5A 2nd Round Playoff Predictions, Part II

No. 15 Hahnville makes the drive up U.S. 90 this Friday to challenge undefeated No. 2 St. Thomas More in Lafayette. Will Hahnville senior sackmaster Lindzell Rhodes and the Tigers upend the 11-0 Cougars? We have the answers here.

NO. 14 NEW IBERIA (9-2) AT NO. 3 ST. PAUL'S (11-0) -- New Iberia sprinted to a 14-0 lead last week in its 31-14 win over No. 19 Central. Tevin Archon had a pair of early 10-yard scoring runs and wound up with 142 yards on 17 carries for the Yellow Jackets, who have only lost to St. Thomas More and Carencro.

Mickey Johnson
That 50-19 loss to Carencro, however, raises doubts about NISH's chances against the unbeaten Wolves. Both Carencro and St. Paul's like to run the football out of similar formations, and the Wolves have an added weapon in WR Jermaine Sams, an SMU commit who can absolutely fly down the field. Last week, Sams caught a 27-yard TD pass from QB Alec Duncan.

The Wolves were downright nasty in the secondary vs. Natchitoches-Central, limiting QB Chris Mitchell to 17 completions on 41 passes. Junior safety Dane Stubbs picked off two of those throws.

Four-star defensive tackle Mickey Johnson mentioned to the media last week that he and his teammates want to honor St. Paul's 100th year of existence with a state title and that goal will be sustained Friday night.

St. Paul's, 35-14

NO. 11 ZACHARY (9-2) AT NO. 27 ACADIANA (6-5) -- Beware the buzzsaw that is Acadiana. Other than a blown pass coverage in the first quarter that resulted in a long TD, the Rams could do no wrong in a 56-6 drubbing of No. 6 East St. John last Friday.

RB Micah Eugene (8-160 yards, 2 TDs) hit the holes with a fury, and the Acadiana offensive line fired out with the same passion. QB Ryan Bergeron only took to the air twice, but he was perfect (2-2, 82 yards, TD) on those occasions.

Zachary's offense certainly did its part -- ringing up 521 yards -- in a first-round shootout (44-35) against Assumption. Running back Ron Pennington showed off his pass-catching skills, hauling in 7 receptions for 207 yards and 2 TDs.

At the same time, the Broncos showed vulnerability on defense, allowing 466 yards of total offense, including 381 yards passing.

Zachary head coach Neil Weiner is an offensive genius and he has the Broncos set for years to come, but Acadiana is on a mission after being forced to forfeit four wins.

Acadiana, 44-22

NO. 10 ST. AUGUSTINE (8-2) AT NO. 7 OUACHITA (10-1) -- Looking for a track meet to watch? If so, then make your way to the east side of Monroe for this game, which will showcase an abundance of athletes on each side of the field.

Marc Edwards
St. Augustine QB Terry Lucas was unbelievable last week against Catholic-BR, completing 11-of-12 attempts for 282 yards and 5 TDs (and running for 126 more). WR Marc Edwards, the Tulane commit who missed much of the season with a broken jaw, was on the receiving end of a 63-yard touchdown pass.

Freshman sensation Leonard Fournette ran wild once again, dashing for 269 yards and 3 TDs on 24 carries for the Purple Knights, who gained 693 yards of total offense.

No, that's not a typo. St. Aug's offense moved the ball at will Saturday night in the 53-43 shootout.

Ouachita's combination of junior QB Quentin Wheeler and senior RB Ricky McCarthy proved too much for Byrd in a 44-13 first-round affair last week. The duo accounted for five touchdown runs and Wheeler also connected with WR Justin Ginyard (ULM commit) for six more points.

While Ouachita certainly has a talented roster, St. Augustine has played the tougher overall schedule and that could make the difference here.

St. Augustine, 47-42

NO. 15 HAHNVILLE (7-3) AT NO. 2 ST. THOMAS MORE (11-0) -- On paper, the Cougars are a solid favorite, having overpowered every opponent since a one-point nailbiter (20-19) at Evangel Christian all the way back in September.

JonTrell Lockett
Since that game, no opponent has come within 31 points of the Cougars, who have made a living out of running behind tight ends Jordan Murray and Evan Tatford.

Often, Murray (6-3, 250) and Tatford (6-5, 235) will line up on the same side, with Murray at TE and Tatford at H-back. The marquee matchup in this contest pits Murray and Tatford vs. Hahnville senior defenders Lindzell Rhodes and JonTrell Lockett.

Rhodes and Lockett will have to fill the holes and shut down STM runners Matt Flores (who is the Cougars' running quarterback; Brandon Bergeron is the more effective passer) and Joe Oliver LaPrairie. Lockett had a monster outing last week against West Jefferson, recording 14 tackles and a sack. Rhodes is a fearless pass rusher off the edge with 4.55 speed and the knack for making timely interceptions.

Hahnville wants to bring home another playoff win in honor of a teammate that took his own life late last week, and the Tigers have the horses to compete with anybody.

QB Brian Ensminger needs to make wise decisions with the football, and he'll do well to get the ball into the hands of WRs Derek Howard and Dontrell Strickland. RB Ahmad White was an ironman last Friday, carrying 42 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

Hahnville, 27-24

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