Road To State: LHSAA Division II State Championship Preview
by Jace LeJeune and Lee Brecheen
Well, here we are. We have reached the final destination for the private schools when it comes to the Road to State. 14 teams had one goal in mind and that goal is to be one of nine teams in the end holding a state championship trophy. Now, 12 teams’ seasons are over and there are only now only two teams standing. Both teams had a long journey to get to this point, but now, only one team will get the taste of sweet victory while the other team will suffer the agony of defeat. The Louisiana high school football stage does not get any brighter than this. In this game, the St. Thomas More Cougars will face off against the De La Salle Cavaliers for the Division II state championship crown. Both of these teams have shown that they have what it takes to win the state championship, but which of the two teams will be able to get the win in the end? Well, Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting guru Lee Brecheen and editor Jace LeJeune give their predictions on will claim the right as state champion. This week, we will get you all covered in what you need to know for the Division II state championship game.
Division II State Championship Game:
Matchup: #1 St. Thomas More Cougars (10-2) vs. #2 De La Salle Cavaliers (8-3)
Game Info: Friday, December 6th at 7:00 P.M. Game will be played at St. Thomas More’s Cougar Stadium.
St. Thomas More’s Road To State: Bye in first round; 42-21 win over Evangel Christian Academy in quarterfinals; 52-21 win over St. Louis Catholic in the semifinals
De La Salle’s Road To State: Bye in first round; 45-19 win over Teurlings Catholic in quarterfinals; 17-14 over University Lab in semifinals
Game Preview: Like as expected, the top two seeds meet in the Division II state championship game.
The St. Thomas More Cougars have always been explosive in the passing game under Hall of Fame head coach Jim Hightower, especially this season. The Cougars have one of the best quarterbacks in the state in Harvard commit Caleb Holstein. When it is all said and done, Holstein could be the program’s leading passer as this season, he has thrown for an incredible 3,535 yards and 38 touchdowns. The Cougars’ passing attack also has one of the best junior wide receivers in the state in Jack Bech, who has 81 catches for 1,482 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. Even though the Cougars are known for its passing attack, the team has proved that is can run the football too with senior running back Noah Frederick. The Cougars’ defense has proved to be good enough to win a state championship as it is led by junior defensive back Joshua Stevenson, who is the younger brother of World Series champion Andrew Stevenson, with 119 tackles and two interceptions. The Cougars’ only two losses this season came against the Westgate Tigers and the Catholic High Bears. Coach Hightower, who is the second winningest high school football coach in Louisiana high school football history behind John Curtis head coach J.T. Curtis, is seeking his second state championship of his historic career. Not only do the Cougars want to add another state championship to its trophy case, but to do it at their home stadium would be even sweeter.
The De La Salle Cavaliers will try and crash the championship party at Cougar Stadium. Coach Ryan Manale has done an incredible job with the program leading the team to its second state championship appearance in three seasons after the program has only appeared once prior to his arrival. After losing to the two time defending champion University Lab Cubs in the playoffs the last two seasons, the Cavaliers returned the favor ending the Cubs’ quest for a three-peat with a 17-14 victory. While the Cougars’ bread and butter is the passing attack, the Cavaliers like to do the exact opposite, which is run the football at will with featured running back Montrell Johnson getting most, if not all, the carries. Besides its two playoff victories, the Cavaliers have played a lot of good teams tough including losing to St. Charles Catholic, Lakeshore, and Warren Easton. The Cavaliers also defeated Amite, West St. John, and Country Day over the course of the season in order to help them in this big matchup against the high powered Cougars offensive attack.
Jace’s Pick: St. Thomas More
Lee’s Pick: St. Thomas More
Win-Loss Records For Division II Picks (At Conclusion of Semifinals)
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 third 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 Online Order Link: https://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2019-annual-preview-north-edition/
South Online Order Link: https://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2019-annual-preview-south-edition/