West Feliciana and Madison Prep are in two different situations going into Thursday night’s regular-season finale.
At 4-3 on the year, the visiting Saints can secure a winning record in Hudson Fuller’s first season as head coach. If the Chargers (5-1) come out on top, they roar into the postseason with only one loss and a likely favorable seed for the Class 3A playoffs.
But in a year in which so much uncertainty around the sport, making it to Thursday night is its own sort of accomplishment. When so many started the season asking if games could be played at all, both teams are grateful to see it reach the final weekend.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Stadium.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” Madison Prep coach Landry Williams said. “The players and coaches are excited for an opportunity. And now to get to this point and it’s playoff time and the present goal is in front of you, but also so much uncertainty in front of us as well. To win a state championship this year, you’re going to go through some trials to get there.”
The goal all year was to keep players focused and healthy while also trying to win games.
That wasn’t always easy, but Fuller praised his staff and team for not only maintaining but improving as the season went on.
Now West Feliciana has one more game against one of the stronger teams in District 7-3A. The Chargers are 4-1 in district play with their only loss coming to University Lab.
The Saints are 3-3 with losses to Brusly, Parkview Baptist and University Lab.
“I’m proud of our players and the progress we’ve made throughout the season,” Fuller said. “We started off with a goal this year of being the best team we’re capable of being at the end of the season.
“We’re always looking for areas where we can improve, but we’ve definitely seen some indicators in the last few weeks that we’re making the progress we’ve been looking for.”
West Feliciana and Madison Prep don’t have a particularly long history with the Chargers moving up to Class 3A in 2017. But they did notch their first win in the series last year 35-21 and came within two points of taking the victory in 2018, as well.
The Chargers will lean on their run game to carry them over the finish line as it has all season.
“Going into the postseason you really want to be clicking on all cylinders and hopefully getting bodies healthy for the duration of the season,” Williams said. “It’s a very important game Thursday. I know it’s senior night, a lot of emotions going, but also we’ve got to stay focused because we still have a bigger goal in mind.”
West Feliciana vs. Madison Prep
7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium
RECORDS: West Feliciana 4-3, 3-3 in District 7-3A; Madison Prep 5-1, 4-1
LAST WEEK: West Feliciana lost to University 43-7; Madison Prep beat Parkview Baptist 39-15
PLAYERS TO WATCH: WEST FELICIANA: LB Delvin Whitaker, WR Xave Willis, DE/TE Clarence Emery, DB Logan Giror; MADISON PREP: QB Zeon Chriss, DB/WR/KR Tyrell Raby, DB/WR Marlon Smart.
NOTEWORTHY: After facing second-ranked U-High last week, the Saints face No. 5 MPA to close out the regular season. … West Feliciana’s Bennett Clement leads area passers with 1,437 yards and 13 TDs. … MPA QB Zeon Chriss was the 7-3A MVP and has 880 passing yards with 14 TDs.