It’s been a long wait for No. 7 Episcopal to begin defense of its District 6-2A championship.
Because of a quirky schedule that featured an open date and final nondistrict game a week ago, the Knights are the only team in the six-team district not to have played at least one league game.
The anticipation of league play is finally here for Episcopal (4-0) which hosts league-leading East Feliciana (3-2, 2-0 District 6-2A) at 7 p.m. Friday.
“East Feliciana’s going to present something we haven’t seen all year with speed and size all over the field on both sides of the ball,” Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois said. “That’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us and how we adapt to the speed of the game and their size, especially both of their lines.”
There will be other smaller school headliners that include Donaldsonville (3-2) opening District 9-3A play with E.D. White (3-2) at Floyd Boutte Stadium in Donaldsonville, while Port Allen (4-1, 2-0) travels to Westside archrival Brusly (1-4, 0-2) for a District 7-3A encounter and St. Edmund (2-3) visits Catholic-Pointe Coupee (2-3) in District 5-1A play.
“We’re looking forward to concentrating on the things we’ve been doing well and build upon that,” Donaldsonville coach Benny Guilbeaux said.
“We’ve been able to run the ball well the past couple of games, and in order to do what we do well, which is throw the ball, we need a good running game.”
East Feliciana weathered a stern nondistrict schedule that included road losses to West Feliciana and Zachary to bounce back with three straight victories, including league wins over The Dunham School (44-19) and Redemptorist (30-8).
Quarterback Kavon Moore threw a pair of touchdowns last week, while Tyquincey Kilbourne caught Moore’s first TD pass and added a score on a fumble recovery.
“That’s the thought process, to get a schedule that’s going be challenging,” East Feliciana coach Cedric Anderson said. “We saw some things we had to get back to working on, and hopefully it will come in to play as we move forward through district and hopefully into the playoffs.”
Episcopal limited Ascension Catholic to 79 yards and recorded its first shutout in a 19-0 road victory last week. The Knights, led by the play of defensive ends Kydris Washington and Taylor Rotolo, are allowing nine points a game.
“Defensively we’re getting where we need to be and offensively we’re just a step behind,” Bourgeois said.
“That’s the thing we have to improve on in the next few weeks.”
Guilbeaux said in today’s world where there’s an emphasis on power points and getting favorable postseason seeds the thought of winning a district hasn’t been diminished because it’s something Donaldsonville hasn’t won for some time.
Donaldsonville will count on quarterback Tyler Brown (210 yards, two touchdowns last week), running back Tajh Gillard (125 yards, two TDs) and LSU commitment Stephen Sullivan at wide receiver offensively, along with safety Percy Cargo and tackle Tyarise Stevenson defensively, to help the Tigers reach such a milestone.
“It would be good for the kids to have a sense of tradition and bring back a district championship to Donaldsonville,” Guilbeaux said. “That’s one of our goals this year.”