NO. 24 WESTGATE (7-4) AT NO. 1 DUTCHTOWN (12-0) -- No. 8 Higgins came to New Iberia last Friday with a gaudy 10-1 record and a team that seemed to be peaking. In the first-round of the playoffs, the Hurricanes stomped Denham Springs, 44-14, and it appeared that Higgins -- on paper -- was a solid favorite over Westgate.
Last year, Westgate entered the playoffs with a 5-4 mark, but the Tigers managed to advance all the way to the semifinals before losing to Archbishop Rummel.
Three years ago, the Tigers were 5-5 in the regular-season and again made a semifinal appearance, losing to eventual state champion Destrehan.
Thus, it's no surprise that - once again - Westgate is knocking off higher seeds in the playoffs this year.
Against Higgins, the Tigers of head coach Brian Fine took a 21-0 lead in the first half and that margin stayed the same through four quarters. D'Nerius Antoine had 94 yards and a TD on only 5 carries for Westgate, which only attempted one pass vs. Higgins.
Westgate's strongest suit is its defense, which forced six turnovers last week. Senior LB Eugene Livingston and DL Duval Jackson wreaked havoc on Higgins' option offense.
Dutchtown, which was ousted from the playoffs in the first-round last year, has been on a mission since that disappointing loss, and the well-oiled offense of the Griffins is not apt to turn the ball over six times (or even half that) in one game.
Last night, senior RB Effrem Reed continued to do his thing, gaining close to 150 yards rushing on 23 carries with 3 TDs in the 12-0 Griffins' 38-26 win over Brother Martin.
Harp and the Dutchtown defense should be up to the task of stopping a run-oriented offense after having to deal with Brother Martin stud Dante' Butler last night in New Orleans.
Westgate lacks a legitimate passing attack and that will allow Dutchtown defenders such as DBs Johnathan Darville and Shaquille Lewis to creep up and assist against the Tigers' Wing-T.
NO. 5 JESUIT (10-2) AT NO. 4 WEST MONROE (12-0) -- West Monroe is focused and feeling hostile after a controversial second-round 34-29 win over Barbe.
Long known as one of the most disciplined and well-coached programs around, West Monroe (12-0) was assessed 29 penalties for 241 yards Friday night, and it's a safe bet that that number will substantially decrease this week.
Nothing, however, could take away from the performance of senior RB Tyler Cain last week. Cain, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound speed demon, throttled Barbe's defense with 247 yards and a TD on 28 attempts.
Austin Duncan and Cameron Dobbins each scored touchdowns and Ralph Freibert hit a 42-yard field goal in Jesuit's 17-13 win over Terrebonne last Friday night.
This week, Richard will mix it up with a West Monroe defensive front that includes four-star junior Terrell Lathan and three-star senior Chuck Hunter. Cornerback Michael Hunter heads up the secondary for the Rebels.
West Monroe, 33-10