the nod for most convincing win so far.

De La Salle, which was ranked No. 7 in the LSWA 3A poll last week, visited the No. 3 Farmers, then took them to the woodshed with a 62-13 beating.

Most impressive win runner-up goes to 2A Riverside, knocking off 5A Hahnville 10-7 last week.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the biggest surprise is seeing Karr and St. Augustine both 0-3 to start the season.

Both schedules have been tough, though. The Cougars are a play or two away from being 2-1.

Best player so far?

Well, that’s easy.

Brother Martin junior running back Bruce Jordan-Swilling is getting to the end zone at a record pace, having scored 18 touchdowns already this season.

If he keeps his six TDs-per-game pace up, which is unlikely, he’ll finish the regular season with 60 touchdowns.

That would still leave him shy of the national record of touchdowns in a season (71), set in 2001.

More on Jordan-Swilling in a minute as we take a look at the top five games this week.

5. Destrehan at Hahnville

This game would’ve been higher on the list had it not been for Hahnville’s loss to Riverside on Friday night. But still, it’s a big one with rivals going head-to-head to start district play. Destrehan hasn’t lost a regular season game since losing to Hahnville in 2012.

4. Covington at Ponchatoula

Ponchatoula ran through District 6-5A last season and pulled off one of the shockers of the season (beating Acadiana in Week 2). The Lions look to end Ponchatoula’s run.

3. Holy Cross at Shaw

Tre Turner vs. Trey Ragas.

Two of the best running backs in the Catholic League go head-to-head at Memtsas Stadium Saturday night. Turner, an Arizona State commit, made his season debut last week after recovering from a shoulder injury and rushed for 105 yards for the Tigers. Ragas has 532 yards and nine TDs.

2. Rummel at Don Bosco (N.J.)

It’s not a district game. It’s not even a regional game. The Raiders make the long flight to New Jersey to try to remain perfect on the season. A win this far away from home against one of the more prominent programs in the nation would speak volumes for the Raiders.

1. John Curtis vs. Brother Martin

I know this wasn’t a surprise. Perennial power John Curtis vs. Bruce Almighty and the Crusaders in the Catholic opener at Tad Gormley on Saturday afternoon.

Curtis ended Brother Martin’s season 40-20 in the Division I select playoffs last season.

The Crusaders look for revenge as they welcome the Patriots to the Catholic League while the rest of us welcome the start of district play.