CLASS 2A: (2) AMITE vs. (5) WELSH
WHEN: Noon RECORDS: Amite 13-1, Welsh 12-2
HOW THEY GOT HERE: AMITE: Beat Springfield 51-0, East Feliciana 41-6, Franklin 48-0, Ferriday 44-20; WELSH: Beat West St. Mary 49-0, Mansfield 33-16, DeQuincy 41-0, Many 28-21
STATE TITLES: Amite: 4 (last in 2004); Welsh 1 (won in 2017)
LAST TIME IN STATE FINAL: Amite: (2016 lost 40-36 to Lutcher in 3A final); Welsh (2017 beat St. Helena 38-26)
TOP STORYLINE: Will Welsh repeat or will Amite finally break through and win a title for the first time since 2004? The Warriors of AHS have two top recruits for 2019 and a third player already committed to a Power 5 conference school. Welsh comes in with plenty of momentum, thanks to a semifinal win over top-seeded Many.
AMITE: The Warriors have the ideal combination of a high-voltage offense and devastating defense spiced appropriately with two of Louisiana’s top 2019 prospects — DL Ishmael Sopsher and WR Devonta Lee. QB Amani Gilmore, a Kentucky commitment, has multiple targets and the defense sports athleticism behind Sopsher.
WELSH: The Greyhounds are a bit different than a year ago when WR Da’Ren Zeno torched opposing defense. Zeno is back, but the offense is a bit more methodical with a 1,200-yard rusher in the mix. How well Welsh matches up with the Amite offense is a huge key going into this contest.
AMITE: DT Sopsher, LB Quadry Jackson, WR Lee, QB Gilmore.
WELSH: WR Zeno, OL/DL Ryan McKenzie, DE John Daigle, FB Jaheim Simon
Robin Fambrough: Amite 35, Welsh 24
DIVISION II: (1) UNIVERSITY vs. (3) ST. THOMAS MORE
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. RECORDS: University 12-0, St. Thomas More 11-1
HOW THEY GOT HERE: UNIVERSITY: Beat St. Louis Catholic 48-14, De La Salle 43-14; ST. THOMAS MORE: Beat E.D. White 63-7, St. Charles Catholic 49-7
STATE TITLES: University: 4 (last in 2017); St. Thomas More: 1 (won in 2016)
LAST TIME IN STATE FINAL: University: 2017 (beat De La Salle 45-19); St. Thomas More: 2016 (beat Parkview Baptist 54-29)
TOP STORYLINE: Take a highly talented team and one of Louisiana’s most dynamic offenses in the past decade and mix well to get a terrific title-game matchup. U-High is the defending champion with a long list of top prospects that includes ATH Christian Harris and RB Mike Hollins. STM and its QB Caleb Holstein put up points in bunches. It should make for an interesting war of wills.
UNIVERSITY: The Cubs are versatile enough to do whatever works, whether it is Hollins rolling up rushing yards and QB John Gordon McKernan using multiple receivers to break big plays. DTs Jacquelin Roy and Donald Berniard are a foundation for a defense that harasses opponent and has given up few points.
ST. THOMAS MORE: With Holstein, a junior, the Cougars will face what figures to be their toughest test this season. STM has scored 50 or more points 11 times. How the Cougars defense matches up with the U-High offense will be just as important as what its offense does. How the STM defense handles U-High’s multiple threats cannot be overlooked.
UNIVERSITY: RB Hollins, LB Jacob Burke, WR Doryan Harris, LB Bryton Constantin
ST. THOMAS MORE: QB Holstein, RB William Cryer, WR Grant Arceneaux, LB Gregory Mahtook.
Robin Fambrough: University 48, St. Thomas More 24
CLASS 3A: (2) EUNICE vs. (4) STERLINGTON
WHEN: 7 p.m. RECORDS: Eunice 12-2, Sterlington 12-2
HOW THEY GOT HERE: EUNICE: Beat Brusly 34-20, Wossman 13-12, Madison Prep 41-12, Kaplan 19-0; STERLINGTON: Beat Cohen College Prep 49-0, Church Point 57-56, Union Parish 13-12, Iota 21-12
STATE TITLES: Eunice 1 (won in 1982); Sterlington 1 (won in 2016)
LAST TIME IN STATE FINAL: Eunice lost 20-7 to John Curtis in 1998 4A final; Sterlington beat Madison Prep in 2A in 2016
TOP STORYLINE: Call it a classic North vs. South battle, featuring two teams that strive to elevate running the ball to an art form. The title-game berth is a happy return for Eunice, which won a title in the second Prep Classic and 1982. Sterlington moved up the year after winning the 2A title in 2016. How well Eunice handles the Superdome atmosphere and other title-game intangibles may be a key early gauge.
EUNICE: The Bobcats do a little bit of everything with a versatile set of players that includes Ardoin, a sophomore with more than 1,500 yards rushing and Lee, who threw a halfback option pass in one playoff game and flipped field position with a punt in another. Expect more of the same. Eunice coach Paul Trosclair enters the game with 236 wins.
STERLINGTON: The Panthers are riding a 10-game winning streak. Sterlington relies on its line to pave the way for RB Dallas Reagor and QB Hays Crockett to operate. Sterlington has proven it can adapt to any tempo by winning shootouts and low-scoring playoff games.
EUNICE: FS Carlin Vigers, RB Deon Ardoin, LB Brody Walker, ATH Avery Lee
STERLINGTON: RB Reagor, OL Trey Rugg, QB Crockett, LB Willie Holloway.
Robin Fambrough: Eunice 21, Sterlington 17