West Feliciana was less than two minutes away from beating Patterson in last year’s Class 3A semifinals and earning a rematch with district rival Parkview Baptist in the state championship game.
The dream crumbled when Patterson converted a late West Feliciana fumble into eight quick points and escaped with a dramatic 22-21 victory.
The Saints, who’d made the deepest playoff run in school history, headed home wondering what might have been.
“It will stay with me the rest of my life, no doubt about it,” West Feliciana coach Robb Odom said. “I know like Nick Saban says, ?It’s time to move on,’ but that’s just the person I am. Something like that is always going to be in the back of my mind - not for me, but for those kids.”
A week later, PBS beat Patterson to secure the school’s third 3A title in 10 seasons.
The Saints will finally get their rematch with the Eagles on Friday night when West Feliciana travels to Baton Rouge looking to stay in contention for the District 6-3A title. The stakes aren’t what they could have been 10 months ago, but Odom said the challenge is about the same.
Other action Friday has Christian Life traveling to face Kentwood with the winner clinching at least a share of the 7-1A championship.
“We know they’re going to be big and physical, and they’re going to be well-coached,” Odom said. “They always are. They’re going to do the little things that win football games. We expect our kids to get out there and compete and have a chance to win.”
WFHS (5-3, 1-1) has been competing just fine despite losing 24 seniors from last year’s team. The Saints, who face East Feliciana next week, are in position to reach the playoffs again. Two of their three losses have come by a single point.
They will face a Parkview team that has won four straight - all by double figures - since three losses against 5A opponents in predistrict play, but enters its final game of the regular season short-handed.
The LHSAA on Tuesday handed out one-game suspensions to seven Parkview players who were involved in an Oct. 14 brawl that ended the Eagles’ victory over Baker in the third quarter.
“It is a concern, but we’ll get by,” Parkview coach Kenny Guillot said. “We’ve got some other players that can come in and hopefully do a good job for us.”
With a win Friday, the Eagles (5-3, 3-0) wrap up an outright 6-3A championship before taking two weeks to prepare for their first playoff game. Parkview has a Week 10 bye.
One of the keys will be slowing a West Feliciana offense that rolled up 481 yards against L.B. Landry last week.
“We expect a lot out of our kids,” Odom said. “We’ve had our ups and downs throughout the season, but you do every year and it’s how you overcome those things. The one thing I can say about our kids this year is they’re going to play hard for four quarters. That’s pulled us through.”
CHRISTIAN LIFE AT KENTWOOD: CLA looks to continue a breakthrough season after winning only one game last year and two the year before. Kentwood can get to seven wins for the first time since reaching the 2007 quarterfinals.
The Crusaders (6-2, 3-0) took a big step toward the 7-1A title by beating Southern Lab last week. Kentwood (6-2, 3-0) has Lab at home next week to complete the regular season.
“It’s been a blessing of a season,” CLA coach Keith Dooley said. “I know this group isn’t perfect, but we’ve been able to make week-to-week adjustments throughout the year.”
CLA quarterback Trey Fisher has passed for 1,282 yards, with 20 TDs and only one interception. KHS’ Harlan Miller has passed for 1,000 yards and rushed for 900 more.