Barbe's Jamie McGee connects on a 25-yard field goal as time expires as the Bucs beat Acadiana 31-28 Friday night in a District 3-5A game. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, October 06, 2012 11:42 PM
Sign me up for four more weeks of what we had Friday night.
A winning field goal as the clock expired at Barbe. A last-minute goal line stand at Washington-Marion. A game-deciding 2-point conversion attempt at LaGrange.
It was district football at its finest, rivals playing hard-fought, high-stakes games.
We don’t get a lot of that during the first half of the regular season, when most games against teams from outside the area dominate the schedule. We still have a few good regional rivalries such as Jennings-Eunice, Westlake-Sam Houston, DeRidder-Leesville and Kinder-Elton, but they can’t match the drama of district games, when teams are better conditioned and usually playing at a higher level than they were early in the season.
In district games, there are fewer unknowns. Years of playing the same teams means the game plan of each team will be well known by the opponent. Yards and points will be harder to come by. Every snap carries more importance, and with playoff spots and positioning on the line, the outcome of every game is increased.
Additionally, there is more pride involved. Letterman jackets, trophies and bragging rights are all at stake in district games. A chance to become a champion. The atmosphere in the stadiums are better. Games become events.
Often, the best players shine brightest as well. That was the case at Barbe Friday night as the Bucs trio of Kennon Fontenot (417 passing yards, 54 rushing yds., 4 TDs), Desean Smith (9 receptions, 178 yds.) and Trey Quinn (8 rec., 171 yds., 3 TDs) delivered highlight reel performances to help the Bucs remain atop the District 3-5A standings.
The Bucs can take control of the district race, as well as score another big load of power points, with a win at Carencro in their next game. It will be a tall order against the Bears, who were the Class 5A runner-up last season and beat Barbe in Lake Charles. A win will put the Bucs in good shape to run the table over the rest of the regular season, possibly giving them a top-four playoff seed.
At Washington-Marion, two-way star Melvin Jones scored the only two touchdowns of the game in W-M’s 14-6 win over St. Louis, then spearheaded a defense that made a goal-line stand in the last minute to preserve the win. The Charging Indians will also have a shot to take control of the District 4-4A race this week if they can win in DeRidder. The Dragons made their own defensive stand this week, when defensive back Jarrett Floyd deflected a pass on a 2-point conversion to preserve a key road win over LaGrange.
The Dragons win snapped a two-game losing streak and positioned the Dragons to be a factor in a title chase that figures to be close. Last year, LaGrange, St. Louis and Washington-Marion tied for the district crown by beating everyone else and splitting games against each other. A win over the Charging Indians will announce the Dragons as a legitimate contender for this year’s crown.
Iowa pulled out a close one in Crowley in its first district game to remain unbeaten and set up a huge clash this week when it returns to Crowley to face Notre Dame, which shut out Jennings 23-0 in its district opener. In Jennings, the Bulldogs will try to remain in the race when it hosts Westlake.
Let’s all hope this week’s showdown can match the drama we had this week.
Warren Arceneaux covers high school athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org