Sometimes a top team can get caught looking ahead when district play is just around the corner. Don’t expect Week 3 to be one of those times.

Baton Rouge’s Class 5A and 4A football teams face some intriguing challenges on a Friday night that includes big games at home and on the road.

“Plaquemine is very good ... I think you’ve got two good teams playing,” Woodlawn coach Brett Beard said. “This game could be a big step for us in terms of getting to where we want to be as a team.”

Plaquemine (2-0), the ninth-ranked 4A team, travels to face Beard’s 5A Woodlawn squad (2-0) in a battle of unbeatens. Catholic High (2-0), ranked sixth in 5A, travels to Denham Springs (1-1) for a nondistrict game between two longtime 5A rivals.

Central (2-0) and Dutchtown (1-1) take their talents on the road. DHS travels to former district rival Destrehan (2-0), which is ranked second in 5A. Meanwhile, Central meets Jesuit (1-1) at Tad Gormley Stadium in another game that helps highlight the Week 3 schedule. All games start at 7 p.m.

“Those first two games we played are in the past,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “We’ve got a longtime rival we’re going to play, and we’ve got to be ready for them.

“Denham Springs has always been about hard-nosed football and toughness. The last time we went to their place they beat us. It looked like last week they figured some things out on offense. When you install a new system, there is a learning curve.”

Weiner said he expects the Yellow Jackets to be even better at their new spread offense, this week, something the Bears must acknowledge. Catholic has one of the state’s top players in running back Derrius Guice, an LSU commitment. Last week quarterback Ian Brian enjoyed his best game to date with 159 yards passing and two touchdowns. Though DSHS is running a spread, Tyre Golmond ran for 146 and a TD in a win over Salmen last week.

The challenge for Woodlawn is similar. The Panthers run a spread and have played two spread teams, but now will meet a Wing-T team in Plaquemine led by a large line and quarterback D’Morea Wicks, who has 325 rushing yards and four TDs. Woodlawn QB Charles Brooks has 342 passing yards.

It will be a case of déjà vu all over again for Central and Dutchtown. Central coach Sid Edwards spent one season as head coach at Jesuit; Dutchtown and Destrehan were once district rivals. The schools played twice last season, with Destrehan winning in the regular season and the 5A quarterfinals.

“Jesuit is a special place and I have nothing but respect for that program,” Edwards said. “The teams we’ve played up to now have been young teams. They were like smaller animals in the jungle. Jesuit is a different animal.”

Senior Tyler Sansone gets his second start at quarterback for Central. Dutchtown is led by Fitell Bolding and Kajuan Coleman, who have combined for 300 rushing yards in two games.

“To me, Destrehan always looks the same,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “They’re big up front, and when somebody graduates, a guy just as big steps in. We need to be able to move the ball.

“Last year we lost this game 45-14, but we came out understanding we had the chance to be a good team. No matter what happens, I think we’ll learn a lot about ourselves again.”