Road To State: LHSAA Division IV Quarterfinals Preview
by Jace LeJeune and Lee Brecheen
8 teams are down and there are 8 more teams left to go. All 8 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 end. 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 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 Division IV quarterfinal matchups.
#1 Vermilion Catholic Eagles (10-1) vs. #8 Metairie Park Country Day Cajuns (5-4)
Game Preview: It is a matchup featuring two of the best quarterbacks in the state as Vermilion Catholic junior quarterback Drew Lege faces off against Metairie Park Country Day senior quarterback and Tulane commit Justin Ibieta. If you love watching great quarterback play and a lot of points being put on the scoreboard, this is your type of game. In the first round, the Vermilion Catholic Eagles defeated the Ascension Christian Lions 50-7 while the Metairie Park Country Day Cajuns defeated the Central Catholic Eagles 30-15.
Jace’s Pick: Vermilion Catholic
Lee’s Pick: Vermilion Catholic
#4 Calvary Baptist Academy Cavaliers (11-0) vs. #5 Ouachita Christian Eagles (10-1)
Game Preview: What a great quarterfinal matchup between two Division IV state championship hopefuls. It is most likely that the winner of this game could be a favorite to go all the way to the state championship. Both teams are arguably the most balanced teams in the bracket in terms of all three phases on the football field. Both the Cavaliers and the Eagles had no trouble in their first round game as Calvary Baptist Academy defeated St. Frederick 52-12 while Ouachita Christian defeated Sacred Heart 54-0. For the Cavaliers, running back Isaiah Brown dominated the game before the game even started scoring three touchdowns in the first three minutes of the game. Ouachita Christian quarterback Hunter Herring had a great game against the Trojans throwing for five touchdowns. This grudge match between Calvary Baptist Academy head coach Rodney Guin and Ouachita Christian head coach Steven Fitzhugh is worthy as one of the top games in the state this week no matter the bracket.
Jace’s Pick: Calvary Baptist Academy
Lee’s Pick: Calvary Baptist Academy
#3 Ascension Catholic Bulldogs (10-0) vs. #6 Southern Lab Kittens (8-3)
Game Preview: It looked as if both teams were trying to avoid each other after playing in District 7-1A the last couple of seasons, but even with the Southern Lab Kittens moving to another district, the Kittens and Bulldogs have to find a way of bumping each other in the quarterfinals. The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs continued on their undefeated season by dominating the Riverside Academy Rebels 55-20 last Saturday morning. It was the Bulldogs’ bread and butter that led the way to an easy victory as its all-time leading rusher Jai Williams ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Also, Khai Prean and Eric Simon added to a grand total of 441 total rushing yards The Southern Lab Kittens took care of business in their first round matchup against the St. Edmund Blue Jays 53-7. Quarterback Angelo Izzard had a huge game for the Kittens throwing for 300 yards and five touchdowns while his favorite target Houston wide receiver commit Reginald Johnson dominated with 201 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The familiar rivals face off in what should be an exciting matchup between two of the bracket’s most athletic teams.
Jace’s Pick: Ascension Catholic
Lee’s Pick: Southern Lab
#2 Opelousas Catholic Vikings (10-1) vs. #7 Catholic-Pointe Coupee Hornets (9-2)
Game Preview: The only blemish on the Opelousas Catholic Vikings’ record came against the Catholic-Pointe Coupee Hornets earlier this season. Not only it was a loss for the Vikings, but it was a dominant loss as the Hornets won 44-10 to clinch the district championship. In the earlier game, the Hornets won the game based on a crazy third quarter when the team forced four turnovers and scored four touchdowns in that one quarter alone. The Vikings are highly motivated knowing that they got another shot at the team that beat them this year. For the Catholic-Pointe Coupee Hornets, they would like to crush the Vikings’ hopes once again. In the first round, the Opelousas Catholic Vikings defeated the Hamilton Christian Warriors 69-0 while the Catholic-Pointe Coupee Hornets defeated the Cedar Creek Cougars 28-7. In a matchup of two district rivals, it will be a chess match of two conflicting styles. The Vikings, under head coach Thomas David, like to throw the football with quarterback Jesse Roy and wide receivers Keon Coleman and Ronal Patin. The Hornets, under head coach David Simoneaux, likes to run the football with junior running back Matthew Langlois, who is already the all-time rushing touchdowns leader in program history.
Jace’s Pick: Opelousas Catholic
Lee’s Pick: Opelousas Catholic
Win-Loss Records For Division IV Picks (At Conclusion of First Round):
Jace’s Bracket Breakdown: “This could be the only private school bracket that featured eight quarterfinal teams that legitimately have a chance at winning the state championship. In regards to Vermilion Catholic–Country Day, I think it is going to be an absolute shootout with two great quarterbacks, but I take the better team in Vermilion Catholic to advance. In the best matchup of the entire bracket, I also think it is going to be a great one between Calvary Baptist and Ouachita Christian. In fact, I believe the winner of this game is going to win it all. I like the Cavaliers in this one because it seems that this is the best team in the bracket. On the opposite side, I like Ascension Catholic and truly believe that this team is better than their last two state championship runner-up teams. The Bulldogs will get a great test from arguably the most athletic team in the bracket in Southern Lab, but I have them moving on to the semis. Finally, there is a rematch between Opelousas Catholic and Catholic-Pointe Coupee. The Vikings are going to be motivated to play after getting destroyed by the Hornets so I have Opelousas Catholic getting revenge and moving on to the semis.”
Lee’s Bracket Breakdown: “This is a very tough bracket. It’s crazy to think that Vermilion Catholic, Country Day, Ouachita Christian, and Calvary Baptist are just on one side of the bracket. However, I am going with Calvary Baptist not only winning that side of the bracket, but also the entire bracket. On the other side, I am going to go with Opelousas Catholic to get to the state championship game.”
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