District 4-5A showdown: Scotlandville, Zachary open league play Friday _lowres

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Scotlandville quarterback Levi Lewis hands the ball off to running back Trenton Charles against East Ascension last month.

Robert Valdez said the significance of Scotlandville’s Week 6 football game soared to new heights when he answered his phone Tuesday night.

“I’m watching film and I get this call from my mother-in-law in Douglasville, Georgia,” Valdez said. “She wanted to know about the game and the game plan. So, I took some time to talk with her about it.

“Let’s face it — you know it’s big game when your mother-in-law wants to know about the game plan. That doesn’t happen every week.”

Of course, Valdez’s unbeaten Hornets (5-0) don’t play seventh-ranked Zachary High (4-1) every week either. The teams square off in a District 4-5A opener that helps highlight Friday’s Week 6 schedule for Class 5A/4A.

A number of local teams started their respective district schedules last month. Week 6 is the one fans in Districts 4-5A and 5-5A have been waiting on. St. Amant (5-0) is the lone unbeaten team in 5-5A and hosts McKinley (2-3).

Another key game in 5-5A is East Ascension (2-3) vs. Catholic (3-2) at Olympia Stadium. Also in 4-5A, Central (3-2) travels to Walker. The District 6-4A schedule also begins with Woodlawn (2-3) at Belaire (4-1), St. Michael (1-4) at Plaquemine (2-3) and Tara (0-5) at 10th-ranked Livonia (4-1) leading the way.

Some coaches put a lot of stock in last year’s results to provide motivation. That is likely the case for St. Amant, which lost to McKinley 7-3 last season.

Zachary coach David Brewerton has not looked back to last season when the Broncos beat the Hornets twice, including a 41-26 win in the playoff quarterfinals. The fact Valdez is in his first year at Scotlandville has a lot to do with that.

“This is Valdez’s first year, and they’re doing some different things,” Brewerton said. “So those films from last year really won’t help us. And obviously what they’re doing has worked very well.

“When you get to Week 6 and your quarterback hasn’t thrown an interception, that’s impressive. Their quarterback (Levi Lewis) is a playmaker, and they got a running back (Trenton Charles). They’re very comfortable with what their doing.

“Then on defense, they execute so well. They’re fast and athletic and do a good job of flying around to get to the ball. We’ll have our hands full, no question.”

The coaches share a common bond. Brewerton (3A Livonia) and Valdez (1A WSJHS) took their teams to state title games and moved to a larger school where they got the players to immediately buy into the program.

One thing Scotlandville has that ZHS doesn’t is a road win over a north Louisiana power this season. The Hornets beat 5A Ouachita Parish last week. Injuries plagued Zachary in a loss to 2A Calvary Baptist in a game that was nationally televised two weeks ago.

The two quarterbacks will likely be the focal point. Zachary’s Lindsey Scott Jr. is the senior who committed to Syracuse on Monday.

Scott has 1,846 yards of total offense after running and passing for over 200 yards in last week’s win over Dutchtown. Lewis, a junior, has 1,487 total yards for the Hornets.

Valdez compares Scott to Charlie Ward, who won the Heisman Trophy for Florida State. Just as Valdez sees Scott as a shorter version of Ward, he views Lewis as a smaller version of Michael Vick.

“With Scotlandville’s talent, there’s not much of a margin for error,” Brewerton said. “If you blink, they’ll be standing in the end zone.”

Valdez adds, “(The Broncos) have a lot of size and speed. They’re big at every position. And they know how to win.”