Ponchatoula, Denham to face off in week 2

It was one of the more memorable games in the area last season when Ponchatoula held off Denham Springs in a 64-63 shootout.

The rematch comes Friday in Ponchatoula with the Yellow Jackets traveling to face the Green Wave in the second week of high-school football's regular season.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back from lopsided Week 1 losses in which their offenses were held under wraps.

Denham Springs failed to score in a 28-0 loss to Hahnville in the opener. Ponchatoula was shut out in the second half of a 35-14 loss at Live Oak.

Last year, both the Yellow Jackets and the Green Wave showed in Week 2 how their offensive attacks can look when things are clicking.

LSU commitment T.J. Finley passed for 600 yards in a game that included 18 touchdowns total. Luke Lunsford led the Denham attack with 353 passing yards and four TDs through the air.

"Both offenses were clicking on all cylinders," Denham Springs linebacker Tristan Duhe recalled. "Not a lot of stops on either side of the ball."

Finley and Lunsford return as seniors, but both are coming off rough outings in the season opener.

In other action this week, Live Oak looks to build on the strong start against Ponchatoula when the Eagles host Woodlawn on Friday. This matchup pits Live Oak coach Brett Beard against the program he led in 2013 and 2014.

The Eagles have a dynamic duo in running backs Kee Hawkins and Hagen Long who are longtime staples of the Live Oak attack.

Hawkins had 90 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns in the opener. Long had 138 yards rushing, scoring on runs of 31 and 56 yards in the second half.

Woodlawn, back up to Class 5A this year, opened with a 32-0 loss to The Dunham School.

Walker wins Mahaffey's debut

The much-anticipated debut of Chad Mahaffey as Walker's football coach was triumphant as the Wildcats held on to beat Madison Prep 38-30 in Friday's opener.

Walker led 38-16 before staving off Madison Prep's late charge.

Keondre Brown led the Wildcats with 22 carries for 116 yards. He also had a 44-yard receiving touchdown on the game's opening drive.

Walker takes a step up in competition when the Wildcats entertain Destrehan in Week 2. Destrehan is coming off a trip to the 5A semifinals.

Elsewhere this week, Albany will be in Baton Rouge to play St. Michael at Olympia Stadium, and Springfield faces Cohen College Prep in its home opener.

Albany started the season with a 68-44 victory over Independence, while Springfield fell to Bogue Chitto (Mississippi) 23-20.

Albany and Springfield have their annual "Battle of I-12" a week from Friday.


Denham Springs defeated Springfield in the season opener Sept. 3 in the first of two scheduled meetings between the two.

The Yellow Jackets won 3-1. They will face the Bulldogs again on Sept. 24 in a road match.

Also, the Yellow Jackets were set to face rival Walker on Monday at Walker. The teams are scheduled to meet at Denham Springs on Sept. 18.

Denham Springs went 2-2 in the Woodlawn tournament over the weekend, leaving the Yellow Jackets with a 3-3 mark through the season's first week.

DSHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Six new members will be inducted into the Denham Springs Athletic Hall of Fame during a Sept. 19 induction ceremony.

The newest members are former girls basketball standouts Regena Jackson and Jamie Chustz-Felder, football player Michael Boone, late boys basketball player Raymond Harris, baseball standout Van Foster III, and longtime statistician Robert Graves.

The induction ceremony will be held at Forrest Grove Plantation. To purchase tickets, visit the Denham Springs High main office.

Scott Hotard covers sports for The Livingston-Tangipahoa Advocate. He can be contacted at shotard44@gmail.com or livingston@theadvocate.com.