A LOCAL LOOK AT TOP CLASS THIS WEEK
#16 DUTCHTOWN (8-2) @ #1 RUMMEL (10-0)--7 PM--Joe Yenni Stadium
You can listen to this one live as part of Ken Trahan's Original Prep Football Report on WGSO, 990 AM and at WGSO.com.
The closest anyone has played Rummel this year was a 14-3 win at Denham Springs. Jay Roth's team has been superb from the get-go. The Raiders average 42.8 points and allow just 9.6 points per game. Quarterback Damian Williams completes 71 percent of his passes for 1,378 yards and has rushed for 586 yards. He has accounted for 21 touchdowns. He has been perfect passing in two of his last three games, going 22-for-22 during that stretch. He set a school passing record with 319 yards passing in last week's 49-7 win over Lafayette. Dutchtown quarterback Mason Nickens completes 61 percent of his passes for 1,027 yards and he has rushed for 710 yards. He has accounted for 16 touchdowns operating the read-option attack. The Griffins have averaged 31.8 points while yielding 15.1 points per game. Small but speedy linebackers Michael Kennedy, Terrance Jones and Josh Franklin lead the Rummel defense while defensive lineman. For the Griffins, David Elias, a ULM commitment, has three sacks and seven tackles for loss. Senior cornerback Justin Sampson has five interceptions.
"We have played consistently well all year long," said Roth. "We have played focused football for all 10 weeks and stepped up to meet challenges against good teams. We cannot have an off week now. Dutchtown has the whole package with good athletes, they are very well coached and they are a proven playoff team. They are much better than a 16 seed."
#13 MANDEVILLE (8-2) @ #4 CENTRAL (10-1)
The Skippers reached the 5A semifinals a year ago. Guy Lecompte is an outstanding coach and has Mandeville playing well at the right time. Junior quarterback Glen Cuiellette is playing very well and has a fine receiver in Zach Boudreaux. Senior Vincent Lombardo leads the defensive front while Preston Winget is a solid linebacker. The Skippers have pitched back-to-back shutouts and yielded just 34 points in their last six games. They returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns in last week's 31-0 shutout of Covington. The Wildcats of Sid Edwards lost only to Catholic this year. They upset top-seed St. Paul's in the opening round last year and beat Ponchatoula 52-28 in the opening round this year. Central is tested, having faced eight playoff teams. Senior quarterback Brett Courville leads a potent offense that averages 40.6 points per game while the defense has created a turnover margin of plus -15. Central coach Sid Edwards won a 4A state title at Redemptorist in 2003, beating John Curtis.
"We are playing our best football right now," said Lecompte. "We've improved each of the last two weeks. I think our team is beginning to peak. As a coach, you are never comfortable. Central is very explosive offensively. They have a really good scheme, quarterback, receiver and running back. They are not afraid to gamble on special teams. We must be ready for everything. They want to get their offense the ball at any cost. We have to block and tackle and prevent big plays."
#11 JESUIT (8-2) @ #6 AIRLINE (9-2)
The Blue Jays of Wayde Keiser avenged a week 10 loss to district rival West Jefferson, beating the Buccaneers 31-21 in the opening round of the 5A playoffs. Senior quarterback Tanner Lee, a Tulane commitment, has completed 55 percent of his passes for 2,173 yards and 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Senior Mitchell Alexander has 31 catches for 807 yards and 10 scores. Charles Jackson has emerged as a rushing threat of late, averaging over six yards per carry with six touchdowns. The Blue Jays have been to the quarterfinals two straight years. Airline quarterback Hayden Hildebrand is the same height as Lee (6'4) and has similar statistics, completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,452 yards and 25 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He is a Central Arkansas commitment. Trey Turner is a standout wide receiver who missed all of 2011 while Logan Williams and Laterious Pouncy are very good as well. Defensive lineman O.J. Smith returned a week ago to boost the defense.
"It is a long trip but we are excited to be playing in the regional round against a very good opponent," said Keiser. "Hildebrand looks like a carbon copy of Tanner Lee. He throws it well in a spread offense. They put a lot of points on the board. We have a tough task to try to slow these guys down."
#7 PARKWAY (10-1) @ #23 HAHNVILLE (6-4)
David Feaster's Panthers can score points. They average 40.3 points per game. Parkway dumped Live Oak 36-13 in the opening round of the playoffs. Their only loss was a 31-13 district defeat to Airline. Quarterback Brandon Harris runs the ball well while Brian McGuffee is a solid running back. Lou Valdin's Tigers are in an improbable place after opening the season 0-4. Moving linebacker Sergio Medina to running back has jump-started the Hahnville offense and they are purring now after a 25-21 upset win at St. Paul's last Friday night. Quarterback Easton Melancon is playing well. He had his best game of the season, connecting on 14-of-26 passes for 325 yards and two scores against St. Paul's while Kailon Carter is a deep threat in the passing game. Craig Ford is a solid kicker.
"We are healthy at the right time," said Valdin. "We lost three seniors early and got them back. We have a little depth on defense which allowed us to move Sergio to offense. The tailback that broke his leg early, Pernell Dinvaut is back. They have lots of skill on defense," said Valdin. "Our best defense is a good offense, to keep it away from them. If we can run the football on them, we have a good shot."