Road to the Dome: LHSAA Division I Quarterfinals Preview
by Jace LeJeune, Cameron Cerniglia, and Lee Brecheen
8 teams are down and there are 8 more teams left to go. All 16 teams have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they all have one goal in mind. That is to be one of nine teams in the end holding a state championship trophy in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the Queen smash hit “We Are the Champions” playing in the background. 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 public and private each and every week leading up to the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic from December 6th-8th. Louisiana Football Magazine’s expert Lee Brecheen has seen all of these teams play and gives his insight on which teams will survive and continue their march to the Superdome. Today, we preview the Division I quarterfinal matchups.
#1 John Curtis (10-0) vs. #8 Jesuit (6-5)
Jace’s Game Preview: After sitting a week because of the bye, the John Curtis Patriots are well rested and ready to start their playoff run against Catholic league rival Jesuit. The Blue Jays faced another familiar face in the first round of the playoffs when the team met up with St. Paul’s, which was a team that the Blue Jays defeated 34-24 earlier in the season. The rematch was even more competitive than the first one. Even though the dominant Blue Jay defense contained St. Paul’s star QB Jack Mashburn to only 172 yards passing, the Wolves still had the lead 17-14 late in the game. With just a little over three minutes to play in the game, the Blue Jay offense stepped up when it needed to when senior WR Noah Varnado caught a ten yard pass and outraced everybody for a 66 yard game winning touchdown. After an intense game, the Blue Jays must shift their focus to the Patriots, which is the team that everybody looks up to. In the last meeting, the Patriots shut out the Blue Jays 23-0. The biggest key of the game is the line of scrimmage. If the Patriots’ offense control the tempo with their split back veer offense, it will be almost impossible to beat them. If the Blue Jays’ stout defense can force third and longs, then they have a shot at the upset.
Jace’s Pick: John Curtis
Lee’s Pick: “Jesuit has one of the best defenses in the state. Their defense will keep them in the game all night long. The thing is that Jesuit has been inconsistent at times on offense. I got to give John Curtis a close advantage, but if John Curtis was to lose in this game, it wouldn’t shock me knowing how good Jesuit’s defense is. I just think their offense is going to have to match John Curtis point for point, but I think it will be a close game.”
#4 C.E. Byrd (7-2) vs. #5 Evangel Christian Academy (7-3)
Jace’s Game Preview: In this playoff matchup between two football powerhouse programs from the Shreveport area, both the C.E. Byrd Yellow Jackets and the Evangel Christian Academy Eagles have a lot to prove to one another. The Yellow Jackets are hoping to avenge their blowout 42-7 loss to the Eagles earlier this year while the Eagles are looking to not only sweep the Yellow Jackets this year, but to also prove why they should have been the number four seed and get an extra week of rest. The Yellow Jackets have sure gotten their rest after getting the bye while Evangel Christian Academy dominated their first round game against Archbishop Shaw from start to finish. The game should be a lot closer than the first one, but the Eagles’ talent and their tough out of state schedule has them ready to make a big run.
Jace’s Pick: Evangel Christian Academy
Lee’s Pick: “I went to the regular season game between both teams, and it was over by halftime. I think Byrd will make this a close game because they will try to make it a revenge game. The only difference is that the game will be closer, but however, Evangel Christian Academy is still going to win this ball game.”
#3 Archbishop Rummel (8-2) vs. #6 Brother Martin (7-4)
Cameron’s Game Preview: Archbishop Rummel enters the second round of the playoffs well rested after having a bye in the first round. Brother Martin is coming off a big 30-0 win over Scotlandville. This will be a great game but Rummel having the bye may help them come out with a win.
Cameron’s Pick: Rummel
Lee’s Pick: “Brother Martin shocked me beating Scotlandville with a true freshman quarterback. I am going to go with Rummel in this game because I think the coaching with Jay Roth and I think QB Chandler Fields, WR Koy Moore, and the rest of their offense is going to find a way to win. They know how to win these type of games.
#2 Catholic-B.R. (9-1) vs. #10 St. Augustine (6-5)
Cameron’s Game Preview: Catholic High School comes into the second round after having a bye in the first round. They will face St. Augustine who is coming off a 34-9 win against Holy Cross. St. Augustine has some momentum heading into this game, but it will be hard to stop Catholic in Baton Rouge.
Cameron’s Pick: Catholic
Lee’s Pick: “St. Augustine is really coming on with their running game and their passing game. Then, their defense is the best as far as they come along in the playoffs. They have great players that can sign DI, but I think Catholic will win this even though it won’t be easy.”
Hey football fans. Like our recruiting interviews, stories, and other content on our website? Click on our website daily to view articles on recruits, coaches, and so much more at our website: https://www.lafootballmagazine.com/. Also, we have exciting news that for the second straight year, we will have our North and South LA issues and both are now out! Both issues will continue to cover all the Louisiana colleges as well as all the high schools in state, but there will be 16 pages that will focus on North Louisiana as well as South Louisiana. For more information, please check the following link to where you can find the magazine in a store near you. Also, below are the two covers as well as where you can order both magazines on our website.
North Cover: South Cover:
North Link: https://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-north-edition/
South Link: https://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-south-edition/