Louisiana Prep Football: Week 9

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, we're down to crunch time in Louisiana prep football. There's two tantalizing games on tap this weekend in the southern section of the state: Dutchtown (8-0) at East St. John (8-0) and Salmen vs. Franklinton. Get the run-down on those two matchups and plenty more.

Something has to give when Dutchtown travels to East St. John Friday night. Not only is each program unbeaten in District 6-5A, they also sport identical perfect records (8-0) for the year.

Dutchtown's Effrem Reed (pictured) has well over 1,000 yards rushing this year, and he can also catch the football out of the backfield (or line up in the slot). Last week, Reed ran for 247 yards and both of the Griffins' touchdowns in a 13-10 win over Hahnville.

East St. John has a new interim head coach after Larry Dauterive resigned last Friday morning. The change didn't appear to have any bearing on the Wildcats' play last week, as they steamrolled Destrehan, 49-14.

ESJ has perhaps the best WR (D'haquille Williams) and the best CB (Floyd Raven) in the state, in addition to one of the top junior prospects, DT Gerron Borne.

On Thursday evening, 7-1 Franklinton has a date at 7-0 Salmen in a rematch of last's year Class 4A semifinal, which was won by Franklinton in lopsided fashion (60-0). The Demons also took the regular season '09 matchup, albeit by a much closer score (20-14).

Franklinton RB Josh Robinson, a Mississippi State commit, is putting up astronomical numbers this year - averaging 18.29 yards per carry (38-695, 10 TDs). Last week, Robinson tallied 169 yards on only 3 attempts (56.33 ypc).

Salmen boasts a tremendous defense, starting up front with 330-pound three-star DT Malcolm Pichon. DE T.J. Price, who has an offer from Louisiana Tech, is hard to handle off the edge. CB Chrishawn Dupuy is one of the most underrated players in the state.

Jumping down to the small-school ranks, Oberlin and workhorse RB Cedric Skinner seek to maintain their perfect 8-0 mark in Lake Charles vs. Hamilton Christian (6-2). Skinner has over 2,000 yards rushing this year.

Records go out the window when Neville (3-5) plays at Bastrop (8-0). Sophomore John Diarse, a dangerous dual-threat QB, calls the signals for the Neville offense. Bastrop has one of the best offensive linemen around in center Earl Ross Downs, and two excellent receivers in DeAndre Sellers and Jevante Watson.

In the Lafayette area, St. Thomas More (8-0) wants to avoid the same fate that New Iberia Senior High suffered last week at the hands of Carencro (4-3).

NISH had its 7-0 record tarnished by the Golden Bears, who rang up 50 points against the Yellow Jackets. Earlier in the year, junior RB Alex Johnson had 150-plus yards rushing and returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD vs. Capitol.

STM has mowed over its competition all year long, including a 42-0 whitewash of Westgate last Friday. The Cougars, led by TE Evan Tatford, have outscored their last three opponents, 141-6.

Rayville (4-4) struggled early this fall, but the Hornets have picked up the pace down the stretch. Three-star DT Gerrand Johnson, who recently switched his commitment from ULM to Missouri, leads the charge for the Richland Parish program. Rayville makes the 20 mile trip west on I-20 this week for an encounter with 7-1 Carroll and Tyree Hollins.

In the New Orleans metro area, Higgins (7-1) and LB Jamal Wilson are at surprising 7-1 Chalmette. The homestanding Owls have a weapon in RB James Banks, who rushed for 193 yards earlier this month vs. Bonnabel.

Speaking of surprise teams, Episcopal and junior Tylor Harris are 8-0 heading into this week's showdown with 7-1 Donaldsonville and QB Devon Breaux. Last week, Breaux (who is also a junior) put on a clinic - spinning past, running through, and passing over defenders - in the Tigers' 48-28 win over University.

There's an intriguing one-on-one battle shaping up in the Vandebilt Catholic (6-1) at Lutcher (7-1) game. VCHS defensive back Daren Kitchen will draw the unenviable assignment of guarding four-star Lutcher WR Jarvis Landry (LSU commit).

Cecilia (5-3) challenges Northside (6-2) in an affair that will yield another interesting matchup. Cecilia will pin its upset hopes on the legs of Montrel Carter, who has scored at will at times this year. The Vikings answer with a big, fast defense, anchored by DT Tyler Porter. RB Terrell Alfred topped the 200-yard rushing mark last week for Northside in its win over Beau Chene.

Earlier, we mentioned that you could toss out the records in the Bastrop/Neville game. Well, the same goes for O.P. Walker (5-2) vs. McDonogh #35 (3-5).

Senior WR Charles Henderson, a Utah commit, returned a kick for a TD in McDonogh #35's 23-6 victory over Amite earlier this month. The Roneagles have undertaken one of the most daunting schedules in the state and are better than their record would indicate.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have the top defensive player in the state with five-star tackle Anthony Johnson, an LSU commit. Moreover, RB Robert Kelley (Tulane commit) has had a terrific season for the West Bank school. Kelley ran for 138 yards vs. defending 5A state runner-up Archbishop Rummel earlier this month. The Chargers won that game, 14-8.

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