Football Forecast: Acadiana vs Sulphur, Breaux Bridge vs Carencro, Rayne vs Eunice [VIDEO]
We're almost halfway through the regular season, high school football fans. Approaching the midway point, juggernauts are starting to emerge.
Last week marked the beginning of district play for some of the heavy hitters around the Acadiana area, and there are already games being played that could determine district championships. While teams like Carencro, Teurlings and St. Thomas More are still gearing up for district play, others like Acadiana and Sulphur are already throwing down.
In this week's edition of the Football Forecast, we have a battle of two titans in District 3-5A, a matchup between two classic power houses, and one undefeated team trying to defend their perfect record against a team hungry to pick up their fourth win in five weeks.
Before we dig into the matchups, we have to recognize the standouts from Week Four. All three of these players are long overdue to receive the spotlight.
Players of the Week: Tanarious Achan, Carl Randall, Seth Kerstetter
All three of our stars for this week have put on a show all year long. Even with opposing teams scheming to take them out of the game, they're proving it's impossible to stop them.
Let's start with Comeaux's Tanarious Achan, one of the nastiest receivers in all of South Louisiana.
Achan is a reminder that you don't have to be six feet tall to give defensive backs nightmares. He's the high school version of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. Don't let his size (5'9"-150 lbs) fool you, he makes huge plays week in and week out. Last week in a shootout against Sulphur, Achan collected double-digit receptions and over 200 yards. He's Brett Dotson's favorite target, and defenses have pretty much been double-teaming him all year long.
With his athleticism, footwork and preparation, he's a headache to defend. He's a solid candidate to be an all-district performer in 3-5A, and if college coaches are smart, they will start sending him letters. When number nine lines up across from you, make sure you're wearing ankle braces.
Speaking of players breaking ankles, Ascension Episcopal WR/DB Seth Kerstetter left a few guys in the dust last week.
Like Achan, Kerstetter isn't the biggest body (5'8"-157), but he has moves like a salsa dancer. Not only that, he's a gamer and a gym rat. On defense (and when he blocks), he hits like a man on a mission, but it was his work in the other two phases of the game that earned him the nod this week.
Against Hanson Memorial, Kerstetter got into the endzone three times: once on a 80-yard kick return, again on a 57-yard punt return, and he hauled in a 22-yard TD pass from Jake Vascocu too. If you're paying attention, you realize Kerstetter plays on pretty much every single snap. He's a beast on defense, an animal on offense, and a playmaker on special teams. Size is nice, but heart is better. Kerstetter's got plenty of that to spare.
I possibly saved the best for last. The Carencro Bears have been tearing people apart on offense, and Quarterback Carl Randall is the man calling the shots.
Carencro is averaging 43 points per game, and last week they dropped 54 points in their third straight win over 5A teams. Sure, Randall has tons of weapons to choose from (the Poullard Twins, Eric Touliver, Trey Barnaba), but he might be the most dangerous man on the field.
Don't try to put Randall's skill set into a box. He's not a mobile QB, a pocket passer or a downfield bomber: he's the total package. If he sees a gap in the defense, he exploits it. His pump fakes are devastating, his ability to make men miss creates havoc, and he can make every throw on the field, even on the run.
By the end of the season, we might have five different Bears recognized as Players of the Week, but Randall is the man in charge of all of them. With a legendary coach like Kevin Faulk calling the plays, he's going to put up absolutely silly numbers.
Now it's time to shift our focus on three of the biggest games of the season. Our first matchup could determine the district, and we're not even halfway through the year.
Game One: Acadiana at Sulphur
No fan base has been through a more dramatic start of the season than the supporters of the Acadiana Wreckin' Rams. If you survived the last two weeks of heart attacks, you're in for a treat.
With the win last week over Barbe, Acadiana moved to 2-2 on the season, but more importantly, they picked up their first win in District 3-5A play. After losing to Carencro on a Hail Mary, the Rams rebounded with their backs against the wall to stuff the Bucs on a two-point conversion in the final seconds to clinch the game. They're still having issues keeping the ball off the ground, but they overcame numerous turnovers against Barbe to find a huge win in crunch time.
With Ted Davidson at the helm, the Wreckin' Rams are always prepared to win. That being said, if they make mistakes against Sulphur, it's going to be a long night.
The Golden Tors are the only undefeated team left in District 3-5A, which shouldn't come as a surprise. They returned more talent than anybody else, and they're putting it to use. J'Cobi Skinner is third in the state with 782 rushing yards (195.5 yards/game), which is also a testament to their offensive line. They're a nasty bunch in the trenches, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Sulphur has three wins over definite playoff teams (St. Thomas More, Iowa, Comeaux), and their win last week over the Spartans reminded them how much things change in district play. They survived with a one point win (42-41), thanks to a missed extra point by Comeaux, but don't call them lucky. Luck isn't involved with their success, and they're proving why most "experts" picked them to win the district before the season even started.
District 3-5A isn't for the faint of heart. Both of these teams have a legitimate shot to be district champions, so I don't have to tell you how important this game is.
Our next two teams have a combined record of 7-1, so buckle up for another blockbuster.
Game Two: Rayne vs Eunice
Make it Rayne, y'all. The Wolves are undefeated to start the season, and they look like the clear dominant force in District 3-4A. This is their last game before district play starts, and they're going to have their hands full with Eunice.
Leading the way for Rayne is Running Back Darien Harmon. Last week against DeQuincy, he gashed their defense for 277 yards and three TD's, ripping off massive chunks of yardage almost every time he touched the ball. He's a walking highlight reel, and Eunice needs to bring as many hats to the ball as possible if they want to stop him.
On the opposite side, Eunice has wins over St. Martinville, Crowley and Opelousas, and their only loss is to Jennings, a team that could make a lot of noise in the playoffs with one of the best players in the country (RB Travis Etienne). They're trying to gear up for a battle to the top of District 5-3A against Northwest, Ville Platte and Pine Prairie, but they have to deal with the Wolves first.
Both fan bases are fired up about the hot start to the season, but unfortunately, somebody has to take an L in this one. The folks in Rayne are already partying, and if they go to 5-0, they might have to shut the city down due to excessive jubilation in the streets.
If anybody is partying harder than Rayne, it's the city of Carencro.
Game Three: Breaux Bridge vs Carencro
Breaux Bridge has one of the most insane schedules in the state, and it's not getting any easier in Week Five. Carencro is scary, and they're coming into Breaux Bridge with plans to throw a bunch of parties in the endzone.
Terry Martin took over as Breaux Bridge's Head Coach this offseason, and his first four weeks have been absolutely brutal. After playing New Iberia, Notre Dame, Rayne and Teurlings, their record sits at 1-3. Three of those teams are definitely going to the playoffs, which is where the Tigers hope to be when the regular season comes to an end. The win/loss column is deceptive though. The Tigers are much better than their record implies.
Julian Leon has a big time arm and plenty of weapons to throw to, but the team is adjusting to an entirely new offense. The progress is happening slowly, but with one game left before district play, they're running out of time. That being said, Carencro isn't the team you want to play when you're still figuring things out.
The Bears know exactly who they are. They have talent all over the field on both sides of the ball, and size to spare on the defensive and offensive lines. There's no way to stop their offense, so Breaux Bridge better prepare for a shootout.
Who will go off for Carencro this week? It's almost like they're taking turns lighting people up. Carl Randall, Trey Barnaba, Eric Touliver, Mondarius Poullard and his brother Kendarius are capable of scoring on every single play that Kevin Faulk calls. I'm not being mean when I say this, but Breaux Bridge has to play perfectly if they want to beat Carencro, and even then, they still might need some luck.
It's time to lace up the cleats for another week of high school football in South Louisiana. I can only pick three players and games each week, but that doesn't mean there isn't more to pay attention to.
Teams are already battling it out in district play. Players are trying to get noticed by college scouts and make their families and friends proud. Coaches are making adjustments and trying to lead their teams to the promised land. Each week, I fall more and more in love with Louisiana football. Let the passion wash over you, and soak in the beauty of the game.