How they got here
MANGHAM: First-round bye, beat No. 17 Montgomery 54-20 in the second round, beat No. 8 White Castle 49-14 in the quarterfinals and beat No. 4 Kentwood 42-27 in the semifinals.
HAYNESVILLE: First-round bye, beat No. 15 Delhi 55-18 in the second round, beat No. 7 East Beauregard in the quarterfinals 14-0 and beat No. 3 West St. John 26-13 in the semifinals.
HAYNESVILLE: 16 (last in 2013 in 1A)
MANGHAM: 1 (1956 in Class B)
Storyline: Role reversal?
Haynesville is one of Louisiana’s most storied programs. HHS coach David Franklin, the son of legendary coach Alton “Red” Franklin, has combined with his father to win 13 of Haynesville’s 16 state titles. Can Mangham break through and win its first state title since beating Donaldsonville 2-0 in the Class B title game in 1956? That’s the big question.
HAYNESVILLE: The Golden Tornadoes don’t have a 1,000-yard rusher. They do have a balanced attack that is tough to stop. Same with defense. Haynesville just comes at you, forcing turnovers and making stops.
MANGHAM: Some top players graduated, but the run-oriented offense is still the key and features two young backs this season. The Dragons have been flying high all year and scored plenty of points. Can the Dragons stop Haynesville? Yes, defense could win this championship.
MANGHAM: RBs Jakarie Nichols and Abdullah Rhone form a dynamic duo for the Dragons. Each player has more than 1,500 rushing yards to date. Athlete Kyle Barefield has more than 1,000 combined rushing/receiving yards. OL Kasey Miller is the top blocker. LB Brian Criff and DL Ahkeem Rhone are the MHS’ top defenders.
HAYNESVILLE: LB Kendrick Jackson is an Arizona commitment and he’s anything but a one-man show for a Golden Tornados defense that has allowed just 13 points per game. LB/RB Keandre Harris has 38 tackles for loss and also has 747 rushing yards to held lead the aforementioned balanced offense. DL Kendall Hampton also makes plays.
Expect it to be much closer than last year’s 42-21 Haynesville victory. Mangham finally gets its title. ... MANGHAM 28, HAYNESVILLE 21