Dreams were shattered and dreams were achieved in the Louisiana High School Football State Championship games.
There were tears of joy and tears of sadness.
Most of it was just fabulous. It was wonderful to see the "Prep Classic" back in the Superdome (where it belongs).
All five games were a lot of fun and the attendance was the second highest total in classic history. There were some good games, some average games and some penalty-marred games.
Action included two teams from district 5-5A with St. Charles Catholic Squaring off against J.T. Curtis Christian Academy.
While St. Charles gave it a great effort J.T. Curtis had too many horses for them to compete with.
If you didn't get a chance to see Curtis running back Joe McKnight this season you missed one special player.
McKnight was a man amongst boys all season long and it didn't stop in the championship game as the Patriots beat the Comets 41-7.
In the 3A game, the Lutcher Bulldogs and Independence Tigers squared off on the dome turf in arguably the best game of the weekend. I heard a rumor after the game on Friday night.
Lutcher head coach Tim Detillier was considering changing the mascot's name from the Bulldogs to the Phoenix. Why? Because the Lutcher Bulldogs pulled a winning season from the ashes of a fire at their athletic complex early this season and are now state champions defeating Independence 27-7 in a game that was much closer than the score indicated.
It was 7-7 in the fourth quarter when it began to unravel for the Tigers, as the Bulldog's went on to claim their fifth state title.
Shooting for their second straight class 1A title, the Evangel Eagles clashed with St. John of Plaquemine. St. John jumped out to an early first half lead 7-3 behind a stingy defense aided by a sporadic and inconsistent Evangel offense. The second half didn't go so well for the War Eagles of St. John of Plaquemine. It was vintage Evangel; just like years past, they quickly put an end to any hopes by St. John of upsetting the class 1A bully.
Evangel scored on the opening possessions and two subsequent possessions there after winning back-to-back state championships in a 24-7 win of the War Eagles. While Evangel isn't the power that it once was, and doesn't seem to have the "studs" they used to have playing for them, they are still Evangel and they are still state champions. Next year Evangel moves up to the 2A level, which oh by the way is the Class that J.T Curtis calls home. Curtis and Evangel in the 2A state championship game in 2007, maybe? That might be one of the best championship games to ever happen in Louisiana!!!
Bastrop found them selves in a familiar situation this past weekend. Playing for a state championship is nothing new for Bastrop - led by one of the top recruits in the country QB Randal Mackey and Vince Lombardi re-incarnated head Coach Brad Bradshaw. The Bastrop Rams went head to head with Archbishop Shaw in the class 4A state championship. Shaw came into this game with a stout defense posting 6 shutouts this season and blue chip running back Daniel Borjne.
The problem? They hadn't seen a team with the speed and athleticism of Bastrop. In a penalty-marred game, the Rams took control, winning 28-14 over the Shaw Eagles while committing 20 penalties for over 200 yards.
The LHSAA has to address this game, the officials threw so many flags, the crew was later seen checking into a local hospital seeking treatment for pain in their shoulder and elbows … I am kidding of course but you get my point. What's scary is to think what the score might have been if the field hadn't been peppered yellow hankies so frequently.
The Giants! The big dogs in High School football the 5A state championship game pitted district rivals Sulphur Tornados against last years state runner-up Acadiana Wrecking Rams. Most would call the scoreless first half boring, no way no how. This was a fabulous football game.
If you like defense, this was the game to watch. Sulpher got on the board in the third quarter giving the Golden Tornados a 7-0. On Acadiana's next possession Sulphur forced a turnover at the Wrecking Rams 23 yard line. While Sulpher couldn't get into the end zone, they were able to manage a field goal giving them a 10 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The way this game was going some thought this might just be enough. WRONG!!! Acadiana promptly marched right down the field and scored on a 70 yard driving to pull within 3 points of the Tornado's. With under 4 minutes remaining in the game Acadia tied the score at 10 all on a 42-yard field goal by their place kicker. With 4 seconds remaining the Wrecking Rams had the ball inside the Sulpher 10 yard line after two back-to-back time-outs Acadiana tasted victory as Drew Allmens field goal sailed through the uprights in the Louisiana Superdome, giving the Rams their first state title in school history.
This was by far the best game of the weekend and one of the best championship games I have seen in a long long time.
By the way, I was right!
In last week’s column, I told you it was impossible! OK, OK - so I was a little out there when I said that St. Charles Catholic had a chance to beat J.T Curtis this past weekend in the 2A football state finals.
But even though the Comets didn't pull off the upset of the century, it was a great season for Franky Monica's ball club. Nobody thought after the loss of several seniors that they would return to the state championship game once again. They don't know Monica that well. He is arguably the best coach in class 2a. How can I say that on the heels of J.T Curtis's 21st state championship? Easy, Monica has done much much more with much less.
|Kristian is a producer and sports talk show host at The Big 870am/105.3fm WWL New Orleans. Read his column exclusively every week ONLY in the Herald-Guide.|