No. 1 seed Livonia (13-0) vs. No. 3 Amite (11-2)
How they got here
LIVONIA: beat No. 32 Baker 28-14 in the first round, No. 16 Mansfield 27-0 in the second round, No. 9 Rayville 26-22 in the quarterfinals and No. 5 West Feliciana 23-15 in the semifinals.
AMITE: beat No. 30 B.T. Washington 41-18 in the first round, No. 14 Port Allen 33-13 in the second round, No. 11 Jennings 31-7 in the quarterfinals and No. 15 North Webster 27-13 in the semifinals.
Last time in a state final
Livonia lost to Union Parish 33-27 in 2 OT in 2013 3A final; Amite lost to St. Charles Catholic 9-8 in 2011 3A final.
LIVONIA: none in 11-man football (five in six/eight-man football); AMITE: 3 (last in 2004)
Storyline: Nice to meet you
These two teams look like mirror images of each other with talent and speed but are meeting for the first time. Amite is a traditional power with a 3A finals history in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that goes back to 1987. Livonia has risen to power over the past six seasons since moving up into the 3A ranks.
LIVONIA: Use a balanced running attack to build momentum and to keep the ball away from the Warriors. Use pass and QB run to keep Amite honest. Play lockdown defense that forces AHS into second-and-long and third-and-long situations is a major objective.
AMITE: Ditto all of the above. The Warriors also have a yards-churning runner. Add to that a QB with multiple top targets. Amite is known as a big-play defense and with multiple playmakers in its secondary. Forcing punts and not giving up big plays also will be crucial.
LIVONIA: RB Malcolm Dedrick (below) missed the playoffs last season with an injury and has been a man on mission. Dedrick has 1,972 rushing yards and 29 TDs. QB Cee Jay Powell is a first-year starter who has 1,460 passing yards and 1,061 rushing yards. WR Stephen Guidry averages 24.47 yards per catch. DL Willie Baker has 108 with 29 tackles for loss and 12 sacks is a playmaker. So is LB Bryce Jones, who adds 68 with 14 tackles for loss.
AMITE: DL Brad Porter watched his brother, Utah DB Reginald Porter Jr., lead the Warriors’ 2011 team and now gets his chance. Porter has 72 tackles, 25 sacks and 28 tackles for loss, while LB Norman Selders (96 tackles) and DB Joshua Perry (72 tackles, six interceptions) also are key components on defense. RB Kenner Harrell has over 1,600 yards despite missing some games with an injury. WR Dazzarius Downing has 12 receiving TDs.
This one is so close. Give a very slight edge, and a title, to the Wildcats. ...
LIVONIA 21, AMITE 19