Geographically speaking, Livonia High and West Feliciana High are located relatively close to each other.
The two schools played junior varsity games against each other the past two years and are contemplating scheduling a Week 2 game in 2015.
Why wait? A playoff showdown awaits?
“When we played Baker in the first round, I got a chance to see West Feliciana on film, and I told our coaches then I wouldn’t be surprised to see them later in the playoffs,” Livonia first-year coach Guy Mistretta said. “You could tell they were a good team then. They’re talented, they’re competitors, and they’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Top-seeded Livonia (12-0) hosts No. 5 West Feliciana (11-2) for a Class 3A nonselect semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday. The game helps highlight Friday’s schedule of nonselect semifinal games.
In Class 5A, third-seeded Zachary (12-1) and its first-year coach, former Livonia coach David Brewerton, puts its 12-game win streak on the line at No. 15 Acadiana High (9-4), the defending state champion.
Top-seeded Plaquemine (12-1) travels to New Orleans to take on No. 5 Warren Easton (11-2) in a 4A semifinal. In Class 2A, it’s a road game and a top seed on the horizon for fifth-seeded Northeast (10-2). The Vikings travel to play No. 1 Many (13-0).
With all the other BR area teams playing on the road, the WFHS-Livonia game will be the only semifinal played in the Baton Rouge area.
And there’s 3A intrigue to note. Livonia lost to Union Parish in the Class 3A title last year; West Feliciana, a 3A semifinalist in 2010, beat Union Parish 48-21 in the quarterfinals.
The Saints, who have scored 98 points in their past two playoff wins, have never played in a title game.
“This group set some goals back in the summer,” West Feliciana coach Robb Odom said. “I think over the last few weeks, they’ve been a lot more focused, knowing every week it’s a one-game season and you go home if you lose. Our guys want to keep playing, and you know Livonia does too.”
The Zachary-Acadiana game will provide a crucial test for the Broncos, who have showcased a new physicality and added defensive prowess to go with offensive explosiveness this season.
It’s notable Zachary played Acadiana for three straight seasons from 2010-12 in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Broncos were outscored 187-70 in those games, including a 75-21 loss in 2011. It will be ZHS’ first road game in the playoffs.
“Acadiana is the standard for 5A football,” Brewerton said. “To get to where they are you have to play with them. Every week the playoffs get harder. This is the next challenge.”
Plaquemine rallied in the second half to beat South Terrebonne, advancing to its first semifinal game since 1961. A site has not been announced for the 4A game.
“The last time Plaquemine was in the semifinals, it was before schools were integrated,” Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said. “This is a big step for our program. We also know what we’re up against. Warren Easton has a ton of talented athletes, and they were ranked nationally before the season started.”
The teams have a common opponent. In September, Plaquemine beat Woodlawn High, a team that went on to hand Warren Easton one of its losses the next week.
Meanwhile, Northeast makes its first semifinal appearance since 2004 when former LSU standout Trindon Holliday was the Vikings’ star player.
“This is actually our third semifinal appearance in 11 years, which is rare for a public school,” Northeast coach David Masterson said. “The key is that this group has been together for a while and stayed together — along with our defense.
“We play good defense and have been able to do just enough on offense. Many is No. 1 for a reason. They’ve won a lot of games over the last two years.”