Second Season set to begin for St. John football teams

Published 1:21 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

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The 2023 prep football season came to a close last week. For many players, it was their last time putting on the helmets and pads, the last time under the lights of their home field.

But for the four St. John the Baptist Parish teams, the season isn’t quite over yet. All four of the parish’s teams qualified for the playoffs in their respective classifications. Not all of them will play this week, however, thanks to byes in their brackets. But all four have reset their records to 1-0 as they head into the postseason and the road to the Dome.

To no one’s surprise, St. Charles Catholic earned the No. 1 seed in the Division III Select bracket. The Comets have won back-to-back state championships in their division and just finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record after defeating previously undefeated Newman handily, 28-0, to seal the District 10-2 championship and extend their winning streak to 17 games.  Now the Comets get a week to rest with a bi-district bye and will host the winner between No. 16 Loyola Prep and No. 14 Ascension Episcopal on Nov. 17.

Jeremiah Wills once again led the Comets’ offense, rushing for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries. Quarterback Brady St. Pierre and wide receiver Skylar Edwards also connected on a 5-yard touchdown. Jaden Breaux returned a blocked punt for another score. Kyle Cannon stopped one Newman drive with his sixth interception of the season, one of three turnovers for the Comets.

Also resting next week will be the Riverside Academy Rebels, who secured the No. 5 seed in the Division IV Select bracket. The Rebels closed out their regular season with a 63-0 victory over Crescent City Christian to finish 9-1 and clinch their second consecutive District 9-1A championship. They will play the winner between No. 12 Catholic of Pointe Coupee and No. 21 Cedar Creek on Nov. 18.

Riverside coach Lee Roussel spread things out a little bit this week with eight different players scoring touchdowns. Dedric Lastie still led the running game with 82 yards and one TD on eight carries. QB Brock Bourgeois passed for one touchdown and ran for another. Preston Brown ran for one touchdown and caught another. Cameron Matt also ran for one and eighth grader Chris Becknel scored one. Jared Campbell, Dedric Lastie and Chaz Evans all scored on special teams. Jaedon Butler had an interception.

East St. John had a tough closing Thursday night, losing to Holy Cross, 56-19 to finish 7-3. But it still earned the No. 15 seed in the Division I Non-Select bracket and a home game in Round One. The Wildcats will host No. 18 Central of Baton Rouge Friday night at Joe Keller Stadium.

Wildcats quarterback Lorenzo Zeno rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and completed 10 of 20 passes for 122 yards.  Dwayne Brown had a 95-yard kickoff return for the Wildcats.

First-year West St. John Coach Derron Thomas was hoping and praying that his Rams had done enough to keep their season alive after finishing 2-8. His prayers were answered when his team earned the No. 28 seed in the Division IV Non-Select bracket. They will travel to play No. 5 Jeanerette Friday at 7 p.m.

“(This) first season was a blessing from God,” Thomas said. “I love the group of kids and coaches that I have worked with so far this year. They are starting to fully buy into everything that we have instilled to get this program back where it belongs. We have been working really hard to improve each week. To be able to make the playoffs in my first season as a head coach is such a blessing and shows that God will make a way for you even when it looks tough.”