Road To The Dome: LHSAA Class 5A Semifinals Preview
by Jace LeJeune and Lee Brecheen
28 teams are down and there are only four more left to go. Four teams remain standing and all four of these teams have one goal in mind. That goal is to be one of nine teams in the end holding a state championship trophy. For Louisiana football fans, this is the most wonderful time of the year. It is our version of “March Madness”. This year, we got you covered as for the next couple of weeks, we will go through all of the matchups from 1A all the way to 5A private and public each and every week leading up to the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic from December 13th-14th. Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting expert Lee Brecheen and editor Jace LeJeune give their insight on which teams will survive and continue their march to the State Championship. Today, we preview the Class 5A public division semifinal playoff matchups. This week, we will find out which teams will be battling it out for the Class 5A state championship.
#1 Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams (13-0) vs. #5 Zachary Broncos (11-2)
Game Preview: The Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams and the Zachary Broncos face off in the Class 5A semifinals in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal game, which was won by the Broncos. Even though the Broncos have won the last two Class 5A state championships and are looking for its third straight championship under head coach David Brewerton, the Wreckin’ Rams enter the game as the favorite under head coach Matt McCullough. The Rams have made the case as the most dominant team in the state this season. Over the last three games, the Rams have won by a combined score of 161-35. Offensively, the veer attack has been unstoppable with the offense scoring 50 or more points in five games this season. The Wreckin’ Rams’ dynamic running attack is led by the program’s all-time leading rusher Dillan Monnette along with fellow running backs Lucky Brooks, Tyvin Zeno, and quarterback Keontae Williams. Monnette has ran for an incredible 1,951 yards and 31 touchdowns while the other three have ran for over 900 yards this season. Even though Acadiana’s defense has played well in the playoffs even shutting down an explosive Walker Wildcats offense in the second round, the unit will have a tough task in trying to stop Zachary’s quarterback Keilon Brown, who is a Memphis commit. Brown is trying to accomplish something that has hardly been done at the high school football level, and that is win three straight state championships. Brown has accounted for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. His partner in crime is star wide receiver Keilon Brown, who has had 41 catches for 806 yards and ten touchdowns since recovering from injury. Even though both bring two different styles of offense to the table, there could be plenty of points in tonight’s game.
Jace’s Pick: Acadiana
Lee’s Pick: Acadiana
#7 Destrehan Wildcats (10-3) vs. #11 Haughton Buccaneers (11-2)
Game Preview: Both the Destrehan Wildcats and the Haughton Buccaneers were not the overwhelming favorites to get to this point as the number seven and eleven seeds, but both teams have more than deserved to get to this point. The Wildcats are coming off one of the most impressive upsets in the playoffs going on the road and defeating the number two seed West Monroe Rebels on a game winning field goal. After starting the season at 4-3, the Wildcats, under head coach Stephen Robicheaux, have won seven straight games to get to this point. The Wildcats will rely on quarterback Damarius Jackson in the passing game, but the real bread and butter is the running game as Alabama running back commit Kyle Edwards has had some dominant games in the Wildcats’ playoff run. Also, offensively, if the Wildcats need to throw, they can rely on star receiver Quincy Brown. In speaking of taking over games, Destrehan senior defensive end and Tulane commit Noah Taliancich can do just that as he has 43 tackles, 5.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss and a forced fumble this season. The Buccaneers have had their best playoff run since Dak Prescott (Mississippi State/Dallas Cowboys) was playing quarterback for the team. Under head coach Jason Brotherton, the Buccaneers have a talented quarterback in Peyton Stovall. Stovall also has two talented wide receivers to throw to in Louisiana Tech commit CJ McWilliams, senior wide receiver Tristan Sweeney, and senior receiver Matthew Whitten. The Bucs can also run the football with Keyshawn Davis as well. Haughton’s defense has also been solid giving up no more than 21 points in the team’s last three games.
Jace’s Pick: Destrehan
Lee’s Pick: Haughton
Jace’s State Championship Prediction: Acadiana vs. Destrehan
Lee’s State Championship Prediction: Acadiana vs. Haughton
Win-Loss Records For Class 5A Picks: (At Conclusion of Quarterfinals):
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