Yes, that was quite a game Friday night. Thanks to Zachary and Destrehan, I can check one more “sportswriter thing” off my bucket list.
While covering more than 30 years high school sports I have seen plenty of football games. But never a semifinal playoff game that included not one, but two prolific offenses like I saw in Zachary’s 67-57 victory.
Sure, I have heard other writers wax poetically about games like this, but for me it was a first. The game will provide plenty of stories for players, coaches and sportswriters like me to tell for years to come.
I do not think anyone expected a smashmouth defensive struggle. A 33-30 score would have been a great prediction, even in the rain. Of course, that was the halftime score.
I know it was frustrating for the defenses and the defensive coordinators. However, I suspect it was energizing for just about everyone else in Destrehan’s Wildcat Stadium.
If you blinked, you probably missed something. I am not a video games person. My expertise is limited to the old Atari system. But it sure felt like all of us watching were in a video game. Nobody had a controller that worked every time, including the coaches.
This was a showcase of athletic ability, grit and two teams making plays on a high level.
Zachary coach David Brewerton credited the Broncos’ conditioning and offseason program for making the win possible under such extreme circumstances. ZHS linebacker Wes Brady also gave me some added insight.
When an ankle injury sidelined the Broncos’ Sean Burrell, several reserves filled the void. Brady said defensive back James Weatherspoon was disappointed after giving up a reception on one play.
“We told him ‘Look, this is one of those games, make the next play,’ ” Brady said.
That next play was a big one. Weatherspoon wrestled the ball away from a Destrehan receiver and raced 50 yards to the end zone for what proved to be a crucial third-quarter touchdown.
Memories were made Friday night. Along with some history. Defending champion Zachary advanced to the 5A semifinals for an unprecedented fifth straight season and now will play in the title game for the third time in four years.
The LHSAA executive committee covered plenty of ground in its two days of meetings last week. Like it or not, the committee completed the classification process for the next two years in all sports.
Trust me, some do not like the final districts approved. It happens every two years. And it will happen again in two years.
One important point may be decided before the LHSAA’s January convention agenda is voted on. Teurlings Catholic Principal Mike Boyer has a series of proposals that would allow the select schools to break away and hold championships events at school sites/large arena or stadiums apart from nonselect schools.
Boyer said the select schools should be the only ones to vote on these proposals based on a bylaw passed a couple of years ago that gave the select schools some autonomy. Select schools would approve it.
Some members of the executive committee believe it must be a vote of the entire membership. I Doubt any of these would pass a full membership vote. The LHSAA’s parliamentarian will rule on it.
Thomas, Polynesian Bowl bound
Southern Lab offensive lineman Kardell Thomas, a long- time LSU commitment, is set to play in a second post-season all-star football game, the Polynesian Bowl set for Jan. 19 in O’ahu.
Thomas also will play in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 5. LHSAA rules allow players to participate in two all-star games.
Another LSU commitment, John Ehret linebacker Donte Starks, also is set to play in the Polynesian Bowl.