The Cougars are in the playoffs on a yearly basis, but not many people outside of south Lafayette expected STM to knock off Catholic-BR and Evangel Christian in back-to-back weeks -- and, thus, come into the Acadiana game with a 4-0 mark.
Nevertheless, that's what has transpired, as RB Joe Oliver LaPrairie has run unchecked for much of the season. TE Evan Tatford, at 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, can seal off the edge or kick out an outside linebacker with ease -- not to mention the fact that he has great hands catching the ball.
Acadiana, an old-school team on offense that certainly appeals to football purists, runs the split-back veer offense to perfection with QB Ryan Bergeron at the controls. Micah Eugene and Bakari Hollier have consistently made plays on both sides of the football for the nationally-ranked Rams.
In the northeast region, there's two surprise unbeaten teams in Class 4A: Franklin Parish and Carroll; although one program will get its first loss this weekend when the district opponents square off in Monroe.
Tyree Hollins is one of the best players for Carroll, which made a statement by defeating Neville last week. Franklin Parish likes to pound the football with a stable of six running backs.
In another matchup of 4-0 schools, St. Paul's visits Hammond. The visiting Wolves have an assortment of outstanding players, including four-star DT Mickey Johnson, WR Jermaine Sams, 2013 safety Jay Washington, and ILB Tyler Tourelle. Last year, SPS won, 38-21. Junior QB Austin Miller and senior RB Terrance Davis are players to watch for Hammond.
Emotions will run high when 3-1 Central and 3-1 Catholic-BR tangle in a pivotal district game. In 2009, Central hung 60 points on the Bears with a high-flying aerial attack. This year, the Wildcats are getting it done with defense.
CB James Richardson is one of the fastest players in the state and his defensive unit has notched two shutouts. Catholic, one week after a lopsided loss to St. Thomas More, rebounded nicely last Friday vs. Denham Springs. Junior LB Chris Morgan had a bone-shattering hit vs. the Yellow Jackets that was captured on statewide TV.
DeRidder puts its perfect record on the line vs. U.S. 171 rival Leesville (2-2) in the battle for the Hooper Trophy. The Dragons, with the likes of safety Deshazor Everett and middle linebacker Harrison Lewis, suffocate opponents with a sweltering defense. Leesville's Levander Liggins is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Liggins put on a show vs. top-ranked West Monroe in the first game of the year.
2-2 Carencro travels to Reserve to try and upset 4-0 East St. John. Junior Alex Johnson is a rugged inside runner for the Bears' Wing-T offense, but he will have to contend with physical ESJ defensive tackle Gerron Borne.
South Plaquemines, the defending Class A runner-up, will go for the knockout punch versus 5A Higgins (3-1). The Hurricanes (2-2) will try to get the football to WR Bradley Sylve (Alabama commit) in space. LB Beau Fitte is a Louisiana Tech commit.