Football Forecast: Breaux Bridge vs Teurlings, Comeaux vs Sulphur, STM [VIDEO]
District play is kicking off all across the state of Louisiana, and the Acadiana area is in for some blockbuster matchups early in the season.
Already in Week Four, we have Breaux Bridge against Teurlings, St. Thomas More is welcoming Catholic High (Baton Rouge) to town, and Comeaux and Sulphur are meeting in a matchup of undefeated District 3-5A teams. When you throw in a rivalry game like Barbe versus Acadiana, you see why people around the state are getting excited.
All six of those teams are going to be around whenever the playoffs start, but somebody has to lose this week.
Before we get into the week ahead, let's look back at the insanity of week three. We had a Hail Mary finish steal the show, but that wasn't the only big play made.
It's always hard to choose players of the week, but these choices popped off the page.
Mondarius Poullard is usually the smallest guy on the field, along with his twin brother Kendarius. They might not be big, but they make huge plays.
The Hail Mary heard around Acadiana might be the biggest play of the season, and it happened three weeks into the season. How did Poullard get so open in the back of the endzone? Maybe the defenders just didn't seem him...
Either way, Poullard deserves the nod for player of the week. His catch clinched a win over Acadiana, and it set Carencro on fire. If you haven't seen it, here is the wild finish.
Absolutely nuts. I'm pretty sure the entire city of Carencro is still partying after that.
Mondarius got the nod because of a massive play, but our second player of the week gets the nod for his body of work so far.
Ascension Episcopal sits at third in the most recent LSWA polls, and it's largely due to the play of Jake Vascocu.
Whenever Michael Desormeaux left for the Ragin' Cajuns and took Jake Arceneaux with him, folks started to worry if the Blue Gators could continue their success. Matt Desormeaux took over for his brother, and his new quarterback picked up right where Arceneaux left off. If you think about it, there's still a Desormeaux coaching a QB named Jake...so there's your formula for success.
In all seriousness, Vascocu is transitioning perfectly to his new position. For the past few years, he played defense and was a serious threat as a receiver and ball carrier. Just because he's under center doesn't mean he stopped being an athlete.
Through three games, the Blue Gators scored 116 points, and last week Vascocu only had two incompletions. Not only is he running the ball effectively, he's stretching the field vertically to big receivers like Zach Ronquillo and Ronald Leblanc. If anybody expected Ascension Episcopal to fall off after losing their coach and QB, think again. The Blue Gators are scary again this year, and Vascocu wants to take them deep into the playoffs for the second year.
For my last pick, I easily could have selected STM's QB Nate Cox (300+ passing yards and 5 TD's) or Erath's Elijah Mitchell (300+ rushing yards, 5 TD's), but I decided to give somebody a little love who probably doesn't get written about as much.
Sacred Heart of Ville Platte might not get the publicity of some of the bigger schools around the state, but they still have talent. You probably haven't heard of Julien Vidrine, but you need to remember his name after his Week Three performance.
Vidrine posted the most insane stat line I've ever seen: 206 yards and 4 TD's...ON FOUR CARRIES. That's right, every time Julien touched the ball, he scored. Do the math. He averaged over 50 yards per carry (51.5 to be exact), which absolutely earns him player of the week honors. Four carries, four touchdowns. It doesn't get any better than that.
I limit myself to three players and games of the week, but it's starting to get harder and harder to choose.
As impressive as the players of the week were, you're going to start drooling when you hear the games coming up in Week Four. Rivalries, undefeated teams and district play. Let's dive in, head first.
Game One: Teurlings Catholic vs Breaux Bridge
Teurlings Catholic and Breaux Bridge don't like each other. If you ask the people in Breaux Bridge about Teurlings, you will get a mixed response. If their kids go to Teurlings, they love the Rebels. If not, they hate them.
There really isn't a gray margin with these two teams. Either you like Teurlings or you like Breaux Bridge, there isn't a place in most people's hearts for both teams. It's the definition of a rivalry, even though they aren't in the same district.
Usually, it's Teurlings' offense against Breaux Bridge's defense. This time around, we might have a fireworks show.
Teurlings is rolling people behind their massive offensive line, but they got hit by a bus last week against Notre Dame. Likewise, the Pioneers handed Breaux Bridge a loss too, so the two teams have something in common. Both teams are coming off a loss, Teurlings to Notre Dame and Breaux Bridge to Rayne, which means they're angry and ready to fight.
This isn't your typical Breaux Bridge team. Julian Leon and his pack of young, talented receivers can light defenses up. Dartravien Gregory is only a freshman, but he plays like a full-grown man. He can take a screen pass to the house or go up over a defender and embarrass him. When the Tigers' offense is on the field, you better be on your toes.
On the opposite side, Teurlings is off and running offensively, literally. Hayden Cantrelle can execute designed runs or hurt you with his arm, but some of the best offensive plays for the Rebels happen when the play breaks down and Cantrelle improvises.
Off field antics aside, Cantrelle reminds me of Johnny Manziel in high school form. His pump fakes and juke moves seem natural, and his ability to make things happen outside the pocket are something defenses can't account for. When you add in Jansen Lormand at running back, you get a headache for any defensive coordinator in the state.
It might come down to defense and special teams. Tyler "Bear" Batiste leads the Rebels from the linebacker position, but the player to watch is Sabarian Alexander.
Alexander overcame an ACL injury in the offseason, and he already has an INT return for a TD this season. He's the Tigers return specialist too, so the Rebels need to make sure they keep him bottled up. That's easier said than done.
Excited yet? That's only a taste of what's to come. Time to get into game two.
Game Two: St. Thomas More vs Catholic High (Baton Rouge)
Nate Cox is huge, and so is his potential. The new St. Thomas More quarterback went off for over 300 yards passing and five TD's against Plaquemine, but he's not done yet.
Everyone knows Jim Hightower (and his elite assistant coaches) can cook up an incredible game plan. It's up to the team to execute it, and Cox is rapidly learning how to put his teammates in the best position to win.
The Cougars had to go without their most effective weapon, Griffin Hebert, the first two weeks, due to a hamstring injury. Some people might view that as a disadvantage, but it forced Cox to develop chemistry with his other receivers. With a target like Hebert, it would be easy for the QB to not even look at anybody else. Now, he knows where everybody else is, which makes him dangerous.
After taking a loss to Sulphur to start the season, the Cougars have been on fire. Two straight wins over playoff teams (Byrd, Plaquemine) bolstered their confidence, and now they face a defending state champion.
Every year, Catholic High of Baton Rouge puts players in the college ranks. LSU's second running back, Derrius Guice, is going to be a star once Leonard Fournette leaves, and guess where he played? The Bears are always loaded to the teeth, and the story is no different this year.
Both of these teams are major athletic operations. Not only do they have stellar coaching staffs, they possess top-of-the-line workout facilities, professional radio teams, and people lined up around the block to get into their program. With talent knocking at the door, it should come as no surprise that the Cougars and Bears compete for state titles every year.
If STM finds a way to beat Catholic High, everyone should start fearing the Cougars. Some coaches would consider scheduling Catholic High as a death wish, but not Jim Hightower.
You can't sharpen a knife on a paper plate, and that's the way Hightower views scheduling. Even if they lose, the Cougars will get better from playing this game.
Our first two matchups involved perpetual playoff powerhouses, but game number three features a team that's knocking on the door of greatness, and they're knocking loudly.
Game Three: Comeaux at Sulphur
After the 2015 season, Comeaux High School didn't have a lot of buzz. After three weeks in 2016, Doug Dotson has the Spartans front and center, standing in the spotlight.
Raise your hand if you expected Comeaux to start the season 3-0. Unless you play for the Spartans, put your hand down. They've been the surprise of the season so far, scoring 40 points in their first three games.
Brett Dotson is airing it out for Comeaux, hitting Tanarious Achan and his other receivers time and time again to make the defense pay. His dad is the coach, but don't think for a minute he was handed the job. Doug Dotson's father was a coach too, a famous one at that, and he didn't get anything handed to him on a silver platter either. Brett is making his pop proud, and he's making defenses pay.
Achan is the player to watch on the outside for the Spartans, but Dotson is carving up defenses when they double-team his favorite target. Every way you investigate Comeaux, they pass the test. They're not a sleeper, but this week their potential will be put to the test.
Dotson and the Spartans head into their first District 3-5A game undefeated, but so do the Sulphur Golden Tors.
How about a matchup of undefeated teams to kick off district play? It doesn't get any better than this.
Sulphur is monstrous. A lot of people picked them to win the district because they returned a ton of starters on both sides of the ball, and their experience led them to a 3-0 start. J'Cobi Skinner rushed for 277 yards last week, and the Tors totaled over 400 yards as a team. If your defense isn't ready for a war, the Tors will win in the trenches.
It might be early, but this game is going to go a long way in determining the winner of District 3-5A...but wait, I'm not done. Week Four has so many good games, I had to throw in a bonus. Did you really think I forgot about Barbe and Acadiana?
BONUS: Acadiana vs Barbe
Every time the Acadiana Wreckin' Rams play the Barbe Bucs, both fan bases are in for a treat. This year, both teams are at the top of the pile for District 3-5A. Barbe comes into the rivalry game undefeated, but the Rams are a lot more dangerous than their 1-2 record indicates.
Acadiana's last two losses were brutal. They lost to Carencro on a Hail Mary, and a missed extra point led to a loss to Ponchatoula. Amateur analysts would look at their 1-2 record and write them off, but this isn't my first rodeo.
The Rams are every bit as dangerous as they are every year. Their offensive line is huge, and while Ziggy Francis might not be the biggest back, he runs with authority and gives the veer offense a chance to score every time he touches the ball. If Acadiana can keep the ball off the ground, they're always in a position to win.
Defensively, Bralen Trahan can't do everything for the Rams. In their loss to Carencro, they let a receiver behind them in prevent defense. Ted Davidson doesn't like mistakes, which means he's probably addressed that issue in a harsh manner. Sometimes, a team needs tough love. Rest assured, the Rams haven't been coddled with their record sitting at 1-2.
That being said, Barbe is outscoring oppenets 107-34. They ran over Byrd and Mandeville, both playoff teams, to start the season, and they punctuated their out-of-district schedule with a devastating 48-10 win over St. Louis Catholic.
If Acadiana wants to win, they better check Jaylon Smith. He racked up 161 total yards and a touchdown on only five touches last week. Expect Acadiana to put their best man on Smith, which means Trahan and Smith could meet up several times in this matchup. If you're a college scout, you don't want to miss this game.
It's Barbe and Acadiana. Do I really need to hype this game up anymore? Didn't think so.
Ready for Week Four? Your adrenaline should be at an all-time high, and we're not even halfway through the season. Buckle up, we're all in for a fun ride.