Wrapping up a district football title before the final week of the regular season is typically no easy feat.
For ninth-ranked West St. John (6-2, 3-0) and St. John (6-2, 3-0) one more win is all it takes.
The Rams host Plaquemine-based St. John on Thursday night in Edgard with the District 9-1A title at stake.
Because the other 9-1A teams already have at least two losses, the scenario is simple. The aspirations of the two teams are more complex.
“I really believe there are about six teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the (Class 1A) state title,” St. John coach Tut Musemeche said. “I think we’re in that group and so is West St. John. We’ve both played tough schedules to get to this point. This game is a good test for before the playoffs.”
St. John vs. West St. John is one of five games involving local-area teams Thursday. All games start at 7 p.m.
Notable District 6-4A games are scheduled for the two BREC stadiums. Plaquemine (5-3, 4-0) meets Belaire (2-5, 1-3) at Memorial Stadium, while St. Michael (6-2, 2-2) hosts Tara (3-5, 1-3) at Olympia.
A win would put Plaquemine in a Week 10 showdown with fourth-ranked Lutcher (7-1, 5-0) for the 6-4A title. LHS plays No. 2 Assumption (8-0) in a nondistrict game Friday.
St. Michael looks to snap a two-game 6-4A losing streak. The Warriors will also start a new quarterback, Brandon Fields, after last week’s season-ending injury to Dash Duncan.
Also set for Thursday are Redemptorist (3-5, 2-1) at The Dunham School (4-4, 2-1) in District 7-2A and Varnado (4-4, 1-2) vs. Southern Lab (6-2, 2-1) at Southern University’s A.W. Mumford Stadium.
The RHS-Dunham game marks the first time that first-year Dunham coach Guy Mistretta will coach against his former school. Both teams are looking to enhance their playoff chances. The same is true for Southern Lab and Varnado.
But the St. John-West St. John game is the premier contest because of its district and postseason implications.
The fact West St. John is led by defensive lineman Ronnie Feist, an LSU commitment, adds to the intrigue.
Look for the running backs to also garner their share of attention. Christian Primeaux leads St. John with 1,143 rushing yards and 20 TDs. Davante Williams adds 1,054 yards and 11 TDs for the Eagles.
West St. John’s Kylum Favorite rolled up 340 yards on 25 carries and scored three TDs in a previous 9-1A victory over Ascension Catholic.
“The thing we have to do is play fundamentally sound on defense,” West St. John coach Robert Valdez said. “They use so much misdirection, and they execute so well you have to be careful not to over run plays.
“I think it will come down to which team handles the (big game) atmosphere and the game situations the best. What happens if we have a turnover and fall behind or if it happens to them? We’ll find out.”