All local teams playoff bound

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002


All eight local high school football head coaches should pat themselves on the back. That is because all the River Parishes’ teams had good enough seasons to host first-round playoff games on Friday night.

Lutcher versus Belle Chasse

LUTCHER – One of the surprise teams in the area this season has been the Lutcher High School Bulldogs. With no returning starters on defense and only three on offense, the Bulldogs managed to post a respectful 5-5 record.

What is more impressive about this record is the fact Lutcher played one of the toughest schedules in the state. Even though LHS suffered a loss to St. Charles Catholic High School last Friday night, the Bulldogs, seeded 14th in the 3A playoff brackets, will host Belle Chasse High School in the first round of the playoffs.

“Belle Chasse was the state runner-up last season. They were district champs and have got a good nucleus of players back this season,” said LHS head coach Tim Detillier. “We have got our hands full.”

The Cardinals lost their first two games, then won the remaining eight to make the playoffs. If the Bulldogs are going to get the victory, they must stop a high-powered BCHS offense. The Cardinals averaged 40 points per game during the season.

“We certainly can’t look past a team like Belle Chasse. We can only do what everybody else is doing and take it one game at a time,” Detillier said.

The only concern the Bulldogs may have going into Week One of the playoffs is they have not played well near the end of the season. Key district loses to E.D. White, St. James, and St. Charles Catholic prevented Lutcher from having a winning season.

“I believe there are three seasons in high school football. You have the pre-district season, the regular season, and the playoffs. We need to play the way we did in the early part of the season to win this game,” concluded Detillier.

St. James versus Erath

VACHERIE – The St. James High School Wildcats (8-2) used a complete game to defeat Assumption High School in the regular season finale last Friday.

“I thought our preparation for that game was excellent. We had great practices all week,” said St. James head coach Rick Gaille.

By playing well throughout the season, the Wildcats earned a No. 3 ranking in the 3A playoff bracket and will host Erath High School on Friday night.

“I think everyone should be focused on what they have to do. I’m going to try and emphasize on our kids that this is a whole new ballgame,” Gaille said.

The EHS Bobcats finished the season at 5-4, 2-2 in district, while playing in a difficult district. The Bobcats are led by sophomore quarterback Derrick Fourroux. Gaille described Fourroux as an option QB with a good throwing arm.

“He certainly doesn’t play like a sophomore. They have a good, balanced attack where he can get the ball to four different receivers,” Gaille said.

One of the matchups to watch will be the Bobcats wide receivers going against SJ senior defensive back Desi Steib. The Wildcats head coach is not surprised his team is ranked high in the 3A bracket.

“We had a feeling it was going to be somewhere in that area. I think when Newman beat Riverside we may have moved a little,” he said.

West St. John versus Jonesboro-Hodge

EDGARD – The West St. John High School Rams won their ninth game in a row Friday night by crushing Buras High School, 41-0. The Rams (9-1) earned the No. 1 seed in the 2A bracket and will host Jonesboro-Hodge High School, the 32nd seed, this Friday night.

“I think in the Buras game we just outmanned them. We had more depth than they did,” said WSJ head coach Laury Dupont.

J-H features a consistent football team that plays physical. Their rushing attack is led by Jermain Washington.

“He’s the guy that can do a lot of damage offensively,” Dupont said.

The WSJ Rams will likely stick with the same formula that has one them nine in a row.

“We need to have the same consistent practice during the playoffs that we had during the regular season. We can’t afford to take any team lightly,” Dupont said.

Although it would seem to be a possible mis-match, a 32nd ranked team (Southern Lab) has upset a No. 1 ranked team (White Castle) in the past.

” We need to be confident and not overconfident to avoid an upset. I think we’ll just use what brought us to the table,” Dupont said.

St. Charles Catholic versus Franklinton

LAPLACE – Last Friday night, the St. Charles Catholic High School Comets (7-2) ended the regular season on a positive note with a 16-6 victory over Lutcher.

“We played mentally and physically tough in that game. We were able to overcome some adversity and beat a good football team,” said SCC head coach Frank Monica. ” To get to this place after winning only two district games is something you cherish.”

The victory meant just as much to the Comets’ coaching staff as it did to the players, according to Monica.

“Our coaching staff worked extremely hard for this game. Because we have a small staff, I was even more proud of how hard the guys worked in preparation for this one,” Monica said.

The playoffs for the Comets kickoff Friday night when they host Franklinton High School. The Demons finished 5-4 in the regular season due to a difficult schedule.

“They played Kentwood, Bogalusa, and Belle Chasse in the regular season. Those three teams are heavyweights,” Monica said.

The Demons will likely run a wide-open offense that features an athletic quarterback and a couple of good receivers.

“Whoever touches the ball for them is a playmaker,” Monica said.

The game Friday may come down to special teams play. If so, Monica is confident in his team’s ability.

“Those guys (special team players) have helped us out tremendously this year. We have had great field position at times, while the opposing team has had to play on long fields in some games,” Monica said.

Hahnville versus St. Augustine

HAHNVILLE – With a convincing victory over Central Lafourche High School last Friday night, the Hahnville High School Tigers (9-1) won the district 6-5A championship.

“I was really pleased with our offensive line in that game. We were even able to play all three tailbacks we have. That was really important to me,” said Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin.

This week, however, it may not be as easy for the Tigers as they host St. Augustine High School. The Purple Knights feature a high-powered offense that has been successful in the Catholic League of New Orleans.

“St. Aug has got a quarterback that is known as the Michael Vick of high school quarterbacks. He just makes unbelievable plays,” Valdin said.

Hahnville will likely have to rely on the play of their own quarterback, Laron Landry, to get them past the Purple Knights.

“Laron is going to have to carry us through the playoffs. He is also going to need to play an important role on special teams,” Valdin said.

Despite being seeded No. 30, Valdin admitted St. Augustine is not a team his players should overlook.

“They lost to (John) Curtis, Jesuit and (Archbishop) Rummel (High School). Those teams are in the playoffs. St. Augustine rightfully deserves to be in,” Valdin said.

The determining factor in the game may come down to who has the better kicking game.

“Our kicking game is something we need to win. If we don’t give up anything cheap and win the kicking battle, then we’ll be OK. I think our special teams are better than St. Aug’s,” Valdin said.

Destrehan versus West Jefferson

DESTREHAN – Destrehan High School picked up an impressive win over South Lafourche High School last Friday night, 35-19. With the victory, DHS earned a second place finish in district and an eighth seed.

The Fighting Wildcats (9-1) start their playoff run this Friday night when they host West Jefferson High School, the 25th seed.

“Derrick Singleton (West Jefferson quarterback) is a tremendous player. He makes plays that makes his team look awesome,” said DHS head coach Stephen Robicheaux.

DHS starting quarterback Demarko Hutchinson fractured his non-throwing hand last week, but is still expected to play. One thing West Jefferson has going for it is they are coached extremely well. Former Archbishop Shaw High School head coach Hank Tierney, who was highly successful with the Eagles, is leading the Buccaneers into the playoffs.

“Anytime your playing against a Hank Tierney coached team it won’t be easy. He has won wherever he has gone,” Robicheaux said. “I think it also comes down to momentum. Whoever has momentum going into the playoffs will go far.”

Riverside versus McCall

RESERVE – Speaking of momentum, the Riverside Academy Rebels (5-5) had built up some momentum going into last week’s game against district rival Newman High School. However, coach Mickey Roussel’s team fell short in losing 39-18 to the Greenies.

Thanks in large part to the play of Newman quarterback Damion Carter, the Greenies were able to get the victory. Prior to the loss, the Rebels had reeled off four-consecutive victories. Based on strength of schedule, the Rebels earned the 15th seed in the playoffs and will take on McCall High School, the 18th seeded school, Friday night.

It will be difficult for the 18th-seeded team, located east of Monroe, to come to Reserve and earn a victory. Riverside will likely need to have Jared St. Amant run as hard as he did in last Friday’s loss. During an 81-yard scoring drive, the Rebels running back rushed for 65 yards. Also, senior quarterback Scott Poirrier will need to hook up with his favorite target Dexter Falgoust if the Rebels are going to be successful.

East St. John versus Acadiana

RESERVE – The East St. John High School Wildcats will look to continue their two-game winning streak when they host Acadiana High School Friday night in the first-round of the state playoffs. The Wildcats played one of their best games of the season last week when they trounced Terrebonne High School 49-14 in front of a boisterous homecoming crowd.

In the victory, sophomore quarterback Ryan Perrilloux found flanker Reggie Joseph on several occasions, while star running back Derron Thomas rushed for more than 100 yards and scored four times. This week, ESJ (8-2) takes on the Acadiana Rams in Reserve.

“I am ecstatic for our guys. It feels good to be in this position considering the season they had last year,” said ESJ head coach Larry Dauterive. “We are one of the 32 teams in the playoffs. That was one of our goals at the beginning of the year.”

Like ESJ, Acadiana comes from a tough district composed of Barbe High School, Carencro High School, and Lafayette High School. One of the teams in the ESJ side of the bracket is rival Hahnville.

“We want another chance to play Hahnville. If we would, it would be in the quarterfinals,” Dauterive said.

Earlier this year, the Wildcats lost by 28 points to the Tigers.

“We are all in the same boat now. Everyone is 0-0. It’s defitnetly a crap shoot,” Dauterive concluded.