There will be no shortage of district showdowns as high school football teams in the Baton Rouge area approach Week 8 of the regular season.
Three key league games are part of a five-game Thursday schedule. Central (6-1, 2-0) hosts Denham Springs (4-3, 1-1) in a District 4-5A game that will be televised statewide. St. Michael the Archangel (5-2, 2-1) hosts Plaquemine (4-3, 3-0) for a 6-4A contest at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium.
“We’ve played Thursday games before, but they’ve usually been in Baton Rouge,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “This is the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve hosted. I’d say there’s a lot at stake for both teams, and it’s as intense a rivalry as there is.
“Right now, with wins over Denham and Zachary, I’d say Scotlandville is in the catbird seat in our district. But there are still some big games left to play, and this is one of them.”
Plaquemine has one won four straight and is one of the area’s hottest teams. The Green Devils play St. Michael, which is coming off a Week 7 loss to Lutcher.
“There are no excuses,” St. Michael coach Eric Held said. “We have to get back up and
be ready to play on a short week.”
Another rival game has Christian Life (4-3, 2-0) facing No. 8 Southern Lab (6-1, 2-0) in District 7-1A action at SU’s Mumford Stadium.
“I expect it to be a good one,” Southern Lab coach Nick Mitchell said. “We’ve both been winning, but anytime Southern Lab and Christian Life get together I think you can throw the records out. It’s pretty intense.”
The theme of parity continues Friday with a series of games highlighted by a District 7-3A showdown in which seven-ranked Brusly (6-1, 2-0) hosts No. 5 St. Charles Catholic (4-2, 2-0).
“St. Charles ... the whole area around the school was hurt so bad by the hurricane (Isaac),” Brusly coach Erik Willis said. “Now you can see they’re back doing the things they do. It’ll be two teams trying to do their thing and see who can do that the best. I think a real key will be up front. We need solid line play on both sides of the ball.”
Catholic High (4-2, 2-0) hosts East Ascension (3-4, 1-1) in the most intriguing 5-5A game at BREC’s Olympia Stadium. The Bears are coming off a 40-6 win over McKinley, while East Ascension lost 20-14 to No. 6 Dutchtown.
Dutchtown (5-1, 2-0) travels to Woodlawn (0-7, 0-2) and St. Amant (5-1, 1-1) travels to McKinley (4-3, 0-2) in 5-5A. The other 4-5A games are Live Oak (4-3, 1-1) at Scotlandville (4-2, 2-0) and Walker (2-5, 0-2) at Zachary (4-3, 0-2).
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen parity like this between the two Baton Rouge 5A districts,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “If there was ever a time for players to believe their coaches when they say on any given night any team can win, this is it.
“All you have to do is open up the paper or watch TV to see it. The score for our game last week was deceptive. We got some breaks early, but McKinley is talented. I think the same thing is true with East Ascension. Their skill players are as good as you’ll find, and they’ve lost some extremely close, tough games.”
Baton Rouge’s highest ranked teams, No. 1 Parkview Baptist (6-0, 1-0) and No. 4 University High (6-1, 2-0) host district games. PBS meets Glen Oaks (0-6, 0-1) in District 6-3A. UHS faces The Dunham School (4-3, 1-1).
Pointe Coupee Central (4-2, 4-0) and Catholic-Pointe Coupee Central (4-2, 4-0) play pivotal 6-1A games. PCC hosts Sacred Heart-Ville Platte (4-3, 3-1) at Community Park in New Roads. CHSPC travels to Opelousas to play Westminster Christian (5-2, 3-1).
Meanwhile, No. 7 West St. John (3-3, 2-0) hosts White Castle (6-1, 2-0) in 9-1A action.
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