There are so many reasons to like about Zachary and West Monroe playing each other in the Class 5A title game that it is hard single out one.
It looks to be the perfect way to close out the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic on Saturday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“This is the third year in a row we’ve played each other … the other two were in the semifinals,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “There always is a new wrinkle or two, but I think both teams have a good idea what to expect from each other. Obviously, playing West Monroe for a title takes it to the highest level.”
Zachary beat West Monroe in the semifinals last season on the way to its second 5A title in three years. In 2016, the Rebels beat Zachary in the semifinals and finished as the runner-up. WMHS seeks its first title since 2011.
A notable storyline is the West Monroe defense. The Rebels have shut out all four playoff opponents, becoming the first team in Louisiana’s highest class to do that since Brother Martin in 1971. Of course, defending champion Zachary is coming off a high-octane 67-57 win over second-seeded Destrehan and has won three road playoff games.
West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge knows the offensive story for the Broncos starts with junior quarterback Keilon Brown.
“What I see is a young man who was good as a freshman, got better last year and now continues to play on a very high level,” Arledge said. “They have a lot of speed. Zachary is a solid team that plays well in every phase of the game.”
Louisiana-Lafayette commitment Dalvin Hutchinson helps lead the line that is at the heart of the West Monroe defense. However, Zachary’s Brewerton won’t overlook the WMHS offense.
“Their offense is scoring on its first possession 80 percent of the time,” Brewerton said. “That is incredible. It also gives them a real advantage. We need to score when we get those chances.”
Brown leads the Broncos in rushing and passing. He has 2,511 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. The junior also has 1,240 rushing yards with 17 more TDs. Chandler Whitfield is Brown’s top target with 54 catches for 1,244 and 13 TDs.
Quarterback Garrett Kahmann and running back Cameron Wright of West Monroe are familiar faces. Kahmann came off the bench to spark a rally in last year’s semifinal and Wright also played a key role. Kahmann has 1,244 passing yards and 15 TDs this year and Wright has 1,320 rushing yards and 21 TDs.
“Football is a game of perfection,” Arledge said. “You can never achieve that. The team that comes the closest usually wins.”