Road to the Dome: LHSAA Division III Semifinals Preview
by Jace LeJeune, Cameron Cerniglia, and Lee Brecheen
12 teams are down and there are 4 more teams left to go. All 4 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 Division III semifinal matchups.
#1 Notre Dame (11-0) vs. #5 Isidore Newman (11-1)
Jace’s Game Preview: Could this finally be the year that the Isidore Newman Greenies finally break through and get to the Superdome? Well, last year, it was the West Feliciana Saints that finally overcame that obstacle after falling short for so many years. This year, Head Coach Nelson Stewart and the Greenies would like to duplicate what the Saints accomplished the year before, but they would have to do it against one of the biggest state powerhouses in Notre Dame led by Hall of Fame Coach Lewis Cook. The Notre Dame Pioneers dominated the Episcopal Knights in all three phrases with an impressive 41-0 quarterfinal win. The Pioneers have some motivation as well after being dominated by Catholic New Iberia in the Division III state championship 33-16 last year. Meanwhile, it was tougher sledding for the Greenies as they had to go on a road to face a good Calvary Baptist team. The Greenies’ experience was a key component to the victory as the team was once down 18 points, but the team never backed down and had a big fourth quarter scoring 21 points in the final 12 minutes including a 60 yard game winning touchdown pass from senior QB Martin Butcher to senior WR Murray Calhoun with three minutes left to escape with a 31-28 victory. It should be a great matchup between an explosive offense of Isidore Newman versus a discipline and stingy Notre Dame defensive unit.
Jace’s Pick: Notre Dame
Lee’s Pick: “I love Newman and I think they are finally due. I had a chance to see Newman play a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know if Newman’s defense can stop Notre Dame’s running game. I also think that Newman’s offense is going to score a lot of touchdowns on Notre Dame’s defenses. I think the difference in this game is going to be Notre Dame’s offense versus Newman’s defense. I think Notre Dame will be too much and will control the clock so I am going with Notre Dame in this game.”
#2 Metairie Park Country Day (11-0) vs. #6 Catholic-N.I. (11-1)
Cameron’s Game Preview: Metairie Park Country Day enters this matchup after a shootout with Ascension Episcopal. Country Day came away 58-35 winners. Catholic-N.I. upset Dunham by a score of 35-7. This should be one of the best games in the state this weekend.
Cameron’s Pick: Country Day
Lee’s Pick: “I thought Catholic N.I. would not get through the Dunham game with Derek Stingley Jr. playing. It really shocked me that not only did they beat Dunham, but they beat them pretty good. Country Day’s offense is phenomenal, but Catholic N.I. has proven that they can shut down great players. Country Day QB Justin Ibieta and company will get their points and yards. I still think Catholic N.I. is still young and the biggest difference between Country Day and Dunham is that Country Day has a DI quarterback while Dunham could not throw the ball. I am going to go with Country Day to make it to the Dome.”
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: http://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:
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South Link: http://www.lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-south-edition/