Is it too dramatic to say that your season is riding on the outcome of one regular-season football game?
St. Michael the Archangel’s Eric Held and Zachary’s Neil Weiner don’t think so. Neither does Scotlandville’s Eric Randall.
“The headline for our guys this week is ‘No letdowns,’ ” Randall said. “We can’t afford any. Last week was a big win for us, but this game is a big one, too. Because Zachary lost last week, you know they’re going to be motivated. On top of everything else, they’ll be looking for payback because Scotlandville beat them at their field last year. Teams remember those things.”
Scotlandville (3-2, 1-0) hosts Zachary (4-2, 0-1) for a pivotal District 4-5A game that helps highlight an intriguing Week 7 schedule in Class 5A-4A.
Held’s St. Michael squad goes on the road for its showdown. The Warriors (5-1, 2-0) travel to play third-ranked Lutcher (5-0, 3-0) in the biggest District 6-4A game to date.
“We’ve had a good week of practice,” Held said. “We’ve practiced with the same kind of intensity we had before we played Catholic (a Warrior victory) in the jamboree. If we come out with that kind of intensity and can carry it through the game, I think good things will happen. Lutcher is a talented team with a lot of tradition. Those guys go out on the field with the expectation that they’ll win every week. That’s a powerful advantage.”
All games begin at 7 p.m. The other 4-5A game is Central (5-1, 1-0) at Walker (2-4, 0-1). In 5-5A, sixth-ranked Dutchtown (4-1, 1-0) travels to East Ascension (3-3, 1-0) in a game matching Ascension Parish rivals. Also, McKinley (4-2, 0-1) meets Catholic (3-2, 1-0) at BREC’s Olympia Stadium. Istrouma (1-5, 1-2) at Plaquemine (3-3, 2-0) rounds out the 6-4A schedule.
“We go into every season with three goals,” Weiner said. “One is to make the playoffs and host a playoff game. The other is to win a district title. The third is to make a deep playoff run.
“Whether or not we can achieve either of those goals is tied directly to how we do in this game. Our players know what to expect and understand what we need to do.
“Scotlandville is a solid team. Their back (Dontrell) Hilliard played well against us last year and their quarterback (Darion Williams) has done a good job in his first year.”
Randall praised Zachary’s first-year quarterback Trey Hills, who leads area 5A passers with 1,468 yards and 18 touchdowns. Donald Gage (532 receiving yards) and Boston Scott (561 rushing yards) also fuel the Broncos. Hilliard has 541 rushing yards and Williams has 784 passing yards.
Just as Scotlandville’s 41-36 win over Zachary last season provides motivation, so does Lutcher’s 45-7 victory over St. Michael. The Warriors trailed just 16-7 at the half.
The two quarterbacks should play key roles. Lutcher’s Ruston Matherne has 961 passing yards and 12 TDs. St. Michael’s Brandon Fields has 718 passing yards. Both signal callers have more than 200 rushing yards.
“I’m not a big believer in what happened last year carrying over,” Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said. “But it was intense last year, and I think our guys had been in that situation more than theirs. It was closer than the score indicated. I expect a similar game.”