Louisiana 2A Quarterfinal Predictions, Part I

No. 1 John Curtis Christian owns three wins over the past two years against No. 8 Riverside Academy, and the Patriots & junior defensive tackle Marcel Andry (pictured) will try to make it four later this week in a Class 2A quarterfinal playoff game. Will the Patriots continue their march to the Superdome, or has the Rebels' time arrived?

(Last week's Class 2A picks: 8-0; Overall, 97-22)

NO. 1 JOHN CURTIS CHRISTIAN (10-1) AT NO. RIVERSIDE ACADEMY (10-2) -- This is the fourth meeting in two seasons for these District 9-2A rivals. Last month, Curtis won this year's regular-season matchup, 55-24.

Josh Hanberry
In that game, senior WR/KR Josh Hanberry returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown, and senior quarterback Brandon Bourgeois threw two scoring strikes. Hanberry also returned a punt to paydirt in Curtis' first-round playoff game vs. No. 32 Many.

The Patriots, as always, feature a huge offensive and defensive line, including three-star junior DT Marcel Andry (6-2, 280), three-star junior TE Dillon Gordon (6-4, 260), and senior offensive lineman Cedric Otkins (6-2, 280).

Riverside's offense is directed by quarterback Darnell Rachal, an elusive and slippery 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior. During his career, Rachal has gained close to 5,000 all-purpose yards, and he has a terrific RB in Thomas Crouch (1,000-plus yards combined rushing and receiving this fall).

Rachal and Crouch are outstanding players, but Curtis is simply too strong along the line of scrimmage for the Rebels.

John Curtis, 40-14

NO. 5 CALVARY BAPTIST (11-1) AT NO. 4 EAST FELICIANA (11-0) -- Not many teams, if any, are playing better football than Calvary Baptist. Last week, the Cavaliers - whose only loss came to defending state champion Evangel Christian - had their way with a good Donaldsonville team, throttling the Tigers by a 62-12 margin.

Brandon Wilson
Three-star junior running back Brandon Wilson, who is also a renowned sprinter, has been excellent since his recent return from an early-season injury. Last week, Wilson rushed for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 carries.

Donaldsonville is the only program in the state that has faced both Calvary Baptist and East Feliciana this season, and Donaldsonville standout junior QB Devon Breaux spoke with Scout.com about the CBA/EFHS matchup.

"They do everything right," Breaux said of Calvary Baptist. "They execute well and they're always in the right place and the correct position. East Feliciana's strength is their defense, and it's hard to stop their quarterback (Kendall Beckwith). He's a big dude.

"It should be a close game, and I really can't say who is going to win, but Calvary may have the best chance because they're the most disciplined team."

East Feliciana intercepted six passes last week in a 56-32 win over Newman. The Tigers ran for 403 yards, with Beckwith and RB Joseph Robinson both finding the end zone on multiple occasions.

Key matchup?

East Feliciana's secondary vs. Calvary Baptist QB Nik McCarty.

In the Donaldsonville game, McCarty threw for 212 yards and three TDS, but he was also picked off twice. If the Tigers can disrupt his rhythm - as they did vs. Newman - then East Feliciana could prevail.

East Feliciana, 42-40

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