Cubs take on West Feliciana in battle of 4-0 District 7-3A teams
They’ve won 40 games together, two district championships, 14 straight district games and made three consecutive state playoff appearances.
Chad Mahaffey might not have imagined four years ago when he took over University High’s football program what fortunes were in store, but together with a senior class that’s grown to 17, it’s been quite a ride.
“Obviously it’s a special group,” Mahaffey said, noting 15 have been with him since their freshman year. “It’s my first time as a head coach having a group I’ve seen come up all the way through. It will be nice to honor them and have it be sentimental at the same time.”
Not only will University (8-0) host No. 10 West Feliciana (7-1) at 7 p.m. Friday for the right to earn a share of the District 7-3A championship in a battle of 4-0 teams, but the Cubs will honor their decorated senior class before their final regular-season home game.
“Any kind of senior night is kind of a nice send-off for those guys,” said Mahaffey, who is 40-7 at U-High. “You start to look at them and realize they’re going to be gone and you’re going to miss having them around in your program.”
Other lower classification games with title implications will be in District 5-1A where No. 9 Pointe Coupee Central (6-2, 3-0) entertains Sacred Heart-Ville Platte (5-2, 3-0) in LaBarre.
No. 10 Episcopal (8-0, 4-0) can also wrap up a share of the 6-2A crown with a home win over Redemptorist (2-6, 1-3).
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, West Feliciana will enter the Class 3A playoffs among the top nonselect teams. The Saints, who have won six straight games, get the chance to prepare for a potential deep run with back-to-back road games with U-High and No. 7 Parkview Baptist.
“We’re definitely going to be tested before we get to the playoffs with the way we finish the regular season,” West Feliciana coach Robb Odom said. “There’s no doubt that this is one of the top 3A districts in the state and maybe other classes, too. It’s a very competitive, tough district.”
West Feliciana relies on a rotation at quarterback between juniors Ryan Reed and Michael Johnson to trigger an option attack averaging 36 points.
Seniors Tre Bailey and Desmond Wilson are two of the Saints running backs, while senior Aaron Cupit and Anthony Epps divide time at fullback and 6-foot-5 junior Jazz Ferguson provides a big target at wide receiver.
“Our kids are excited to be playing the No. 1 team,” Odom said. “Hopefully we’ll protect the ball a little bit and, defensively, we’ve got to get them off the field a little bit and get a few stops.”
Junior LSU commitment Nick Brossette, the state’s 14th leading rusher, tops U-High with 157 carries for 1,052 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Manny Miles has completed 69 of 106 passes for 1,379 yards for 15 TDs, with seniors D’Vante Dotson (19-473, eight TDs) and Brandt Broussard (18-433, five TDs) serving as his chief targets.
“With all the good teams in our district, for anyone to say they’re the district champion, means a lot,” Mahaffey said. “We can win at least a share of that this week. West Feliciana’s fighting for the same thing and we expect a great, competitive game.”