5A 2nd Round Playoff Predictions, Part I

Last Friday, No. 1 Dutchtown got more of a test than expected from No. 32 seed Covington, but in the end, the Griffins - behind Effrem Reed's 230 yards and three TDs - proved too strong for the Lions. This week, Dutchtown travels south to Metairie's Joe Yenni Stadium to face No. 17 Brother Martin, which has its own excellent RB in Dante' Butler. Who will win?

(Last week's 5A picks: 12-4; Overall, 66-13)

NO. 1 DUTCHTOWN (11-0) AT NO. 17 BROTHER MARTIN (8-3) -- Don't be late for this game; it could be over in a hurry, seeing as how both teams keep the clock moving with their running attacks. Dutchtown's Effrem Reed and Brother Martin's Dante' Butler get the vast majority of the carries, and each of them went for more than 200 yards last week.

Landon Collins
The top-seeded Griffins need to ratchet things up a notch on defense after allowing Covington to convert on a handful of fourth downs last Friday. Four-star junior safety Landon Collins eventually put the game on ice for Dutchtown with a late interception.

After spotting Carencro a 7-0 lead last week, Brother Martin outscored the Bears 28-7 the rest of the way. Butler, a senior with offers from Southern Miss, Tulane, and several other programs, was responsible for four of the Crusaders' five touchdowns.

Dutchtown, according to Reed, has an "added focus" after the surprisingly close first-round game and the undefeated Griffins get the nod here.

Dutchtown, 21-14

NO. 8 HIGGINS (10-1) AT NO. 24 WESTGATE (6-4) -- Westgate did it again last week. Yes, the Tigers always seem to quasi-stumble through the regular season and finish around .500, but once the playoffs arrive, head coach Brian Fine and his team always seem to thrive.

Last Friday, Westgate outlasted No. 9 Ponchatoula in overtime, although the Tigers led most of the game (21-7 in the 3rd). A 10-yard touchdown pass from Jared Williams to Aaron Gary in the extra period gave Westgate a 28-21 win.

Meanwhile, Higgins completely controlled the line of scrimmage in its 44-14 thumping of Denham Springs. The Hurricanes were so dominant along the line of scrimmage that they didn't attempt a single pass in the first half.

Quarterback Cedric Jackson ran for 177 yards and two TDs on 13 carries, and he added a 52-yard scoring strike in the second half to Nathaniel Parker. Jarrion Walker (6 carries, 122 yards, 2 TDs) was also a huge factor for Higgins, which has been more consistent than Westgate.

The Hurricanes are determined to make a run after getting eliminated by Archbishop Shaw in the first-round last season.

Higgins, 28-19

NO. 12 TERREBONNE (10-1) AT NO. 5 JESUIT (9-2) -- Hats off to these two programs, because not many people around the state had either school penciled in for a playoff appearance; yet, here they both are in the second-round and with impressive records, to boot.

Mike Williams
Last week, Terrebonne fell behind No. 21 Mandeville by 14 points in the second half, but the Tigers rallied for a one-point win, thanks in large part to the passing of Mike Williams and the legs and hands of DeShaun Diggs.

Williams completed 10-of-15 throws for 122 yards and a score, and Diggs (134 yards combined rushing and receiving) reached the end zone three times.

Dylan Richard's 193 yards (on 26 carries) and two touchdowns were the headliner in Jesuit's 37-13 first-round win over Sulphur. Connor McMahon also connected with Deion Jones for another six points through the air.

Jesuit has only lost to Brother Martin and Karr, and Terrebonne brings a similar approach to that of Karr. The speed of the Tigers could pose a problem for the Blue Jays.

Terrebonne, 33-32

Paul Turner
NO. 13 BARBE (9-2) AT NO. 4 WEST MONROE (11-0) -- This is a rematch of the 2008 semifinals, won by West Monroe (47-12). The Rebels reached paydirt on five consecutive drives to start the game last week versus Chalmette, including a 66-yard pass from LSU commit Paul Turner to Ivan Manning on the first play from scrimmage.

RB Tyler Cain, who has an offer from Louisiana Tech, chipped in with 103 yards. This week, bullish defensive tackle Chuck Hunter will pin back his ears and rush the passer against Barbe, which loves to sling the ball around the field with QB Jared Foster.

In the Buccaneers' 38-17 rout of No. 20 Slidell, Foster completed 20-of-31 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns -- to a trio of different receivers. Freshman WR Trey Quinn had five catches (including a TD) for 118 yards.

Barbe has moved the ball with its offense all year, but the Bucs have been plagued at times by a defense that has struggled to stop the run. You can expect West Monroe to pound the football with Turner and Cain on Friday night.

West Monroe, 42-14

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