Defining a showdown between two football schools with no history together can be tough. Unless you’re Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano.
“It’s really a natural thing,” Distefano said. “We’ve got kids from that north end of the parish who can look out their window and see Pointe Coupee Parish and Livonia.
“The JV game was played at the old North Iberville (High) school, and our players stood along the fence and talked to their guys. We’ve scrimmaged before and now we’ll play. It seems right.”
Ninth-ranked Livonia (5-1, 1-0) hosts Plaquemine (3-3, 1-0) for a pivotal District 6-4A game that helps highlight Friday’s Week 7 schedule. One of the area’s top rivalries, St. Amant (6-0, 1-0) at East Ascension (2-4, 0-1) in District 5-5A, is another notable game.
Perhaps the only thing surprising about the Plaquemine-Livonia game is that both are not in the Class 4A top 10. Injuries and losses to three teams ranked in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Top 10 in Classes 3A and 2A hindered the Green Devils early.
Livonia, last year’s Class 3A state champion, isn’t about to overlook Plaquemine. PHS has won the past two 6-4A titles and was a 4A semifinalist last fall.
“When we scrimmaged them in the spring a couple of years ago, what stood out was their size and strength,” Livonia coach Guy Mistretta said. “You look at them on film now and the first thing that hits you is their speed. And they’ve got good size too.
“That (Wayne) Toussant kid may be the fastest player I’ve ever faced as a coach. He doesn’t need much of an opening to make a big play. Both teams know this is a big game, and we’re trying to use that in a positive way. Cee Jay (Powell, LHS quarterback) likes the big stage and so do our other guys.”
Distefano said Powell and running back Patrick Queen are major playmakers for the Wildcats, who have only lost twice at home since 2011.
An experienced offensive line leads the way for Powell, who has 945 rushing yards and 10 TDs. Queen 865 yards and 11 TDs.
Toussant ran for 99 yards last week and is a multi-purpose threat with 12 TDs. Kevin Domingue, the Green Devils power runner, scored three TDs in last week’s win over St. Michael.
“They’re the best team we’ve faced,” Mistretta said. “That’s the challenge.”
Though their records are quite different, St. Amant coach David Oliver saids no one expects a lopsided game when the Gators face East Ascension.
“East Ascension is much better than their record,” Oliver said. “After losing last week, they’ve got their backs against the wall.
“And they have two more things going for them — they’re playing at home and they’ll go out there expecting to win. We know them better than any other team. They beat us in the jamboree. They’ll be ready.”
St. Amant leads the series 18-17, by virtue of last season’s 57-34 win. Expect the quarterbacks to play a key role. St. Amant’s Hayden Mallory ranks second in the state in passing with 1,609 yards and 21 TDs.
East Ascension’s Kyran Irvin has 745 rushing yards and six TDs.
Two stickers on the helmets of the St. Amant players will serve as a reminder of a difficult week. One honors student Todd “T.J.” Toups Jr., who was murdered last Saturday. The other pays tribute to longtime broadcaster and supporter Kevin Shillings, who died last Sunday.