It might be easy to dismiss St. John’s football game with Archbishop Hannan.
The nondistrict game features two teams from different classifications who don’t have a lot of history with each other.
Don’t tell that to the either team.
The battle to garner a spot on the LHSAA’s select-school playoff brackets is a real one. And it will be showcased when St. John (4-4) hosts Hannan (5-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Plaquemine High’s Canova Stadium.
“I think we’re both kind of in the same situation,” St. John coach Cricket Crockett said. “A win would really help both of us.
“We’re sitting somewhere between 14th and 16th (in Division IV/1A) depending on where you look at the rankings and the top 16 get in. They’re in about the the same spot (in Division III/2A). Both teams have something to play for.”
Last week’s 36-28 victory over rival Ascension Catholic in District 6-1A action was a confidence builder for the Eagles. Gavin Landry led the way for St. John with 182 rushing yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns.
Landry also threw a TD pass, ran for the game-winning score and two-point conversion with 1:46 remaining. Landry ranks fifth among area 2A-1A rushing leaders with 969 yards and 16 TDs.
Hannan poses a unique challenge, Crockett said. The Hawks’ ability to throw and run the ball will test an Eagle defense that has improved throughout the season.
“We really haven’t played anybody quite like them this season,” Crockett said. “I know they run the ball well, but I think their ability to throw it helps set them apart.”
Tim McDonald has completed 74 of 122 passes for 857 yards and 7 TDs for a Hannan team that is 2-2 in District 7-2A.
CHSNI forfeits 4 games
Catholic-New Iberia has played in the Division III title game the past two years. But the chance of a three-peat ended Tuesday.
That’s when a routine LHSAA compliance check found a player who was academically ineligible. The school reported the violation and was told it must forfeit wins over Erath, Delcambre, West St. Mary and Loreauville. Instead of being 6-2 overall and 5-0 in District 5-2A, the Panthers are now 2-6, 2-3.
Even if CHSNI wins its final two games, including a showdown with top-ranked Notre Dame, coach Brent Indest said the chances for a playoff berth are remote.
“It was a complete oversight on our part,” Indest said. “They’ve had the same system and process in place long before I got here, and it’s served them well. This time the process failed, and we have to step in, review the process and make sure this never happens again.”
The player in question was a reserve who had the requisite grade point average but not enough credits to be eligible, Indest said.
Another rivalry week
Denham Springs High (4-4, 0-3) hosts Livingston Parish rival Walker High (5-3, 0-3) in District 4-5A action Friday night.
The contest comes a week after the Yellow Jackets lost 21-20 to Central in what was the 68th game in that series. DSHS leads its series with Walker 14-3. The teams played primarily in jamborees for years, though the series of regular-season games dates to 1959.
Walker won the first three games when the teams played after a 31-year gap in 2003. Denham Springs has won the last nine, including a 54-33 win last year.
Ascension Christian’s Chris Middleton became the school’s first 1,000-yard passer during last week’s win over Ecole Classique.
Middleton has completed 85 of 176 passes on the season for 1,008 yards and 12 TDs for the Class 1A Lions.
LSD game moved
Louisiana School for the Deaf’s season-ending eight-man football game with Carolinas Schools for the Deaf has been moved to 10 a.m. Friday at LSD.
The game was originally schedule for 6 p.m. Saturday but was moved because of forecasts that call for heavy rain.
William Weathers contributed to this report