Saints host Jennings with trip to Dome on the line
There are some familiar story lines for this Friday’s Class 3A nonselect semifinal playoff game between the sixth-seeded West Feliciana Saints and the 10th-seeded Jennings Bulldogs.
The game will be the second straight semifinal playoff contest hosted by West Feliciana. Last year, the Saints were undefeated and the top seed in the playoffs when they stumbled 16-14 against eventual champion Lutcher on their home turf before a record stadium attendance.
This year, the stakes are equally as high between the Saints and Bulldogs. The winner will advance to the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic on Dec. 8 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Counting last year’s loss to Lutcher, West Feliciana has been to the semifinals three straight times and four times in the past six seasons.
“Making it to the semifinals says something,” coach Robb Odom said. “If making the semifinals was easy, everybody would be able to do it. Making it to the semifinals four years in a row speaks to the focus these guys have had.”
The Saints have had a workmanlike drive this season, going 9-1 during the regular season and finishing second in District 6-3A to University High. The Cubs are playing top-seeded De LaSalle for the Select Division II championship.
Other than the 63-35 loss to University High, Odom’s Saints have been on a mission to make it to the Dome for the first time in school history.
They’ve defeated North Webster (42-13), Berwick (38-12) and last week Northwest (42-7) to reach the semis.
Jennings, which is 10-2 for the year, has had an equally impressive playoff run, with victories over Bogalusa (33-12), Church Point (28-7) and Crowley (14-0). The winner of Friday’s game will advance to play the winner of No. 8 Richwood and No. 5 Kaplan on Dec. 8 in the Superdome.
Against Northwest, the Saints bounded out to a 35-7 halftime advantage, tacking on another score early in the third quarter. West Feliciana scored on six of eight possessions in the contest. Quarterback Derek Turner rushed for two touchdowns and tossed scoring passes of 69 yards to Derius Davis, 32 yards to Davon Harris and 26 yards to Khiry Morrison. Harris closed out the scoring with an 80-yard touchdown run.
“I think we’re just fortunate to have some kids who can run. That’s something that you can’t coach,” Odom said. “Some of the stuff that we called (Friday night) wasn’t there at first, but I think our speed and athleticism gave us a chance to make some plays. I thought that plus our defense, which is really playing well right now, were the key factors for us.”
Tickets for the West Feliciana-Jennings playoff game are $12 and can be purchased at the stadium. The game will also be available over the internet via Livestream. A tailgate hosted by the West Feliciana Quarterback Club will begin at the stadium at 5 p.m.
East Feliciana falls to No. 2 Ferriday
After surprising No. 15 Mansfield 38-28 on the road, the No. 18 East Feliciana Tigers saw their football season come to a close against second-seeded Ferriday, 46-28, in the second round of the Class 2A nonselect playoffs. Coach Cedric Anderson’s Tigers finished the season 6-6 overall.