(Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:26 PM
The foes will be familiar ones for Iowa and Jennings in their Class 3A quarterfinal games Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets will travel to Crowley to face District 4-3A rival Notre Dame for the second time this season, while Jennings will be at Livonia. The No. 13 Bulldogs and No. 5 Wildcats played a home-and-home series in 2009-10.
No. 2 Notre Dame (10-1) won the first game against No. 26 Iowa (10-2), 28-13, on Oct. 12. That game was also in Crowley.
“I think (having played them already), makes it easier, especially after you lose to somebody; not too many times you get a chance to redeem yourself,” said Iowa head coach Sean Richard.
“We feel like we played hard. Physically we went toe-to-toe with them. We made some mental mistakes late in the game that cost us. We have learned a lot since then and learned a lot from them. You can’t make mistakes when you play great teams. They are one of the best-coached teams in the state and always have a lot of talent. Coach (Lewis) Cook does a great job. They do things the right way.”
Richard said the Yellow Jackets overcame a slow start in last week’s 28-17 win over North Vermilion.
“We played OK last week,” he said. “The first half we came out maybe a little flat, but our coaching staff made some great adjustments.”
Richard said he is happy to be working during Thanksgiving week.
“It feels good,” he said. “I have been in high school football for 16 years, and this is only the second time I have had a game Thanksgiving week. The other time I was playing, I was a junior at Kinder and we lost to Loyola in a quarterfinal game.”
The winner of the Notre Dame-Iowa game will play the winner of the Farmerville-East Feliciana game in the semifinals.
Jennings (9-3) and Livonia (10-2) split a pair of regular-season games in 2009-10, with Livonia winning 21-18 at home in 2009, and Jennings winning 61-40 the following season.
Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps said Livonia has an arsenal of weapons on offense.
“They have great team speed,” Phelps said. “They run the spread offense and are athletic at wide receiver and all the skill positions, and it looks like they have good size up front. They do a good job of spreading the ball around.”
Phelps said big plays are an area of concern against the Wildcat passing game.
“We have done pretty good against the pass,” he said. “We have given up some plays but also made some plays in the passing game. You hope not to give up the big play. The plays of 20, 30 or 40 yards. If you don’t give up those plays you give yourself a chance. Our secondary has been pretty steady for us all year.”
In last week’s 20-19 win over Loranger, the Bulldogs were able to play keep away.
“We controlled the clock offensively, we had some nice drives, one that was 17 plays,” Phelps said. “We had two or three big plays, a 60-yard run and 40-yard pass play. We kept them bottled up for the most part and defended the pass pretty well.”
The Jennings-Livonia winner will face the winner of the No. 1 Parkview Baptist-No. 9 North DeSoto game.