Denham Springs on road against Catholic High
e_SDLqCatholic had a tough year last season and lost some close games. What they did against Mandeville shows you the level of commitment those guys have for this year.” Dru Nettles, Denham Springs coach
Longtime rivals Catholic High and Denham Springs High have played their share of memorable games through the years.
Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles and Catholic coach Dale Weiner would argue that no game is more significant than the one they’ll play against each other this week.
The Bears (1-0) host DSHS (2-0) Friday at Olympia Stadium. The game helps highlight a busy Week 3 schedule that features several games that will serve as measuring sticks for a cross section of teams.
“I’m still excited about last night,” Weiner said of his team’s 26-14 come-from-behind win over Mandeville. “It really was a game that could have gone either way. And I’m proud of our guys because they found a way to turn it our way.
“That’s an ingredient that was missing last year, because we were young and inexperienced. It’s a great accomplishment. Now you’ve got another challenge with Denham Springs. They’re big, physical and multidimensional.”
The DSHS-Catholic is one of several games that should give teams an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
“Catholic had a tough year last season and lost some close games,” Nettles said. “What they did against Mandeville shows you the level of commitment those guys have for this year. Each week the challenges gradually increase. Playing Catholic on the road is the next step for us.”
The Catholic-DSHS is one of several “measuring stick” games for teams in District 5-5A like Catholic. Eighth-ranked Dutchtown (1-0) hosts Sulphur (1-1), while McKinley (2-0) hosts traditional 4A power Northside-Lafayette (0-2).
Perhaps just as notable as the Catholic-DSHS is Lafayette (2-0) at St. Amant (1-0). The senior-laden Gators are looking to make their move into the upper echelon of 5-5A. Lafayette has already beaten one 5-5A team, Woodlawn, and ousted a highly regarded New Iberia squad.
“No doubt this is a big one for us,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “Lafayette is doing some good things. We’ll get a chance to see where we stack up and see what we need to work on.”
The DSHS vs. Catholic game is not the only notable game that matches teams from the two local 5A districts. Unbeaten Central (2-0), of 4-5A travels to 5-5A Woodlawn (0-2).
Central is coming off a big win over 4A power St. Thomas More. WHS is coming off losses to Lafayette and Denham Springs. East Ascension (1-1) travels to Walker (0-2) in another 5-5A vs. 4-5A showdown.
Zachary (1-1) hosts Class 3A East Feliciana (1-0) in a game that will feature one of the state’s top prospects in EFHS quarterback-linebacker Kendell Beckwith. Live Oak (1-1) travels to Broadmoor (1-1), of District 6-4A.
The nondistrict schedule in District 6-4A includes sixth-ranked Lutcher (1-0) at Hahnville (0-1) and Plaquemine (0-2) at Vandebilt Catholic (1-0).
Second-ranked Parkview Baptist (1-0), of Class 3A, and No. 3 University (1-1), of 2A, are among the teams facing new challenges this week. PBS travels to play longtime rival Redemptorist (0-1), while UHS (1-1) travels to 1A White Castle (2-0). UHS is led by its top prospect defensive lineman Tim Williams.
Brusly (2-0), West Feliciana (2-0) and Port Allen (2-0) are other 3A teams looking to stay unbeaten. Brusly hosts 2A Riverside Academy (0-2), while Port Allen hosts 1A Crescent City. WFHS hosts traditional 3A power Independence (1-1)
“We’ve handled things pretty we so far,” Brusly coach Erik Willis said. “Now it’s about getting better.”