Catholic High coach Dale Weiner correctly stated it’s about “the Broncos and Bears.”
There are plenty of subplots that factor in as Catholic (0-1) travels to play fifth-ranked Zachary High (1-0) in a nondistrict game that helps highlight Baton Rouge’s Week 2 football schedule for teams in Class 5A/4A.
All games begin at 7 p.m.
“Catholic losing to Parkview last week may have taken a little luster off it for some people,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “A week ago, both teams were ranked in the 5A top 10, and as far as I’m concerned, not much has changed.
“One thing about Catholic you can count on is consistency. Year in and year out you can put different guys in the numbers under the helmets and the level of play is going to pretty much be the same.”
Of course, gauging what “the same” equates to in 2015 is a key portion of this matchup that also is an intriguing 5A crossover game. The debate about whether District 4-5A (Zachary) or 5-5A (Catholic) is stronger begins anew each year. Last week 4-5A teams got off to a 5-1 start, compared to a 1-5 mark for 5-5A.
Inquiring minds also want to see how Catholic responds after last week’s 33-26 loss to Class 3A Parkview Baptist. Back-to-back second-half turnovers by the Bears led to PBS touchdowns that flipped the momentum.
“There are two things about a game like that, and the first one is you have to learn from it,” Weiner said. “And the second one is you have to move on after its over. Especially with the schedule we have, we can’t afford to dwell on it.
“Our focus is on Zachary. They’ve got talented skill players all over the place who can make plays. The quarterback is a three-year starter. On defense, they’re athletic and they swarm to the ball.”
The contest features two of the area’s top offensive talents in junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire of Catholic and Zachary quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr.
Edwards-Helaire succeeds LSU freshman Derrius Guice as the lead back in the Catholic offense. Edwards-Helaire, who already has an LSU offer, ran for 111 yards and a TD last week. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD.
Scott, the reigning All-Metro and Class 5A Offensive MVP, ran for over 129 yards and completed 13 of 17 passes for 277 yards in Zachary’s 56-34 victory over Wilkinson County, Miss. Douglas Coleman caught five passes for 188 yards and three TDs for the Broncos.
There also a personal element. Zachary’s Brewerton played for Weiner and was an offensive lineman on the Catholic team that finished as the Class 4A runner-up to Ruston in 1990.
Weiner faces a former player on the opposing sideline for the second time. His son, Neil, now the head coach at Dunham, previously coach at Zachary.
“I’m so proud of David and the coach he’s become,” Weiner said. “He’s also been a great motivator who gets the most out of his players. His teams are fundamentally sound and they’ll get after you.”
Brewerton describes the game as a “dream” matchup.
“It (facing Catholic and Weiner) is something I’ve put some thought into,” Brewerton said. “I’ll be lined up with my team and will look across at the school and coach who mean a lot to me personally. It will probably be a little emotional when the game starts.”