Road to the Dome: LHSAA Class 4A Quarterfinals Preview
by Jace LeJeune, Cameron Cerniglia, and Lee Brecheen
24 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 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 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 Class 4A public division quarterfinal playoff matchups.
#1 Edna Karr (11-0) vs. #9 Bastrop (9-2)
Jace’s Game Preview: The Edna Karr Cougars keep on dominating in what looks like a run to another trip to the Superdome after an impressive performance against the Tioga Indians with a final score of 49-13. Meanwhile, the Bastrop Rams stopped a red hot Westgate Tigers team that was trying to get the momentum going after their first round upset victory against the Plaquemine Green Devils. The Rams found a way to not only win, but pretty much control the tempo of the game against the great athletes of Westgate and won with a final score of 40-14. In speaking of athletes, there will be plenty of really good ones on the field in this quarterfinal matchup featuring the Edna Karr Cougars and the Bastrop Rams. A great matchup to watch for is this explosive Bastrop offense led by QB Quaterius Hawkins against a ball hawking Edna Karr Cougar defense led by Arkansas commit CB Devin Bush.
Jace’s Pick: Edna Karr
Lee’s Pick: “I think Bastrop is going to be one of these Cinderella teams. I just don’t think that they will have enough talent to beat Edna Karr, but man, I love their team and their quarterback Quaterius Hawkins. I don’t think Bastrop can stop Edna Karr’s offense. I think Edna Karr will move on to the next round.”
#4 Neville (9-2) vs. #5 Lakeshore (12-0)
Jace’s Game Preview: This is another great matchup between two teams that played in the playoffs last year. The Neville Tigers are looking revenge after losing to the Lakeshore Titans 55-24 last year in the quarterfinals while the Lakeshore Titans are on a mission to return back to the Superdome after their breakout season a year ago. The Tigers had a dominant performance against Pearl River Rebels in their 31-9 second round victory while the Titans took care of the Livonia Wildcats in their 35-21 second round victory thanks to the efforts of RB Christian Westcott, who ran for three touchdowns. This should be a great matchup between an upstart program in Lakeshore versus a football powerhouse in Neville. The Tigers will be plenty motivated after their playoff loss last season.
Jace’s Pick: Neville
Lee’s Pick: “This is a rematch of the playoffs last year in the quarterfinals and Lakeshore won convincingly. I think Lakeshore was much better last year even though Jacob Bernard is back for them. Neville is a little better than they were last year so I am going to go with Neville to win this game.”
#3 St. Martinville (12-0) vs. #6 Leesville (13-0)
Cameron’s Game Preview: St. Martinville comes into this game having defeated Belle Chasse 28-7 in the second round while Leesville defeated Assumption 27-14. Both of these teams can score so this game might come down to which defense makes a play late in the game.
Cameron’s Pick: St. Martinville
Lee’s Pick: “I hate to pick a game here because I think both teams are Cinderella teams and are having phenomenal years. I am going to go with St. Martinville in this one. If you asked me three weeks ago, I would have said Leesville. Leesville has a really good offense with three good running backs, a big offensive line, and a young, talented quarterback, but St. Martinville has a phenomenal offense. They have a senior running back named Travien Benjamin that is a phenomenal player. I think St. Martinville is on a mission and this is their best team since when they had Early Doucet (LSU/Arizona Cardinals/Seattle Seahawks). It has been a long time since they have had an offense this good and their defense is very underrated. St. Martinville has more of a complete team while Leesville has a great offense. I am going to go with St. Martinville in a close game.”
#2 Warren Easton (9-2) vs. #7 Northwood-Shreveport (12-0)
Cameron’s Game Preview: Both of these teams had big wins in the second round. Warren Easton defeated Breaux Bridge by a score of 45-0 while Northwood defeated Helen Cox 53-15. There will be lots of scoring in this game.
Cameron’s Pick: Warren Easton
Lee’s Pick: “For Warren Easton, this is going to be their first challenge. I thought Breaux Bridge would give them a challenge, but I was way off on that and I was wrong. They shut Breaux Bridge 45-0. I have seen Northwood Shreveport play. Neither team will stop each other. I think people need to realize that Northwood’s quarterback Luke Bogan is one of the best in the entire state. Their offense is phenomenal. I don’t think Northwood’s defense can stop Warren Easton so it is going to be one of those 45-40 games so I am going to go with Northwood in this game in an upset. I think they are a Cinderella team.”
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