There’s something appealing about a high school football game that is decided by the linemen in the trenches.
A matchup between two high-powered teams that feature different plans of attack is attractive, too.
Fans in the Baton Rouge metro area have their choice of options on Friday night in south Baton Rouge.
Woodlawn (1-0) hosts Denham Springs (1-0) in a nondistrict game that matches two Class 5A teams. Fourth-ranked Parkview Baptist (0-1), of Class 3A, hosts 5A Scotlandville (1-0). All games begin at 7 p.m.
“It ought to be an exciting football game,” Woodlawn coach Don Jones said of his team’s matchup. “They’re big and very physical and they’ll want to hold on to the ball.
“We have to find a way to make some stops on defense and then take advantage of the opportunities to score when we get there.”
The Denham Springs-Woodlawn and Scotlandville-Parkview games help highlight a busy nondistrict schedule in Classes 5A-4A. Second-ranked Dutchtown (1-0), of Class 5A, hosts Ascension Parish rival Donaldsonville (0-1), a 3A team, in another notable game.
Jones’ Panthers have a prolific offense that scored 41 points last week. Quarterback Kendall Barnes passed for more than 200 yards. Tight end Deandre Cosby and receiver Jamaal Lofton are key targets, along with running backs Brent Terrance, Kenneth Collins and Emmanuel Stewart.
Denham Springs will counter with a lineup that could see some changes. Justin Martin and Anthony Bracey have handled the running back chores while Kaleb Blanchard recovered from a preseason shoulder injury. Blanchard has practiced this week and his status will be a game-time decision for DSHS coach Dru Nettles.
“They (the Panthers) have an offense that can score from any place on the field,” Nettles said. “On defense, we have to tackle well and can’t give up the big plays. We need to control the tempo and the ball to limit their chances to score.”
Meanwhile, Parkview plays a 5A opponent for the second straight week. The Eagles lost 19-16 last week at Mandeville. PBS coach Kenny Guillot said there are some challenges for both teams this week.
“I know Ken (Hilton, Scotlandville coach) is talking about what a huge challenge this is for them,” Guillot said. “I also think it’s a challenge for us, too. Scotlandville is obviously a much-improved football team. They’re big on the line and they’ll test us. And they have so much speed and athletic ability. We need to execute and eliminate mistakes.”
Hilton sees the matchup of the linemen as crucial.
“Their defensive front three is outstanding and their nose guard (Tom) Bove is probably going to be the best we’ll see this year,” Hilton said. “They put pressure on you on both sides of the ball with their lines.
“Their offensive line is big and they pride themselves on moving people out of the way. That will be a test for our guys, especially the ones who are first-year starters. They haven’t seen a team quite like this one before.”
Quarterbacks Kimani Smith, of Scotlandville, and Cole Wilson, of Parkview, will be among the players to watch. PBS’ Hezekiah Randolph and Scotlandville’s Kajandre Domino top the list of running backs.