The first round of the playoffs is in the books.
Here is a look back at five things we learned and a look ahead at five games we can look forward to in Week 2.
1. Brother Martin is going to be a tough out for someone.
There were some (me included) who thought Shaw might pull off the upset against the Crusaders in the second meeting between the Catholic League schools.
Brother Martin wasn’t having any of it, putting together arguably the most impressive victories of the weekend. The 63 points was the most points they have scored since a win over Ruston in 1989. That was before any of the players on the team were even born.
“I was about 11 years old then,” Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis said.
2. Speaking of impressive wins, Covington went on the road and not only won, but did so in convincing fashion. The Lions, a No. 25 seed, blanked No. 8 Carencro 34-0.
3. John Ehret had a great season, but the regular season schedule may have hurt the Patriots come playoff time. Ehret lost to East St. John 28-18 on Friday, finishing the season 9-2. The two losses came to teams that are still in the playoffs. Only one other team on their schedule (St. Amant) finished above .500 AND made the playoffs. The good news for the folks in Marrero: Corey Lambert returns almost everyone in 2015, so expect the Patriots to make a run next season.
4. Mandeville’s defense is really good. The Skippers beat Slidell 14-7. That now makes seven consecutive games where they have allowed seven points or less and eight games overall this season. The Skippers go to Barbe on Friday.
5. District 9-4A proved to be as good as advertised, going 3-2, with Landry-Walker, Easton and Karr all advancing. I know what you’re thinking: “3-2 is just mediocre.” Well, consider this: McDonogh 35, a No. 32 seed, took top-seeded Plaquemine to the wire before losing 21-14. Belle Chasse, a 29-seed, also played a game decided by one touchdown, losing 23-15 to No. 4 seed Benton.
As teams look to take a step closer to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, here are the five most intriguing games this week.
EVANGEL AT JOHN CURTIS: These two names go together like peanut butter and jelly. The two perennial powers will meet in the playoffs for the eighth straight season. Curtis has won the last three meetings, including 40-6 last year in the semifinals. Going back to 2007, Evangel is the only team that has defeated Curtis in the playoffs. The rivals will tangle Friday night at Hoss Memtsas.
DESTREHAN AT EAST ST. JOHN: District 7-5A rivals will meet for the second time in three weeks, but this time with the stake much higher. Destrehan won the regular season game 28-14. East St. john coming off a big win, putting up 28 points against a stingy Ehret defense. Now they take on a Destrehan defense that is just as good, if not better. Undefeated Destrehan (11-0) is allowing just 8.5 points per game, tops in the area and among the best in the state.
NEWMAN AT OPELOUSAS CATHOLIC: The Greenies ended their first round playoff jinx on Friday, beating Redemptorist 56-30 to move to the second after losing their first playoff game each of the past three seasons. Now they make the trip to Opulousas Catholic, the team that abruptly ended Newman’s season last year.
VARNADO AT WEST ST. JOHN: West St. John, a No. 3 seed, earned a bye last week and should be favored over No. 14 Varnado. But the Rams are also having to deal with the loss of assistant coach Juan Joseph, the quarterbacks coach who was shot and killed early Sunday morning in Baton Rouge. You can bet the Rams will be playing this one for Juan.