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.
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.
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.
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