EDITOR’S NOTE: The LHSAA issued a memo Saturday afternoon stating that sites and times for select-school title games will be approved and announced Monday. Schools were asked to submit documentation, etc., by Monday.
See you next year — or perhaps the year after — takes on a whole new meaning for LHSAA football these days.
Whether you like it or hate it, one thing the nonselect/select split narrows the playoff possibilities in each class or division. All the better for rivalries.
• Case in point, No. 1: Fifth-seeded Zachary (10-2) travels to top-seeded Acadiana (13-0) for a Class 5A semifinal Friday. Last season ZHS traveled to Acadiana and beat the Wreckin’ Rams in the quarterfinals.
Case in point, No. 2: Second-seeded Catholic (12-0) vs. No. 1 Archbishop Rummel in the Division I title game. It marks the third time in the past five years that the two teams have played, including the 2015 title game won by Catholic.
But of course, there are exceptions. Catholic-Pointe Coupee (11-2) is another big one. The seventh-seeded Hornets meet No. 5 Ouachita Christian (12-1) in the Division IV title game.
Like all other select title games, the site for the Division IV game is also pending. However, a request by higher seed Ouachita Christian to play its game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — something OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh actively started requesting in July — is out there.
Of course, top-seeded St. James (13-0) hosts No. 12 Union Parish (9-4) for a Class 3A semifinal. Third-seeded White Castle (8-3) travels to No. 2 Oberlin (11-0) for a Class 1A semifinal. It is the deepest playoff run by the Bulldogs since they won the 1A title in 2010.
ZACHARY AT ACADIANA: The Broncos beat Acadiana 26-14 in the quarterfinals on the way to their second straight 5A title last year, the school’s third in four years. This is a sixth straight semifinal berth for Zachary. Coach David Brewerton of Zachary acknowledges the different kind of year it has been with 18 new starters.
“We’ve won 10 in a row and of those 10 games, seven were won by one touchdown or less,” Brewerton said. “You give yourself a chance to win or hang on at the end. Very proud of how far this team has come. At 0-2, the season very easily could have gone south. They continued to work and get better.
“Acadiana is the real deal. Their offense is as good as you’ll sen. Along with the option, they run other sets that are effective. Their defense also is extremely good. Any time you get to the semifinals it’s a good opportunity.”
CATHOLIC VS. RUMMEL: Offense may be a crowd pleaser, but in this game the defenses will likely be in the spotlight. The Bears limited John Curtis’ potent option offense to 98 yards rushing Friday night.
Catholic coach Gabe Fertitta said that the Rummel defense is truly something to behold.
“I honestly believe they could win without playing offense,” Feritta said. “Their defense has scored points in just about every game. I think their first-team defense has given up less than 10 touchdowns all year. Of course, we think our defense is very good too.”
Fertitta also made another key observation, noting Rummel coach Nick Monica is a defensive coach and that he is an offensive line coach, pointing to another one the Bears’ strengths.
CATHOLIC-PC VS. OUACHITA CHRISTIAN: Before the playoffs began, multiple coaches lauded the Division IV balance by saying that any team in the top eight was capable of winning the title. And now a No. 5 seed in OCS hosts No. 7 CHSPC.
It is the first title game appearance for the Hornets since winning a Class 1A title in 1978.
“I am so proud of this team and happy for the school and our community,” CHSPC coach David Simoneaux said. “Just to see the smiles on the faces of the players and everyone there to support us last night (during a quarterfinal over Southern Lab) was special.
“Ouachita Christian has such a great tradition and coaching staff. I think we have the same types of kids. We would like to reach their level of success. There are differences. They run play action passes mixed with the run, whereas we like to run it.”
EXTRA POINTS: Rummel’s Monica is part of father-son duo coaching in the select finals. His father, Frank, is head coach of St. Charles Catholic, which plays Lafayette Christian for the Division III title.
The coach of CHSPC’s 1978 title team, Jim Hightower, also has a title game this weekend. Hightower’s St. Thomas More team faces De La Salle in the Division II final.
CHSPC’s Simoneaux also has a title-game in his past. He was a running back on Parkview Baptist’s 2001 title team.