Baton Rouge, New Orleans teams getting ready for semifinals

Before their teams won quarterfinal football playoff games Friday night, Livonia High coach David Brewerton and Parkview Baptist coach Kenny Guillot briefly discussed the possibilities.

Now that the two teams from opposite ends of the playoff spectrum are set to play each other in a Class 3A semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at PBS, Brewerton put the ground-breaking game into perspective.

“Our kids have done what we’ve asked them to do, which is follow the process and see how far it will take us,” Brewerton said. “Making the semifinals for the first time in school history in 11-man football validates all the things we’ve been teaching for six years.

“With that said, being mentioned in the same sentence with Parkview means so much. They’re one of the powers in 3A, and its a great oppportunity.”

Fifth-seeded Livonia (11-2) at No. 1 Parkview (11-0) is the only semifinal that features two teams from the Baton Rouge area. But the theme is a common one with teams from New Orleans taking on each other in two matchups.

There are also matchups that will send teams across area lines to play each other in semifinals this week.

The winners all advance to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Prep Classic set for Dec. 7-8 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“I’ve been knowing him (Brewerton) since he was an assistant at Redemptorist,” Guillot said. “So they probably know more about us than we do about them. Based on what I’ve seen Livonia has a fine football team.”

Livonia is one of two Baton Rouge area teams making history. Class 2A Springfield (11-1) makes its first semifinal appearance and is the first Livingston Parish school to advance to the semifinal round in 40 years.

The fourth-seeded Bulldogs travel to play No. 1 John Curtis (12-0) at Kenner’s Muss Bertolino Playground. Meanwhile, Baton Rouge’s University High (12-1), the No. 3 seed, faces the other traditional power, No. 2 Evangel Christian (11-2).

However, two semifinals are all about New Orleans and feature three teams with notable playoff experience.

In Class 5A, Mandeville (10-2), a No. 13 seed, advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year with its win over Catholic High. The Skippers play No. 1 Archbishop Rummel (12-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at East Jefferson’s Joe Yenni Stadium. Rummel was the 5A runner-up in 2009.

“Last year this was new to us, and we knew that going to West Monroe was going to be a huge challenge. And it turned out that way, even though we played well,” Mandeville coach Guy LeCompte said. “This group wanted to live up to what last year’s team accomplished and do even more. That’s carried them all season.

“Rummel’s obviously another big challenge. Just look at how well they’re playing. This is going to be a heck of a game.”

In Class 4A, No. 6 Holy Cross (10-2) meets No. 2 Edna Karr (12-0) on Friday at Behrman Stadium. Karr seeks a berth in the title game for the third straight season. Holy Cross is in the semifinals for first time since 1967. The Tigers won state titles in 1945 and 1963.

Here is a class-by-class breakdown:

CLASS 5A: Defending champion West Monroe (11-2), the No. 3 seed, travels to No. 2 Barbe-Lake Charles (12-1) in the other semifinal.

WMHS has beaten Barbe seven times in the playoffs since the late 1990s, including 2008, the last time the Bucs advanced to the semifinals.

A behind-the-scenes story has also developed. WMHS coach Don Shows remained in a Monroe area hospital after being hit on the sidelines during Friday’s quarterfinal win over Airline.

The 72-year-old coach suffered a severe concussion, is conscious but also was in the ICU unit, according to reports by the Monroe News-Star.

CLASS 4A: Top-seeded Neville (12-0) hosts No. 21 McDonogh 35 (8-5) at 7 p.m. Friday. Neville seeks its third 4A title in four seasons.

McDonogh is one of the two lowest seeds remaining in the playoffs.

CLASS 3A: And speaking of lower seeds, No. 22 East Feliciana (8-3) hosts No. 2 Notre Dame-Crowley (11-1), and is the lowest remaining playoff seed. That game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at East Feliciana Middle School in Clinton.

East Feliciana has won six straight and is in the semifinals for second time in three years. The Tigers lost to Curtis in the Class 2A quarterfinals in 2010.

CLASS 2A: U-High and Springfield are Baton Rouge-based teams facing the traditional powers, Curtis and Evangel.

Curtis, Evangel and U-High will all move up to Class 3A for the LHSAA’s next two-year classification period. Curtis and Evangel met in 2A title games from 2008-10 with Evangel winning two out of three.

CLASS 1A: Defending champion Ouachita Christian (13-0) is the top seed and hosts another traditional power in Tangipahoa Parish-based Kentwood (11-1).

Kentwood, the fifth seed, seeks its first title-game berth since 2003.

Meanwhile, No. 6 West St. John (9-3) travels to No. 2 Haynesville (10-2). The Rams, of District 9-1A, beat HHS in the quarterfinals a year ago and finished as the 1A runner-up to OCS.