by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
3 Championship Reigns Come To An End
Calvary Baptist, Madison Prep and St. Thomas More saw their championship reigns come to an end last Friday night.
The Cavaliers fell in overtime to Ouachita Christian, the team they face for last year’s Division IV title. The loss snapped an eight game winning streak and also gave Calvary Baptist its first playoff loss since losing to the Eagles in 2019.
Madison Prep saw its Class 3A championship reign come to an end in an overtime thriller to No. 1 Sterlington.
For the first time in three seasons, the Division II title game will not feature St. Thomas More, who lost to top-seeded E.D. White last week. The Cougars have advanced to the semifinals or better for the last seven seasons.
For the first time in school history, the Avoyelles football team will make an appearance in the Louisiana state semifinals. The Mustangs first appearance in the playoffs came in 1990.
Eleven of the 20 semifinalists are back from last season. Here are the 20, with their most recent seasons in the semifinals:
First – Avoyelles
1952 – Ponchatoula
1990 – Jonesboro-Hodge
2002 – St. Martinville
2010 – Westgate
2018 – Haynesville, Sterlington
2019 – Amite, Logansport
2020 – Acadiana, Church Point, Destrehan, Edna Karr, Homer, Many, Neville, Oak Grove, Union Parish, Warren Easton, Zachary
STORYLINES BY CLASS
- Zachary and Destrehan each made semifinal appearances last season but neither were able to punch a ticket to the championship game. It is certain that one will make advance to the Prep Classic Friday night when the two square off. Each squad has put up a fair amount of points through the first three rounds with Destrehan looking to go toe-to-toe with Zachary’s high-octane offense.
- One team has become a regular in the state championship picture while the other is making history Friday night. Ponchatoula is participating in its first semifinal game since 1952 which would seem to give visiting two-time defending champion Acadiana the upper-hand. The Rams know how to win late in the postseason and are hungry to get back to the Class 5A title game. However, Coach Hank Tierney and his Green Wave squad are determined to take down one of football’s elite programs at home in front of a huge hometown crowd. To put the cherry on top, a win would give Tierney his 300th career victory.
- Edna Karr has not missed a trip to the Prep Classic since 2015 and the Cougars are not looking to change that when they take on Westgate at home Friday night. Karr has won half of the last 10 state titles in Class 4A while Westgate hopes to make a stir in its first semifinal appearance since the 2010 season. Although it’s been a minute since the Tigers were in a situation to advance to a state title game, they defitinetly have experience playing against some of the most talented squads this state has to offer. With victories over Lake Charles Prep, St. Thomas More and Carencro, will Westgate be able to take down another giant when it matters most?
- In one of the highly anticipated showdowns around the state on Friday, Neville welcomes Warren Easton to Monroe for what is to surely be a slobber knocker bout. The last time that the Class 4A semifinals did not have these two squads playing was back in 2017. The two fixtures hope to make their mark and to punch a ticket to the Ceasar’s Superdome next weekend. Warren Easton has been untouched through the first three rounds, averaging 63 points per game and allowing only 19 points. The Neville Tigers will have to be on the top of their game as the Eagles look to swoop in for the road victory to secure a date in NOLA.
- Sterlington has no doubt cemented itself as the team to beat for a state title in Class 3A this season. The No. 1 seeded Panthers took down defending champion Madison Prep last week to advance to their first semifinal appearance in three years. The work is not done just yet as Church Point comes to town in a bid to upend the top-ranked squad in northeast Louisiana. The Bears bring a versatile offense and a defense that has not allowed many points. However, they will have to stop Sterlington through the air and on a ground for a shot at a trip to New Orleans.
- Union Parish is on a revenge tour with start tailback Trey Holly at the lead. The Farmers will have to win one more on the road in order to get back the state championship with a trip down to St. Martinville for a date with an offense that has put up some impressive numbers in the postseason.
- The regular season showdown between district rivals Avoyelles and Many was all that a high school football fan could ask for. Multiple lead changes, explosive plays and sky-high emotions. Now, multiply all of that by 10 for Friday night’s rematch between the two. No. 1 Many is one win away from a chance to defend its 2020 state title while the Mustangs are the new kids on the block hoping to take down the highly-favored Tigers. Expect nothing short of a battle with the no-nonsense offense from Avoyelles hoping to slide past the experience Tiger defense. On the other hand, the Mustangs must be able to make stops on the defensive sides especially against the likes of Tackett Curtis and London Williams at the helm.
- Jonesboro-Hodge is looking to get back to the state title game for the first time in two decades. The Tigers will have to climb uphill and through the snow in order to get back to the Superdome as they face favorited Amite in the semifinal round of the Class 2A playoffs. The Indians have won nine straight games and posted four shutouts along the way. Jonesboro’s Xavier Atkins is the state’s leading tackler and could
- Logansport and Oak Grove meet in the semifinal round for the second time in three seasons. The Oak Grove shut out Logansport back in 2019 but the DeSoto Parish Tigers hope to exact its revenge in hopes of getting back to the Class 1A state title game. Both teams are battle tested and know how to win the important contests. It could be a closer game than some may expect. Could home field play a factor in this game or will Oak Grove be able to upset for the top-seeded Logansport squad in its quest for a third-straight championship?
- It will be the Claiborne Parish Super Bowl Part Deaux this time around as Haynesville and Homer get ready to do battle in the oldest high school football rivalry in Louisiana. With a trip to the Class 1A state championship on the line, this is the biggest game in the rivalry since the two met for the title back in 1971. Haynesville came out on the winning side that time with an 11-9 advantage in first downs after ending regulation in a tie. Don’t expect a tie this go around but do expect the very best from each squad. If the Golden Tornado can limit the turnovers and prevent Homer from gaining yards through the air, it will have a chance to stay in the game in the second meeting of the season. If Homer can control the clock and continue to execute its game plan, the Pelicans could find themselves in the state title game for the first time since 1985.
- E.D. White has not been to a state championship game since 1981 but the Cardinals are more than ready to establish themselves as the team to beat Saturday against University Lab. The Thibodaux based school suffered through the devastation from a hurricane just before the start of the season but has persevered and will receive a chance at its first state title since the 1960’s. However, the Cardinals must play their best game of the season against a University squad looking for its first championship in three seasons.
- Could the third time be the charm for St. Charles who hopes to upset four-time defending champion Lafayette Christian? The Comets have been near unstoppable all season long with a defense that has allowed 34 points through 10 games. Lafayette Christian hopes to become only the second team in Louisiana history to win five straight state titles Saturday. The Knights’ only loss of the season came to Catholic-BR back in October but they have not looked back rattling off six straight wins since by an average score of 44-7. With a ton of Division I talent filling up both rosters, its a game that you don’t want to miss and could, perhaps, be the most entertaining of all three title games between the two programs.