Kickoff Time

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2003

By GEORGE MAHL-Sports Editor

If you ask a coach what are the key games on his schedule, a typical response would be “they’re all key games.” That is true, but L’Observateur thought it would take a look at some interesting games of local interest that will be played early in the season.

Week 1

Lutcher at East St. John

This is a rivalry, it doesn’t matter what the records of the past were with these two teams. The East St. John Wildcats gave Head Football Coach Larry Dauterive his first win as ESJ coach with a victory over Lutcher last year.

It was also the first win in three years against the Bulldogs. This year’s game figures to be a boil down to whether or not Lutcher can stop the ESJ offense, led by QB Ryan Perrilloux.

Riverside at Destrehan

On paper, it looks like David versus Goliath. Destrehan, a 5A school, against Riverside, a 2A school. With both schools having a winning tradition, it could come down to whether the Rebels can stop Division 1 QB prospect DeMarko Hutchinson from having a big game. The good news for Riverside is that win or lose this game will help them earn power points in the rankings, which could be important at the end of the season.

St. James at West St. John

This game has revenge all over it for West St. John. The Edgard school’s last regular season loss was a 2002 week one game against St. James in Vacherie. Josh Lumar will be the new quarterback this year for the Rams, who made it to the quarterfinals last year. There will be several Division one college prospects on display in this game. Tyson Jackson and Quinn Johnson, both of West St. John, have committed to LSU. For St. James, LB Tyrone Madison and TE Jarrel Price are two highly recruited players.

Week 2

Newman at Riverside

With Newman moving up to a 3A school, many thought this rivalry would come to an end. However, Newman will play Riverside in a non-district game on September 12. Newman won last year’s game 35-19 in New Orleans.

Destrehan at Hahnville

No reason to hype this game. Hahnville Head Football Coach Lou Valdin once said of the rivalry “Hahnville against Destrehan is the most intense rivalry I have ever been around.” There is no reason to change it. These teams meet early in the season in what should be an overflow crowd in Boutte. Last year, it came to the wire, with Hahnville prevailing. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium in Boutte.