District championships, power points and playoff seeds are just part of the lure facing teams in the Acadiana area heading into this week’s regular-season finales.
A share of five districts have already been decided, while the outcome either Thursday or Friday will settle three more headlined by Carencro’s pursuit of the District 3-5A crown at Lafayette High at 7 p.m.
Carencro (7-2, 5-1) is tied with Barbe (7-2, 5-1) for the league lead. The Bears can lay claim to a share of the title with a road win over Lafayette (4-5, 1-5). The Bucs host Sam Houston (6-3, 3-3).
“I hope we do a good job of preparing them for a big game,” Carencro coach Roland “Rip” Eveland said. “Winning the district championship outright is what you want to do. We don’t want Barbe to win this thing at the end. If we win, we could get into the top eight (seeds) and if you do that, you’ve got two rounds at home, which is always good.”
Carencro kept itself in the title conversation in dramatic fashion with running back Tyreik Campbell scoring on a 14-yard run with six seconds remaining, defeating reigning Class 5A champion Acadiana, 21-17. It was the Bears’ third district win by seven points or less and second consecutive.
“We’ve talked about stepping up this week’s preparation,” Eveland said. “You’re trying to get better to get to that crescendo … that big finish. It’s a big mental thing. You have to go and play good or if we lay an, egg we’ll lose. I’ll be ready.”
Other district races that are up for grabs will be Thursday’s District 5-3A encounter with No. 6 Livonia (8-0, 4-0) visiting No. 5 Church Point (9-0, 4-0).
Not only will the winner hoist the district’s trophy but head into the Class 3A nonselect playoffs with the No. 1 seed.
“We’re going to take the approach that it’s another game, and we’re just trying to position ourselves for the playoffs,” Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux said. “We start every year with having the opportunity to play for a district championship. Now we want to try and go out and win it.”
Arceneaux said Church Point can achieve the school’s first 10-0 regular season with a win over Livonia, which twice defeated the Bears 40-9 in the 2013 regular season and 27-26 in the Class 3A quarterfinals before the results were forfeited because of the Wildcats use of an ineligible player.
“We had a couple of big supporters that have followed the program for a long time say it’s going to be the biggest game played since the stadium was built,” Arceneaux said. “We’re expecting a standing-room-only crowd.”
The following teams can win outright titles with wins Friday:
No. 2 Teurlings Catholic (7-1, 5-0) in District 5-4A, No. 3 Catholic-New Iberia (9-0, 4-0) in District 6-2A, St. Edmund (5-3, 3-0) in District 5-1A and No. 3 Vermilion Catholic (8-1, 5-0) in District 7-1A.
Kaplan (7-2, 4-0) takes a seven-game win streak into Friday’s showdown for the District 6-3A crown, traveling to face No. 8 Notre Dame of Crowley (7-2, 4-0) which is in search of its second straight undefeated league title.
“They’re best football team we’re going to play this year,” Kaplan coach Stephen “Tank” Lotief said. “They’re the best coached and a physical team. They do what they want to do, and we’re going to have to come ready to play. It’s either fight or die. Let’s see what we do.”
Since dropping back-to-back games to Lafayette and Church Point, Kaplan has gotten healthier with the return of several key players for its run at the district championship.
The Pirates, though, overcame a sloppy effort where they turned the ball over five times before turning away archrival Abbeville, 22-14. Grant Fricke’s 52-yard run in the third quarter broke a 14-all halftime tie.
“We kind of righted the ship and then we kind of took some steps back Friday,” Lotief said. “It’s time to play our best football. It’s the district championship and then the one and done playoffs. No doubt, we’ve got to pick it up.”