Some high school football games leave coaches, players and fans pondering what might have happened if the clock hadn’t run out.
Zachary at Dutchtown was one of those games this season. Ultimately, the second-seeded Broncos won s 44-34 shootout at DHS on Oct. 2.
Now they get to play it again. Dutchtown (8-3), the No. 18 seed, hosts second-seeded Zachary (10-1) in the regional round of the 5A playoffs.
“You know, we’re happy to still be playing,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “Even though we lost that game (on Oct. 2), that was one of the games that helped us realize we had the chance to be a pretty good football team.
“All the connections are still there. From what I can tell, they’ve got a few people back from injuries. We played well Friday.”
The Zachary-Dutchtown game helps highlight a regional/quarterfinal schedule that includes a number of rematches of some sort.
For example, it marks the second straight year Zachary has faced a local opponent in the regional round. The Broncos beat District 4-5A rival Denham Springs a year ago in the regional round en route to a quarterfinal berth.
The game also is another showcase for quarterbacks Lindsey Scott Jr. of Zachary and Jared Sparks of DHS. The duo started their high school careers together at Dutchtown before Scott, a Syracuse commitment, moved to Zachary. Sparks, a Southern Mississippi commitment, is in his first year as the Dutchtown starter.
“Our guys did a very good job handling that situation ... facing a team they already played, last year,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “They were very locked in and focused for Friday’s game (a win over No. 31 Sulphur). It’s going to take that kind of effort this week.”
Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano and Catholic High coach Dale Weiner are other coaches with that déjà vu feeling. Both will have a New Orleans view.
Plaquemine (8-3), seeded 12th in Class 4A, travels to play No. 5 Warren Easton (10-1) 7 p.m. Friday at Joe Brown Stadium. The Green Devils lost to Easton in the semifinals last season and lost to Landry-Walker in the quarterfinals in 2013. Both those games were played at Pan American Stadium.
“At least it will be a different stadium, and who knows, maybe that will help us,” Distefano said. “Both teams are different than last year.
“I know they graduated a lot of guys, but they’re playing with so much confidence, and they’re talented. The good thing for us is that we’ll have everybody back from injuries.”
Catholic (7-3) had a first-round bye and is seeded sixth in Division I. The Bears travel to Tad Gormley Stadium to take on No. 3 Brother Martin (8-2) in a quarterfinal rematch from a year ago that BMHS won 25-23.
Two District 6-3A rivals who played each other for the Division II title last year, top-seeded University High (9-1) and No. 4 Parkview Baptist (7-3), make their playoff debuts this week at home.
Defending champion UHS hosts No. 9 Vandebilt Catholic (5-6), while Parkview hosts No. 5 St. Louis (7-3). Fourth-seeded Madison Prep (11-0) hosts No. 5 St. Charles (9-2) in Division III.
Fifth-seeded Scotlandville (Mandeville) in 5A, No. 18 Livonia (Crowley) in 4A, seventh-seeded East Feliciana (Loreauville) in 2A, No. 6 White Castle (South Cameron) in 1A also host playoff games this week.
Title game for Silliman
Silliman Institute will play for a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools title for the first time since 2001 on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (11-1) face Indianola Academy (13-0) in the MAIS 3A final set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
“This is something these guys have worked a long time for,” Silliman coach T.J. Davis said.
“They’ve believed in themselves and each other, and we’re excited to have this opportunity.
“Indianola is the last unbeaten team standing. They’re big, and they’re talented, but we look forward to playing them.”