NO. 3 ST. PAUL'S (12-0) AT NO. 27 ACADIANA (7-5) -- In case you've been sleeping under a rock for a few weeks, let's break down the Acadiana situation.
The Rams are actually 11-1 on the field, but were forced to forfeit four wins due to a ineligible backup who transferred to the school and presented officials with a fraudulent birth certificate (which went undiscovered until shortly before the end of the regular-season.)
Indeed, the Rams have played with a fury over the past few weeks, including a surprisingly easy first-round 56-6 rout of No. 6 East St. John.
Last week, Acadiana intercepted six passes in a 49-7 romp over Zachary, holding the Broncos' quarterbacks to 19-of-42 passing for 139 yards in the process.
On offense, the Rams' split-back veer has accounted for almost 900 rushing yards in two playoff games, including 145 yards on 16 carries (all in the first half) by Micah Eugene last week.
Defensive tackle Mickey Johnson, a four-star prospect who is ranked No. 19 in the nation at his position, is probably the strongest player in the state. Linebacker Tyler Tourelle leads the team with 88 tackles (67 solo), and sophomore free safety Jay Washington has put his name on the map this fall (62 stops, 3 INT).
Today, Washington was named New Orleans.com Prep Player of the Week for his accomplishments in last week's 31-28 win over New Iberia. In that game, Washington ran for 67 yards on 11 carries with 2 TDs and caught 4 passes for 115 yards and another score.
Last week, Sams caught 4 passes for 75 yards and returned 3 kicks for 88 yards. He's averaging just under 30 yards per kick return this year.
Quarterback Alec Duncan has thrown for over 1,000 yards and is making better decisions with the football this season. He has 15 touchdown passes with only 5 interceptions (compared to 13 TDs, 8 INT in 2009).
"We don't really know what to expect from St. Paul's," said Aymond. "When you look at their schedule, they don't have that one win that jumps out at you, and NISH went over there and played them closely.
"A lot of people feel that St. Paul's is the underdog against Acadiana, and I'm sure that they've heard - and are tired of hearing - that they're not one of the best teams in the state, even though they're undefeated."
While the Wolves didn't perform as well as they expected last week, that close call could actually be a plus heading into a tough environment at Acadiana Friday night.
St. Paul's, 29-28