Neville overcame a rocky start in the first round to shutout No. 32 Archbishop Shaw, 32-0. Junior QB John Diarse, a four-star prospect and member of the Scout 100, tossed two early interceptions before settling down. Diarse finished the night with four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing). TE Taylor Stokes hauled in the scoring strike from Diarse. Neville head coach Mickey McCarty goes for win No. 101 of his career this week. Minden got past No. 17 St. Louis Catholic, 20-19. 6-foot-6 WR Jared Johnson (1,130 yards) was fourth in the state in receiving during the regular season. QB Turner Francis has thrown for more than 2,200 yards. In the first round, Minden was marvelous on special teams, as Ashton Williams blocked two field goal attempts. Johnson caught a touchdown pass from Francis on a 14-yard fade route.
BOTTOM LINE: Neville is still seething about last year's overtime loss to Teurlings Catholic.
These two New Orleans programs met in week one with McDonogh #35 emerging from the fireworks with a 50-42 win. Junior RB Carlos Henderson riddled St. Aug's defense for 269 yards and three TDs in that game, but Henderson is no longer available (due to injury). Kedrick Banks has stepped up since Henderson's departure, and the senior wideout got the Roneagles on the scoreboard Friday night with a 40-yard punt return.
BOTTOM LINE: When these two teams squared off early in the year, St. Aug was inexperienced and injury-prone. Now, the Purple Knights are at full speed and McDonogh #35 isn't (with Henderson out).
St. Aug, 30-27
Don Torres, our 4A Coach of the Year, guided Assumption to a 37-20 win over St. Martinville in the playoff opener. The Mustangs marched up and down the field at will (516 yards of total offense and 21 first downs). Hunter Gauthreaux was accurate on 15-of-20 passes for 311 yards and two TDs. DuJuawn Oliver (4 receptions, 130 yards) was the recipient of both scoring tosses. Chris Skidmore added two touchdowns for Assumption, which lost only to Lutcher this year. Alexandria had a surprisingly easy time against No. 12 East Jefferson. QB C.J. Gatlin threw for 122 yards as the junior-laden Trojans downed East Jeff, 27-7. Junior Dominique Lavalais had three tackles for loss and forced a fumble, according to Will Peneguy of the Times-Picayune. Junior WR Shaan Washington caught seven passes for 62 yards. Alexandria has improved by leaps and bounds since a 48-6 loss to Franklin Parish early in the year.
BOTTOM LINE: ASH soars into the second round on the strength of a six-game winning streak, and the Trojans will be even better next year due to their current crop of talented juniors. Assumption, however, survives another week.
A relentless Breaux Bridge defense - headed by LBs Lamar Louis (pictured below) and Tyren Alexander - forced eight turnovers in a 46-0 first round drubbing of Vandebilt Catholic. The Tigers' defense scored four touchdowns with Alexander accounting for one on a "66-yard scoop and score" (per Jon Shaw of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser). Three-star WR Travin Dural, an LSU commit, is averaging more than 21 yards per catch. Dural caught a TD pass vs. Vandebilt, giving him 19 on the year. Senior RB Adrian Menard has more than 800 yards rushing. Kavahra Holmes is another three-star wideout and LSU commit. Salmen erased a fourth quarter deficit to dispose of No. 20 Broadmoor, 30-26. Ray Crochet threw a TD pass and jogged in from two yards for another. Sophomore RB Chris Thomas also tallied a two-yard TD run. Thomas went wild against Hammond during the regular season, gashing the Tors for 260 yards. Chuck Baker's two catches vs. Broadmoor totaled 44 yards. Salmen has won four of its last five. The Spartans suffered through early season growing pains after having to replace departed stars Daniel Sams (Kansas State), Malcolm Pichon (Louisiana Tech), and Chrishawn Dupuy (Miami of Ohio).
BOTTOM LINE: Salmen is surging but the senior-laden Breaux Bridge squad will not be denied.
Breaux Bridge, 28-8