Last week, LaGrange produced its first home playoff win in 13 years, DeRidder won its first in 17 years while Barbe extended its bi-district round winning streak to six.
All three will be looking to take another step on the road to the Dome tonight in the regional round of the state football playoffs.
Barbe (10-1) will host Byrd (8-2), a Class 5A semifinalist last season. In Class 4A, LaGrange (8-3) will play at St. Martinville (6-5), the lowest remaining seed in the playoffs, while DeRidder (7-4) will host Holy Cross (8-2).
Barbe did not produce its usual offensive fireworks in its 24-7 win over Terrebonne last week. Bucs head coach Mike Cutrera said he isn’t worried about style points.
“We did well enough to win, that is the main thing,” Cutrera said. “It guaranteed us a chance to play again.”
The Bucs will be seeing another option-based offense, although Byrd runs it differently than Terrebonne.
“They are more under center,” Cutrera said. “They remind me of an Acadiana-type veer, although they use the wing-slot. They are very well-coached and fundamentally sound. They can throw it when they need to. Defensively, they are always in the right spot and are physical.”
No. 2 Barbe’s defense carried the day last week, shutting down Terrebonne after allowing an opening-drive touchdown and producing a pair of turnovers.
“They came up with key stops and key turnovers near the goal line that we converted into points,” Cutrera said. “(Defensive back) Canon Cart kept after it when their quarterback made a long run down and made tackle. Two plays later they fumble and we go 95 yards.”
No. 14 LaGrange (8-3) had an easier time, beating Franklinton 33-6.
“We did a great job offensively and defensively. We were able to run the ball extremely well,” said Gators head coach Jules Sullen.
St. Martinville (6-5) beat No. 3 seed and previously unbeaten Lutcher 30-29 on the road last week.
“That was a phenomenal game,” Sullen said. “I can’t say that I am surprised, because when you look at the film, they can run the ball well. We have to be able to line up correctly and stop them.”
Quarterback Jamiah Nelson ran for 125 yards and Malik Anthony ran for 152 to lead the Tigers.
“The guy that is playing quarterback was their main running back,” Sullen said. “I guess the coach decided to spice up their offense by moving him to quarterback. They use the wing-T with a lot of option. We have to be sound and disciplined.
“The kids are excited; they understand that a victory tonight will put them in the elite as one of the final eight.”
No. 22 DeRidder (7-4) pulled an upset last week, knocking off No. 11 O.P. Walker 10-6. The Dragons have won five of their last six games and will be looking for their first trip to the quarterfinals since the 1995 season.
No. 6 Holy Cross (8-2) advanced with a 28-0 win over Archbishop Shaw. Backup quarterback Tucker Herzog threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores after starter James Tabary suffered a shoulder injury. Herzog was the Tigers’ starting quarterback last season.