Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Northeast quarterback Marqueon Minor during a jamboree last month.

Since the end of last year’s run to the Class 2A state regionals, Northeast’s football team looked forward to the 2014 season with great anticipation.

With 18 starters back, the Vikings were ready to dive into a new season filled with plenty of early challenges that would ultimately serve them well.

Quarterback Marqueon Minor accounted for more than 200 total yards and two touchdowns in a 20-14 victory over Class 5A Broadmoor, setting the table for Friday’s 7 p.m. road trip when Northeast (1-0) faces Class 3A Baker (1-0) at Wedge Kyes Stadium.

“That’s something we’ve historically done, and that’s to schedule up,” Northeast coach David Masterson said. “We feel it’s better overall to play up in classification, even if means some losses. It doesn’t hurt you power-point wise and helps you perform at a higher level.”

Southern Lab’s another lower classification program not immune to taking on all comers.

The Kittens, who lost 31-12 at Class 3A’s No. 5 St. Charles Catholic, remain on the road again this week with a visit to No. 2 University High (1-0) at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to continue to test our guys,” Southern Lab coach Nick Mitchell said. “Most of our guys from an experience standpoint they’re not juniors, they’re seniors, and we’re expecting them to grow and mature and perform.”

In other local/area games featuring 3A-1A schools, Episcopal (1-0) hosts St. John-Plaquemine (0-1), Port Allen (1-0) entertains Redemptorist (0-1) and The Dunham School (0-1) travels to Donaldsonville to face Ascension Catholic (1-0).

Northeast is confident the payoff for playing nondistrict games against Broadmoor, Baker and Class 4A Tara next week will start to show Oct. 3 when the Vikings open District 6-2A play at Dunham.

The Vikings rallied from a 16-14 halftime deficit in their season opener on Minor’s 1-yard third-quarter touchdown run. He rushed for 141 yards that was part of the Vikings’ 325-116 advantage in total offense.

“We’ve got a chance to be pretty good this year,” Masterson said. “We’ve known it, and our kids have practiced like it. There’s an air of confidence.”

Southern Lab looks to rebound against a U-High team that rallied for a 36-35 road victory over Teurlings Catholic.

That the Cubs will be without senior quarterback Manny Miles because of an ankle sprain is of little concern to Mitchell, who expects them to function at a high rate with senior Jalon Baker at quarterback.

LSU commitment Nicholas Brossette, who scored the winning two-point conversion, rushed for 150 yards last week.

“With a team that’s solidly coached as U-High you have to be prepared regardless,” Mitchell said. “If there’s another guy in there, I expect him to be able to do it as good or maybe better.”

Southern Lab had an opportunity to tie St. Charles after trailing 14-6 in the second quarter. The Kittens recovered a fumble, drove to the Comets’ 13-yard line but were turned away on fourth down.

“A lot of times coaches say you make your greatest strides between Week 1 and Week 2,” Mitchell said. “We’re looking toward making that stride in the way that we play, the way we advance the ball on offense and take it away on defense.”