Todd’s Takes: Class 3A & 5A State Championship Previews

by Todd Black // ESPN 104.5 FM – Louisiana Prep Scoreboard Show

Class 3A: Union Parish vs Madison Prep

These two offensive lines are the biggest in the 2020 Prep Classic. Madison Prep’s O-Line averages 6-3; 294.  Union Parish’s O-Line averages 6-1 ½, 294 pounds.  The lightweights on the offensive lines only weigh 255, 265, 280, 290, and 291.  You want to pick up that grocery bill?  As similar as the offensive lines may be, their MOA is a slightly different.

Union Parishes offense has been lighting up the scoreboard all year long, averaging 46.1 points per game (ppg).  The Farmer’s offense will highlight sophomore Trey Holly.  Holly stands 5-6, 178 and has crossed the goal line 44 times in this shortened 2020 season.  Altogether, the sophomore has 80 touchdowns in his young career.  According to the NFHS website, the single season record for most touchdowns belongs to T.A. McClendon (2001) with 71 touchdowns in 2001.  The record for most touchdowns in a career belongs to Jonathan Grey (2008-11) with 205.  

Madison Prep is lead by three year starter, Zeon Chriss. Chriss is a dual threat quarterback accumulating 41 touchdowns and 2579 total yards.  Through the air, Chriss is 93-162 for 1803 yards and 26 touchdowns; via the ground, Chriss has accumulated 776 yards and 15 scores.  One would have ever reason to believe this could be a shoot-out.

Defensively, the Farmers are smaller in comparison to their offense; the difference being nine of their eleven players on defense are seniors. When looking at Union Parish’s opponents, Lake Charles Prep and Green Oaks both have similar offenses as Madison Prep, both scored 42 versus the Farmers.  On the other hand, Madison Prep has yet to play a two-tight offense with a banger at fullback. My edge goes to Trey Holly and the Union Parish Farmers, Union Parish 48, Madison Prep 35.

Starting Lineups:

Class 5A: Acadiana vs Alexandria

The last of nine LHSAA championship games will conclude tonight at      6 pm with the #1 seed Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams squaring up against the 6th seed, Alexandria Trojans.  Alexandria has been impressive starting in the 2nd half of their first matchup versus West Monroe.  Down 18-0 at half, the Trojans outscored the Rebels 10-0 in the next 24 minute suffering their only loss of the season 18-10. Due to being quarantined the last two weeks of the season, Alexandria (ASH) would only play one more regular season game against Pineville.  The Trojans handled their parish rivals 55-12.

Acadiana also had their share of Covid issues as it seemed the Rams were searching for games each week.  Helping fill their schedule in Week 2 was John Curtis, Week 5 was Ruston and Week 7, Catholic High.  The Rams 20 game winning streak was ended by the Division I State Champion Bears, 27-21. Although Acadiana’s offense is extremely impressive, their defense is the strength of the team allowing 9.3 points per game (ppg).  The Rams defense is coming into the state championship playing as good as they have all year with back to back shut outs of Mandeville and Destrehan.

Alexandria’s offense has given the defenses of Zachary and West Monroe all sorts of problems.  Alexandria remained patient in both games, established a running game, forcing the defenses to put more defenders in the box.  ASH’s adjustment to more defenders in the box was ……., you guessed it, throwing the football.  It is worth mentioning, the halftime adjustments by Coach Bachman and his staff have been ‘spot on’ with both sides of the ball.

The question for this game is can Alexandria’s offensive line establish a running game versus the Acadiana front who averages 6-3, 257 pounds; their big and athletic.  Alexandria’s offensive line, considering their size, are a bunch of hard nosed, over achievers. The Trojan big men represent what high school football is all about; effort, heart and determination.  ASH’s offensive line averages 5-10, 252. The O-line has to tight ends that are nice compliments as Shield Taylor is 6-4; 235 and Jermaine Minor is 6-3; 195.

My gut tells me ASH will have to show different personal packages as well as different formations to keep the Wreckin’ Ram defense on their heals.  The Acadiana secondary is going to be the best secondary Alexandria has faced as they have 17 interceptions on the season.

Offensively, Acadiana line averages 6-1; 265; the Alexandria defensive line averages 5-11 ½, 245. I think Alexandria has had a phenomenal season and Coach Bachman will leave no stone unturned.  In the end, I believe Acadiana will move the ball relatively consistent while Alexandria is going to have to scratch and claw for everything they get.

Acadiana wins this game, 41-17.

Starting Lineups: