New coaches — Marc Brown at Brusly and Nick Mitchell at Port Allen — have strong résumés to tap into _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Port Allen running back Ken Broussard has rushed for 378 yards and three touchdowns.

When they last lined up across from a reigning state champion, Port Allen was up to the task for three quarters before a disastrous span in the fourth quarter helped propel Livonia to victory.

Three weeks later not only do the Pelicans (2-2, 1-0) have a similar chore staring them in the face, but the stakes have increased with University High (3-1, 1-0) carrying the state’s No. 1 ranking into a District 6-3A game.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Port Allen’s Guy Otwell Stadium.

“For us to face two state champions within a three-week span, we’re going to have to bring our best game to that opponent,” Port Allen coach Nick Mitchell said. “It’s an opportunity for us and really that’s all we ask for. An opportunity to try and establish and show ourselves as a team worthy to be in that position.”

St. John of Plaquemine (2-2, 1-0) finds itself with a comparable task, traveling to face Class 1A’s No. 2 Southern Lab (3-1, 1-0) at Southern’s Mumford Stadium in a key District 6-1A contest.

“Our kids are excited about it,” St. John coach Oliver Crockett said. “It’s been a great week of practice. Our kids have embraced the challenge. We’re anxious to see how we match up against them.”

U-HIGH-PORT ALLEN: Port Allen shook off the effects of a two-game losing streak to Plaquemine and Livonia, starting a stretch of three straight home district games with a 28-7 victory over Glen Oaks.

U-High had to overcome a 24-19 halftime deficit and the loss of standout wide receiver/defensive back Tre’ Jackson for a 47-32 win over West Feliciana.

Quarterback D.J. White leads the Cubs, passing for 536 yards and seven TDs. Freshman running back Mike Hollins (59-318, six TDs) is the team’s leading rusher.

“U-High’s got a very established program with a good coaching staff and athletes,” Mitchell said. “For us to be able to be successful, and become a team people are proud of, it’s a game we have to come out and deliver our best shot.”

Running back Ken Broussard tops Port Allen with 378 yards rushing and three TDs, with quarterback Jarious Robertson adding 258 yards and two scores.

St. JOHN-SOUTHERN LAB: Crockett said finding a flaw this week in Southern Lab’s arsenal proved futile.

Quarterback Bladrick Veal has completed 50 of 88 passes for 689 yards and three TDs with running back Darbbeon Profit leading the ground attack with 51 carries for 352 yards and four TDs for the Kittens.

In last week’s district-opening 45-7 win over Ascension Catholic, the Kittens’ Curtlan Williams returned three punts for TDs.

St. John’s led by Gavin Landry (66-470, eight TDs) and Landon LeBlanc (38-335, 2 TDs).

“They don’t lack too much in any of the three phases of the game,” Crockett said. “We’re going to try and control the ball. If we can do some things up front and block well, I think we’ll be OK.”