Same old story for football playoffs

By Ron Brocato, Clarion Herald Sports

As Nos. 8 and 9 seeds, Jesuit and St. Paul’s were set to face each other on the field of battle on Saturday (Nov. 10) at 6 p.m. for the second time this season. The two “select” schools, who met in Week 2 of the regular season, were playing a Division I first-round game at Tad Gormley Stadium for the chance to take on No. 1 seed, John Curtis, the following week.

And once again, St. Augustine and Holy Cross, both members of the Catholic League (District 9-5A), were scheduled to be on opposite sidelines for the second time when they opened the Division I playoffs. But this time, the venue was Joe Yenni Stadium on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

Repeating the same old story since the Louisiana High School Athletic Association principals initiated a dual playoff systen for public and non-public schools in 2013, division and class championship trophies will be handed out to winners of nine title games at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Dec. 6-8.

Jesuit defeated St. Paul’s, 34-24, the first time they played. Both teams  finished the regular season with 5-5 records and drew middle-of-the pack seeds in the 12-team division.

Holy Cross came from behind to defeat St. Augustine, 24-20, on Oct. 25. The victory helped Holy Cross (7-3) gain the higher seed, No. 7, while St. Augustine (5-5) was placed at No. 10. 

The winner will then take on No. 2 Catholic High of Baton Rouge, the 2017 Division I champion, which carries a 9-1 record.

Fresh from a 16-8 victory over Jesuit, Brother Martin (6-4) drew the No. 6 seed for its first-round game against No. 11 Scotlandville (4-5).

The Crusaders lost a close game to the Hornets (35-33)  in Baton Rouge a year ago. Tad Gormley Stadium will be the site of the Nov. 9 rematch at 7 p.m.

As the No. 12 seed, Archbishop Shaw (2-8) was set to travel to No. 5 Evangel (6-3) in Shreveport on Nov. 9. The winner will meet No. 4 and host Byrd in the quarterfinal round.

As the second-place team in District 9-5A, Archbishop Rummel has a bye and will host the Brother Martin-Scotlandville winner next week.

In Division II matchups, No. 4 and unbeaten Archbishop Hannan will host No. 13 Lusher (3-7). 

If the Hawks can scratch out another win to improve  to 11-0, they will host the winner of the De La Salle vs. Vandebilt Catholic quarterfinal round game. De La Salle (6-3), which humbled the Hawks, 52-14, in the 2017 quarterfinal round, qualified for its first championship game since 1961 but lost badly to University Lab, 45-19.

University (10-0) is again the No. 1 seed in that division.

St. Charles Catholic (7-3) and a 14-12 winner over De La Salle two weeks ago, drew a bye as the No. 2 seed, and will watch with interest the battle of the 4-6 teams, Parkview Baptist vs. Teurlings Catholic. The Comets will host the winner a week later.

Pope John Paul II (2-8) is the No. 13 seed in Division III and will visit No. 4 Calvary Baptist (7-3) with hope of springing an upset in Shreveport and move on to face either Newman (9-1) or Northlake Christian (2-8) in the quarterfinal round.

The Prep Classic will feature nine championship games:

Thursday, Dec. 6 – Class 1A, noon; Division IV, 3:30 p.m.; Division III, 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 7 – Class 2A, noon; Division II, 3:30 p.m.; Class 3A, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8 – Division I, noon; Class 4A, 3:30 p.m.; Class 5A, 7 p.m.

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