LAFAYETTE - Before heading into the playoffs, Acadiana High School and coach Ted Davidson faced a new experience.
The defending Class 5A state champions had an open date in Week 10.
“That is the first time in 30-some-odd years of coaching that has happened,” Davidson said.
Considering Acadiana running back Jeff Brown has been battling a turf toe injury since midseason and fellow running back Shane Francis was lost for the season to a torn ACL, the open week provided some benefit.
“It gives us a chance to get some guys healthy,” Davidson said. “It’s a little different than having an open week in the college game because you don’t know who your next opponent is to start the playoffs.”
That opposing group will contain some familiar faces. Acadiana (7-2 and the No. 11 seed) will host Zachary (7-3, the No. 22 seed) on Friday night at Bill Dotson Stadium in Lafayette. The teams met in the regional round last season with Acadiana winning 49-7.
“Zachary gives you a lot of looks and formations, and you have to make adjustments on defense,” Davidson said. “Offensively, we do what we do against everybody, but defensively we will have to respond to what they do. They set up the run with the pass. They run a lot of screens and the short passing game and then try to go up top on you.”
In the absence of Brown and Francis, senior Dylan Scott saw time at running back against Comeaux in Week 9. Scott had 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Davidson said he hopes a couple of weeks off will give Brown an opportunity to heal. Brown leads Acadiana with 823 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
“We didn’t want to do too much during the open week and get anybody hurt,” Davidson said. “We did some live drills to stay sharp and keep an edge.”
Cecilia (4-6, the No. 27 seed in Class 4A) and Teurlings Catholic (7-3, the No. 6 seed) will meet in a District 5-4A rematch on Friday night at Clark Field.
Teurlings won the regular season contest 42-13 as the Rebels’ senior quarterback D’Shaie Landor completed 12 of 18 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. Landor added 64 yards on the ground.
“Teurlings will go as far as Landor takes them,” Cecilia coach Terry Martin said. “As a sophomore, he had a quick release. In the last two years, he is also a 4.5 (40-yard dash) guy. He can run well. It’s rare to have a guy that can run and throw well.”
Cecilia’s running attack is led by D’Andre Dartez, one of a handful of players held out of the regular-season finale against St. Thomas More. Dartez has rushed for 1,182 yards.
“We have lost more games this year than we are accustomed to losing, but we have not moped,” Martin said. “We have never gotten down. I just want to see us play up to our ability.”