Louisiana 1A Quarterfinal Predictions, Part I

No. 4 South Plaquemines and three-star Louisiana Tech commit Beau Fitte will lock horns tomorrow with a surging No. 12 Southern Lab squad in the Class A quarterfinals. Will Fitte and the Hurricanes leave Baton Rouge with a victory, or will the homestanding Kittens continue on to the semifinals?

(Last week's Class A picks: 6-2; Overall, 97-22)

NO. 4 SOUTH PLAQUEMINES (9-3) AT NO. 12 SOUTHERN LAB (8-4) -- Versatile speedster Bradley Sylve and hard-charging running back Manuel Black combined to rush for 371 yards last week in South Plaquemines' 40-26 second-round win over Oak Grove.

Bradley Sylve
While Sylve, a four-star WR prospect who is committed to Alabama, will focus on catching passes (and possibly returning kicks) on the next level, he's taken the reins of the Hurricanes' offense at the QB/Wildcat position this season.

Sylve carried 25 times for 212 yards and four touchdowns as South Plaquemines, the defending Class A state runner-up, rallied from an early 13-0 deficit. Another three-star prospect, outside linebacker Beau Fitte, is the marquee player on the Hurricanes' defense.

South Plaquemines will need to cut down on the mistakes this week after being flagged for 18 penalties and 160 yards vs. Oak Grove.

On paper, Southern Lab probably matches up better against South Plaquemines than any of the other six quarterfinal squads.

Ezekiel Alsander
The Kittens, who boast more college prospects than many 5A programs, traveled to Natchitoches last Friday and easily handled then-unbeaten No. 5 St. Mary's, 25-3.

Southern Lab's talented defense, led by DT Ezekiel Alsander and LB Charles Butler, wasn't kind at all to St. Mary's, holding the Tigers to only 47 yards of total offense.

QB Michael Roach, son of the head coach, threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cardell Brown, and Thomas Davis ran for 95 yards on 18 carries, including a 10-yard scoring run.

Both South Plaquemines and Southen Lab have faced stiff competition; South Plaquemines' three losses came to 5A Higgins, 5A John Ehret, and 4A Helen Cox, while Lab's four losses were to 5A Scotlandville, 3A power Redemptorist, undefeated 2A East Feliciana, and Kentwood.

Charles Butler
The Kittens avenged the Week 10 loss to Kentwood by eliminating the Kangaroos from the playoffs the following week.

Lab is playing at an optimum level, and they'll need to have success through the air to move the ball against South Plaquemines, which loves to load the box with defenders.

Last week, Roach only connected on 7 of his 14 passes (with an interception) vs. St. Mary's. He'll need better numbers for the Kittens to advance this week.

Look for the Hurricanes to get another W behind the running of Sylve and Black.

South Plaquemines, 30-22

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