There were few surprises when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association announced its football playoff pairings on Sunday afternoon.
But there was an instant, albeit a brief one, in which a football dream 21 years in the making came true.
Pointe Coupee Central (5-4) clinched its first winning season with a victory over North Central on Friday night and then garnered its first playoff bid in Class 1A. The school opened in 1990.
“This means a lot,” Pointe Coupee Central coach Lawrence Brown said while shaking hands with other coaches. “We’ve managed to get a good group of kids who worked and stayed with us during the transformation of our school into a charter school.
“So we were finally able to put some good things together. The kids are excited. They’re blowing up my phone now.”
Seeded 21st, Pointe Coupee Central travels to Jonesville to play 12th-seeded Block (6-4).
Baton Rouge metro-based teams got pretty much what they expected as the LHSAA announced pairings in all five classes at the LHSAA office.
One of the area’s two unbeaten teams, Class 5A Dutchtown (10-0), got a No. 4 seed and will host No. 29 Ponchatoula (6-4). The other, Class 2A University (10-0), is seeded sixth and will host No. 27 Ferriday (5-5).
No local team grabbed No. 1-3 seeds. Two teams located not far from the metro area, Class 4A Lutcher (9-1) and 3A Loranger (9-1), got No. 3 seeds.
Lutcher is part of the local District 6-4A and will host No. 30 Benton (5-5). Tangipahoa Parish-based Loranger hosts a metro team in No. 30 West Feliciana (4-5). Another Tangipahoa team, Amite (8-1), took the No. 4 spot and hosts No. 29 North Vermilion (5-5).
Livonia (9-1) took the No. 5 seed in Class 3A and hosts North DeSoto.
“We got pretty much what we expected — the No. 5 spot,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said. “I’m not sure when Livonia last hosted a playoff game. Everybody in the community is thrilled with how this season has gone.”
St. John-Plaquemine (7-3), seeded 11th) was the highest local seed in Class 1A. The Eagles will host No. 22 Hanson Memorial-Franklin (7-3). The Hanson-SJHS game is set for Thursday at Plaquemine High.
Four local teams, Class 5A Central (6-4), 3A East Feliciana (5-4), The Dunham School (4-6), of 2A, and 1A Ascension Catholic (4-6) all play No. 1 seeds.
Central goes to Covington to play St. Paul’s (10-0), EFHS travels to Farmerville (9-1), Dunham plays at John Curtis (9-0) and ACHS heads to Ouachita Christian (10-0). Here’s a breakdown class-by-class:
CLASS 5A: There is one rematch. Zachary (7-3) lost to eventual state champion Acadiana (7-2) last season. The Broncos, seeded 22nd, travel to AHS, a No. 11 seed.
Denham Springs (7-3), seeded 17th, travels to No. 16 Ruston (6-4). East Ascension (7-3), a No. 21 seed, makes its first playoff appearance since 2006. The Spartans travel to No. 12 Haughton (7-3).
“We usually don’t travel a lot in our parish,” EAHS coach Paul Bourgeois said. “So this will be a new experience for the kids, and we’re glad they get to have it.”
Scotlandville (8-2), seeded 20th, makes its first playoff appearance since 2008. The Hornets go to Lake Charles to play No. 13 Barbe (7-3).
CLASS 4A: Two local teams, Plaquemine (6-4) and St. Michael the Archangel (7-3) host.
The 6-4A teams tied in the power-rankings. Plaquemine got the No. 14 spot based on its win over St. Michael.
PHS hosts Lake Charles-based Washington-Marion (7-3), a No. 19 seed. St. Michael, seeded 15th, hosts No. 18 Franklin Parish (6-4) seeking the first ever playoff win.
Broadmoor (6-4), seeded 20th, travels to No. 13 Salmen (6-4). The Bucs will make their first playoff appearance since 2008.
“Our kids played hard, and we’re happy about it,” BHS coach Rusty Price said.
CLASS 3A: Defending Class 3A state champion Parkview Baptist (6-3) garnered a No. 11 seed and will host Shreveport’s Loyola Prep (5-5), a No. 22 seed.
Interestingly, No. 2 St. Charles Catholic (10-0), No. 15 Patterson (9-0), PBS and another traditional power, No. 6 Notre Dame (7-3), are all in one half of the bracket.
Port Allen (8-2), seeded 14th, also gets a home game, hosting No. 19 Independence (7-3), another Tangipahoa Parish team. Donaldsonville (5-5), seeded 17th, and Brusly (6-4), an 18th seed, also travel. DHS goes to No. 16 Marksville (7-3). Brusly plays at Patterson.
CLASS 2A: Seventh-seeded Episcopal (9-1) has a metro area match-up, hosting No. 26 Springfield (5-5) of Livingston Parish.
The 2A bracket dictates a change in the playoff hierarchy. Curtis and Evangel Christian have met in the final the last three years. ECA, a No. 5 seed, is in the same half of the bracket as Curtis.
Redemptorist (4-6) is the other 7-2A team in the playoffs, seeded 24th and goes to Kinder (9-1). Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas (5-5), a No. 15 seed, plays at West St. Mary (6-4).
CLASS 1A: No. 13 Christian Life (7-3), No. 20 Southern Lab (7-3) and No. 29 White Castle (4-6), the defending 1A champion, also are in the mix.
CLA hosts No. 19 Crescent City (5-4), a team the Crusaders beat, 48-14. Southern Lab travels to No. 13 Cedar Creek (8-2), while WCHS travels to No. 4 Mangham (10-0).
Tangipahoa Parish-based Kentwood (7-3), a No. 7 seed, hosts No. 26 Basile (7-3).