Northeast High edged rival East Feliciana High 16-14 in a Week 9 showdown. Scotlandville High and Madison Prep wound up on the wrong side of lopsided scores.
So is it possible to call Baton Rouge’s three football playoff rematches set for 7 p.m. Friday a “best of” anything let alone three of the best games on the playoff schedule?
You can and you should. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s playoffs are a second season that also brings second chances.
“Our game with Scotlandville was a long time ago,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “It was two months ago, and I know both teams have changed a lot since then.
“Things got out of hand early, and that made a difference in the way that first game was played. It’s fair to say we expect a much different game this time.”
Third-seeded Zachary (11-1) hosts No. 22 Scotlandville (9-3) in a Class 5A quarterfinal game that is a District 4-5A rematch.
Take that 41-7 Zachary win over Scotlandville in Week 4 and throw it out the window. Do likewise with Southern Lab’s 63-6 win over Madison Prep in a Week 7 District 6-1A game.
Fifth-seeded Southern Lab (7-5) hosts No. 9 Madison Prep (8-4) in a Division IV select semifinal at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium. There’s also the Class 2A quarterfinal, a District 6-2A rematch, between No. 5 Northeast (9-2) and No. 4 East Feliciana (9-3) set for East Feliciana Middle.
“We know Madison Prep is a better team now,” Southern Lab coach Nick Mitchell said. “You can see the progress they’ve made. Their defense was so impressive last week.”
The three rematches have three sets of parameters. Northeast High coach David Masterson offered some cautionary words for fans and players involved in all three.
“Probably the toughest thing to do as a coach is get your players to understand they have to forget that first game,” Masterson said.
“It’s over with. and it has no bearing on what happens in this one. The first one for us was 16-14. You never know, this one could be 42-40.”
The Scotlandville-Zachary game is intriguing because it has been two months since that first game. Since losing to Zachary, the Hornets of coach Eric Randall have adopted more of a hard-nosed rushing attack.
“Zachary is a well-coached football team, and you see they’ve gotten better all year,” Randall said. “I really think it’s going to be a battle of wills and who wants it the most. I don’t think there’s any question we’ll both be ready for this one.”
Both are making history. Zachary hosts a 5A quarterfinal for the second straight year. Scotlandville was a quarterfinalist in the Division I select bracket last season after receiving a first-round bye. That was the first time the Hornets were a quarterfinalist since 1969, when the Hornets won a state title before integration and LHSAA membership.
Madison Prep, a second-year varsity team, looks to prove its mettle in its Division IV rematch.
“Southern Lab is one of the most talented teams in any class,” MPA coach Michael Roach said. “Sometimes you need to be taken out back for a whipping to get yourself straight.
“That loss did that for us. Our offensive line is going to have to play better than that first game. We’re going to go out and give it our best shot.”
Masterson and East Feliciana coach Cedric Anderson knew a playoff rematch was possible for their teams. Like Masterson, Anderson sees Friday’s game is a new entity.
“All that matters is what you do on Friday,” Anderson said. “In the playoffs you have to bring it.”