Rivalries and revenge are time-honored means to foster motivation. Week 2 of the high school football season offers both scenarios in the Baton Rouge area.
Take Plaquemine (1-0) at Brusly (1-0) as Exhibit A. Consider East St. John (0-1) at Scotlandville (1-0) as Exhibit B. The games are part of a diverse schedule that features no Thursday games.
“For a few years we got the best of them,” Brusly coach Erik Willis said of Plaquemine. “Then they got us last year. It’s two communities were everybody knows each other and people all work together. It’s a rivalry.”
Class 3A Brusly hosts PHS, ranked 10th in 4A, for the rivalry game that includes a bit more than meets the eye. All games start at 7 p.m.
Willis is a Plaquemine graduate. He and Distefano coached together at St. John, and Willis also served as one of Distefano’s coordinators when he was head coach at Port Allen.
“Paul and I have coached together and we run different variations of the (Wing-T) offense,” Willis said. “We went to a clinic together in Georgia not that long ago. We like to pick each other’s brain from time to time, but not so much this week.”
Last season, Scotlandville traveled to Reserve and ousted East St. John. That loss combined with ESJ’s Week 1 loss to Rummel should provide plenty of motivation for the Wildcats, who play at Scotlandville on Friday.
Scotlandville coach Eric Randall said his Hornets have some motivation too.
“These guys are playing with a chip on their shoulder,” Randall said. “They see (District 4-5A rivals) Central and Zachary are getting recognition (in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A polls).
“They want to be recognized. And I keep telling them the way to make that happen is to keep winning. East St. John has something to prove. I’m sure they didn’t like the fact that we beat them at their place and they’d love to beat us here.”
The Week 2 schedule features other notable matchups in the Baton Rouge area and beyond.
Catholic High (1-0), ranked 10th in Class 5A, travels to Mandeville (0-1). The Skippers beat Catholic in the quarterfinals in 2012 and lost to Bears in BR last season. Mandeville lost to top-ranked John Curtis 14-0 last week.
Though both teams lost their season openers, McKinley and Capitol meet in their annual Downtown Showdown on Friday at Memorial Stadium. Meanwhile, Woodlawn (1-0) hosts 1A Madison Prep (1-0) in another special matchup.
It also will be an interesting week for 5A teams in Ascension and Livingston parishes, who combined to go 0-6 in Week 1.
Dutchtown hosts another Ascension squad, 3A Donaldsonville (1-0). St. Amant (0-1) hosts Higgins (0-1) at The Pit.
There are some intriguing matchups in 3A and below. The list starts with Southern Lab (0-1), ranked fourth in 1A, traveling to University High (1-0), the No. 2 Class 3A team.
Class 2A Northeast (1-0) plays at 3A Baker (1-0) in a battle of surprise unbeatens. Also notable is 2A Dunham (0-1) at 1A Ascension Catholic (1-0).