Eight teams from Southwest Louisiana won Friday night and advanced to the second round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association football playoffs.
The American Press had reporters and photographers at many of the area's top games. The following is a quick-hit look at each game. Pick up a copy of Saturday's American Press for complete stories and photos. Check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/americanpress for a photo gallery of Friday's action.
Barbe had its hands full with a scrappy Terrebonne team to open the playoffs.
Fortunately for the Bucs, they had the better hands.
Star receiver Trey Quinn got his usual 166 yards receiving, but the Bucs’ oft-maligned defense turned the game with two crucial fumble recoveries to frustrate the best efforts of Terrebonne.
Both recoveries — one by Isaac Sanders, the other by Beau Jordan — came at the Bucs’ 5-yard line to waste a lot of the Tigers’ 211 yards rushing.
No. 2 Barbe (10-1) advanced to host Byrd in the regional round despite scoring a season-low point total with its state-leading offense.
“It’s the playoffs, you just want to win,” Barbe coach Mike Cutrera said. “They came out scrappy and playing hard. We finally found some things that could work for us and started moving the ball.
“Defensively, we came up with some key stops.”
Kennon Fontenot completed 15 of 21 passes for 247 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown to Quinn that capped a gigantic momentum shift on the final play of the first quarter.
MONROE — Kavonte Turpin returned two punts for touchdowns as top-seeded Neville jumped out to a big lead and never looked back.
John Diarse ran for two scores and threw for a third as Nevelle (10-0) remained undefeated.
Diarse scored on TD runs of four and 77 yards and then hit Turpin on a 28-yard scoring pass for the Tigers, who advanced to the second round.
Turpin also scored on punt returns of 74 and 78 yards.
St. Louis (5-6) was led by Jared Smith, who ran for 109 yards on 19 carries. Alex Kjellsten kicked a 52-yard field goal for the Saints.
LAKE CHARLES — The frosty shower given to LaGrange head coach Jules Sullen with a couple minutes remaining said it all.
It screamed milestone.
The No. 14-seeded Gators dominated its first playoff home game since 1999, routing No. 19 Franklinton to give the school its first playoff win since that 1999 season.
LaGrange will travel to St. Martinville next week after the No. 30-seeded Tigers upset No. 3-seeded Lutcher by a 30-29 margin.
It was apparent that LaGrange was well-prepared for the Demons, rolling up 359 rushing yards while limiting the Franklinton spread attack to six first downs.
“We thought we could come out here and establish the run,” Sullen said. “We realized that’s our strength right now."
NEW ORLEANS — Thomas Broussard kicked a 33-yard field goal to lift 22nd-ranked DeRidder to an upset of 11th-ranked O.P. Walker.
O.P. Walker (6-3) drove to attempt a last-minute comeback, but at DeRidder’s 18-yard line, Chargers’ quarterback Li’Jon Cordier spiked the ball to stop the clock, not realizing it was fourth down.
DeRidder (8-4) got the ball back with about 25 seconds left on the clock and knelt on it to run out the clock.
DeRidder will host No. 6 Holy Cross, a 28-0 winner over No. 27 Shaw, in the regional round.
D’Angelo Reder led DeRidder with 91 yards and the Dragon’s lone touchdown on 20 carries.
In a game where defensive stops were few and far between, Northwood came up with two down the stretch to seal its first playoff win in more than a decade.
Northwood (9-2) will host No. 2 seed Karr next week. Karr (10-0) beat Peabody 50-6 in its bi-district game Thursday.
Washington-Marion (8-3) took a 38-35 lead midway through the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run by Darrien Duhon, then got the ball back when the kickoff bounced off a Northwood player. W-M drove to the Northwood 30-yard line, but was stopped on a fourth down play with 3:39 remaining.
Northwood needed only five plays to score the winner. Falcons quarterback Jerrick Peterson found Angelo Roberts wide open down the left sideline for a 49-yard touchdown with 2:17 left. W-M again drove to the Northwood 30, but was again stopped on a fourth down play, when quarterback Maruius Rideaux was forced out of the pocket and had a desperation heave intercepted by Trey Walker with 59 seconds left, preserving Northwood’s first playoff win since 1994.
JENNINGS – The Jennings Bulldogs forced three fourth-quarter turnovers as they were able to hold on for a win over the Bogalusa Lumberjacks.
The Bulldogs advanced to the regional round of the playoffs where they will travel to face Loranger, who a 47-14 winner over Kaplan.
The Bulldogs forced two interceptions and one fumble in the fourth quarter.
“The fumble was big and two interceptions were very big,” said Jennings coach Rusty Phelps. “I’m real proud we were able to get those turnovers. To come out of here with two interceptions and fumble recovery was big against a team like this.”
BUCKEYE — Iowa ended a five-year drought Friday night and proved their playoff seeding to be way off.
The Yellow Jackets dominated Buckeye for a 49-6 win and secured their first postseason victory since 2007.
The No. 26 Yellow Jackets (9-2) will host No. 10 North Vermilion, a 38-36 winner over Avoyelles, in the regional round next week.
Iowa led 22-0 after the first quarter and 49-0 by halftime, completely demolishing seventh-seeded Buckeye on both sides of the ball.
Chaz Key scored on runs of 48 and 24 yards, Jordan Malbreaux found the end zone from 20, 36 and 9 yards away and D’Juan Ringmaiden ran one in from 5 yards out for Iowa. Austin Theriot added a passing touchdown when he connected with Tanner Buller on a 23-yard pass in the second quarter.
The Yellow Jackets defense held Buckeye, which averaged 35.1 points in its last four games, scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Iowa forced four fumbles, grabbed an interception and held Buckeye to 177 yards, all on the ground.
WESTLAKE — For one half of football, Westlake looked like a team ready to knock off the defending state 3A champs. St. Charles rallied and showed just how tough a champion can be.
Brandon Zimmer’s run with just over five minutes remaining lifted the Comets to the win.
Zimmer’s score came after the Rams (6-4) had jumped out to a 26-6 halftime lead.
For the Comets it was their seventh straight victory, but it didn’t come easy.
ROSEPINE — Blake Hinson ran for three touchdowns as the Eagles crushed Lake Arthur.
Rosepine’s prize for the rout? The Eagles (8-3) get to travel to Shreveport for the second round to face perennial power Evangel Christian.
Evangel has won 13 state titles, including two of the last three. Evangel, the No. 2 seed, throttled Capitol 54-16 in its bi-district game.
Rosepine used a powerful ground attack to wear down Lake Arthur and control the game. The Eagles ran for 318 yards and held the ball for 21 minutes in the second half.
KINDER — Kinder lost a heartbreaker when the Yellow Jackets failed to convert a two-point conversion with 39 seconds left.
No. 17 North Webster survived No. 16 Kinder’s last-minute attack to win and head to the regional round of the playoffs.
Khalil LeBlanc caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Austin Pickle with 39 secons left on the clock, leaving Kinder (8-3) an extra-point shy of tying the game. When North Webster (7-4) lined up offside, Kinder was left with only a yard between itself and the goal line and elected to go for the win.
Even after North Webster turned Pickle away, the Yellow Jackets’ Wells Cooley recovered the onside kick and Kinder had a chance to win the game. North Webster didn’t allow Kinder to get the drive moving, though, and advance to a regional round game with top-seeded John Curtis.
WELSH — Northlake Christian’s spread offense proved too much for Welsh to handle.
Undeterred by its 20th seed in the playoff bracket, Northlake Christian used ball control and an efficient passing game to upend the Greyhounds, who finished the year 8-3.
Northlake Christian (6-4) took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards in 14 plays. Taylor Mussachia’s 1-yard run gave the visitors a 1-yard lead.
BASILE — Basile defeated Elton for the second time in eight days, but this time around it was much closer.
A week ago, Basile downed Elton 28-12 in the final game of the season. In that game, Elton scored the first 12 points before Basile stormed back.
This time around, Basile bolted to a 14-0 lead behind a pair of touchdown runs by Kendrick Ceasar covering 27 and 1 yard.
Basile (10-1) advanced to the regional round to face the winner of Mangham and Plain Dealing. Elton finished the season 7-4.
OBERLIN — Fifteenth-seeded Oberlin rolled behind Lance Frank’s 101 yards.
The reward for Oberlin (8-3) is a trip to No. 2 Haynesville (8-2) in next week’s regional round.
Haynesville beat No. 31 Christian Life 28-0 in its opener.
Jordan Wilson added 65 yards on seven carries and Austin Darbonne added 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 11 carries. Frank also ran for two scores.