DUTCHTOWN – Landon Collins, Louisiana’s top overall prospect from the class of 2012, has played his final high school game.
Dutchtown (10-0) entered the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs as the No. 4 seed, matched against the No. 29 seed Ponchatoula (6-4) in what seemed like a sure-win for the Griffins.
In the first round of last year’s playoffs, Dutchtown – then an undefeated No. 1 seed – was nearly sent packing by Covington, though Collins and Co. pulled away to win 35-27.
Flash forward, and this time the Griffins don’t live another day.
Ponchatoula used a steady defense and option attack to upset Dutchtown, in turn ending the prep career of one of the nation’s premier prospects.
Collins, a five-star recruit and the No. 2-ranked safety prospect, entered the game as a jack-of-all-trades for Dutchtown coach Benny Saia.
With Effrem Reed gone from the program, Saia played Collins at running back and safety in all 10 wins, and Collins ended the regular season with 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
He added two more touchdowns on the ground Friday, but it wasn’t enough.
In the end, the scoreboard read Ponchatoula 28, Dutchtown 14.
While Collins pounded in a pair of touchdowns in the red zone, the Ponchatoula defense did a good job of getting to the ball carrier in numbers, especially when Collins took the ball out of the backfield.
On the defensive side, Collins didn’t see much action through the air as a result of an option attack. The play that could have changed the game came during a back-and-forth first half, when all 42 of the game’s points were scored.
When a Ponchatoula player broke free down the sidelines, Collins shed his blocker and sprinted across the field to force a fumble just shy of the goal line.
From the 2013 class, Dutchtown wide receiver Shelby Christy is a name to watch - though Friday wasn’t the junior’s best effort.
Christy was targeted throughout the game, but it was a second-quarter mishap that will likely remain on his mind.
With Dutchtown trailing 21-14, Christy got open and was targeted on a deep slant, but dropped a pass that could well have ended in a touchdown – the only man Christy had to beat was trailing a couple of feet behind. Christy was then targeted on a bubble screen, but he fumbled the ball and Ponchatoula recovered and put seven more points on the board to go up 28-14 just before halftime.
Collins will play in January’s Under Armour All-American game, where he will announce his college decision in front of a national television audience. He has taken an official visit to Alabama and plans to visit LSU and Texas on officials.
Collins has maintained throughout much of his process that the Tigers and Crimson Tide lead for his services.
He was in Tuscaloosa for last weekend’s 9-6 LSU win.