Who: Monroe Neville (12-1) vs. New Orleans Warren Easton (12-2)
When: 3 p.m. (CT), Saturday
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans
Notable: Texas Tech has one commit (DT Courtney Wallace), two top 2015 targets (WR Tyron Johnson, LB Arthur McGinnis) and a pair of top 2016 targets (DT Rashard Lawrence, WR Clyde Leflore) participating in the contest.
Texas Tech fans will want to turn their attention to New Orleans this Saturday when the No. 2 Monroe Neville Tigers face the No. 5 New Orleans Warren Easton Eagles for the LHSAA Class 4A state championship as one commit and a bevy of other top targets will be on display.
Warren Easton is making its first appearance in a state title game since 1957 when it lost 22-20 to Lake Charlies. Meanwhile, powerhouse Neville is making its fourth appearance in a title game since 2009 and is looking for its third title in that period. Their latest title came in 2011 with a 27-6 victory over Edna Karr.
Easton is looking for its first state title since 1942, but it will have find ways to score against a stingy Neville defense which has allowed 13 points per game in the playoffs. Only once has an opponent scored double digit points against the Tigers in the 32-team bracket. Breaux Bridge managed to rack up 30 points during the 56-30 Neville victory in the second round. Since then, the Tigers have outscored opponents 66-15.
Warren Easton has plenty of defense themselves though. With three FBS commitments and their highest ranked defensive player yet to commit, the Eagles defense is loaded with talent. While, it has not been as stingy as Neville’s, Warren Easton’s defense has allowed an average of 18.75 points per game. Much of that is inflated after the Eagles scored a 43-36 victory against No.1 Plaquemine in the semifinals.
While the defenses have plenty of bragging to do, this game possesses plenty of offensive fire power as well. The fewest points Warren Easton scored in a single game was 21. This took place twice and both ended up in losses for the Eagles. In the 14 games they have scored more, with one being a 34-33 loss, the Eagles have placed 635 points on the board for an average of more than 45.36 points per game.
Looking at the other side of the spectrum, Neville hit the 50-point mark five times. The only time the Tigers did not manage to score at least 30 points came against the Longview (TX) Lobos, which feature Texas Tech commit Broderick Washington.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Why it matters to Texas Tech fans
|Top Texas Tech Targets in Louisiana 4A State Championship|
|WR||Tyron Johnson||Easton||6-1||185||Sr.||Auburn, Georgia, LSU, OKST, Tech|
|DL||Rashard Lawrence||Neville||6-3||300||Jr.||Bama, LSU, Miami, Miss. St., Ole Miss, OU, Oregon, Tech|
|WR||Clyde Leflore||Easton||6-1||165||Jr.||Georgia, Ole Miss, TAMU, Tech, UCLA|
|LB||Arthur McGinnis||Easton||6-2||228||Sr.||Zona, Georgia, OU, TAMU, Tech|
|DT||Courtney Wallace||Neville||6-2||309||Sr.||Committed to Texas Tech|
The Red Raiders have offered scholarships to five players on these two rosters and are recruiting several others. The two squads feature 18 total players who have Scout.com profiles, with Neville having four players in the database who are from future classes.
The highest ranked player of the 2015 class for the Tigers, Courtney Wallace, is already committed to the Red Raiders. Tech has also offered Neville junior four-star defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence, who holds offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU and Oregon.
On the other side of the ball, Tech is doing everything in its power to sign Scout 300 prospect Tyron Johnson who recently announced the Red Raiders as one of his top five. Eight coaches traveled to New Orleans to make the in-house visit to the No. 6 ranked wide receiver in the nation.
8 coaches from Texas tech came to my school!???? pic.twitter.com/8yGy27Z93w— Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13) December 1, 2014
Johnson is not the only player Tech coaches are salivating to acquire though. Warren Easton linebacker Arthur McGinnis is a household name for the Eagles and Texas Tech knows it.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker holds offers from big name schools including Notre Dame, Tennessee and UCLA. Texas Tech managed to hold off those three schools from entering McGinnis’ top five, but still has to compete with Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
HULK's Top 5! pic.twitter.com/fVEXCCZm2N— It's HULK?? (@amg_arthur) December 6, 2014
Most Tech fans know the four already mentioned, but the Red Raiders are seeing more potential than just these three. Tech has shown interest in Warren Easton wide receiver Darrell Clark. At 6-feet, 165 pounds Clark holds six offers including Louisville, Missouri and Nebraska.
Then there’s a wide receiver from the class of 2016 named Clyde Leflore. This is a name many should get to know. Currently a four-star prospect, the No.117 prospect in the nation holds offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulane and UCLA.
Other high school football playoff games featuring future Red Raiders
Cibolo Steele (13-1) vs. Katy (13-1)
4 p.m. (CT) Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston
This is a Texas high school football clash of titans as these are two of the top programs in the state. The Class 6A Division 2 semifinal matchup also features a pair of Tech commits in senior offensive lineman Terrence Steele and Katy junior safety Collin Wilder. A win by Katy would send the Tigers to its third consecutive state title appearance.
Dallas Skyline (14-0) vs. Allen (14-0)
6:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday at SMU's Ford Stadium
Skyline has been knocking on the state championship door for the past several seasons only to be denied by some of the best known programs in the state. Now, Skyline and Texas Tech four-star receiver Carlos Strickland must upend two-time defending state champ Allen to get to the title game.