The high school football regular season is entering the home stretch, with just two weeks left in regular season action.
There is plenty to play for over those final two weeks, with district trophies and playoff seeding on the line. The fun starts Thursday night with a huge game between Notre Dame and Welsh. The District 6-2A title is likely on the line, though Notre Dame has a game against an explosive Lake Arthur team next week. Welsh is seeking revenge for its lone loss in last year's championship season, in addition to a move up into the top four playoff seeds in hopes of hosting games in the quarterfinal and/or semifinal rounds.
Here is a breakdown of what's at stake for area teams in the final two weeks of the season.
Class 5A: Barbe is 16th, Sam Houston 17th and Sulphur 20th in this week's power rankings. All three still have hope of landing a first-round home game. The Bucs currently hold the last home spot and has the additional benefit of hosting its two remaining games against Comeaux and LaGrange. The Bucs should win those, but may have to sweat out the seedings since those two teams have won only four games combined.
The Broncos also get to finish at home, with games against Lafayette and New Iberia. The games are not gimmies, with the Lions having won two of their last three, while New Iberia ended Sam Houston's playoff hopes last year with a win in their Week 10 matchup.
Sulphur is behind the 8-ball due to its 4-4 record. The Tors finish with two road games and are just 1-2 away from home this season. A Week 10 trip to Comeaux could be tricky, as the Spartans have already upset Acadiana and could be playing to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Class 4A: Leesville is undefeated and playing for seeding. The Wampus Cats currently sit fifth. The Cats can pick up a good win this week when it travels to face six-win Tioga. They close with a non-district game at St. Louis, which plays a ball-control style that could give the high-flying Wampus Cats trouble. A move into the top four could give the Cats a home game in the quarterfinal round.
DeRidder is holding onto one of the final playoff slots at No. 30, but should be able to win out against 3-win Buckeye and winless Grant. Two wins should be enough to get the Dragons a playoff berth.
Class 3A: Iota is perfect in a brutal District 5-3A, which features four other teams in the top 13. The Bulldogs hold the No. 1 seed by a substantial margin and plays No. 2 Eunice in Week 10. Even with a loss there, the Bulldogs should finish in the top two and could stay at home through the semifinal round.
Lake Charles College Prep is fifth now and within a half-point of the fourth spot. The Blazers weren't hurt by losing to undefeated Notre Dame, but also doesn't get much of a boost from opponents' records. Two wins should keep the Blazers in the top eight and they could move up into the top four with a little luck.
South Beauregard is chasing a home game at No. 18 while Jennings (No. 33), Westlake (No. 38) and Washington-Marion (No. 40) are all on the outside looking in. Jennings may be able to sneak in with a split of its final two games, home to South Beauregard and at LC Prep. Those teams have 11 combined wins. Westlake missed an opportunity to move up by losing at home to 2A Lake Arthur last week, while a series of narrow losses probably has left Washington-Marion too far back to make the field of 32.
Class 2A: Welsh, Rosepine and Lake Arthur currently hold the 5-7 spots and should be safe to host first round games. East Beauregard is at No. 15 and likely needs at least one more win to be safe, with a game at Vinton this week and home to Rosepine next week. Vinton, Oakdale and DeQuincy appear safe to get into the playoffs, with all currently seeded between 22 and 26.
Class 1A: Basile is at No. 6 and likely has too much ground to makeup to move into the top four, but also has a big enough cushion that it is safe to be in the top eight. No. 11 Oberlin likely gets a home game and Elton at No. 18 has a shot to move into the top 16, though it faces a tough pair of road games against suddenly hot Merryville and Oberlin.