In this edition of the Three Point Stance, staff writers Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux preview area large school Week 9 high school football games.
What's the best large schools game?
RA: Tioga at DeRidder. DeRidder is in control of its destiny. Beat Tioga on Friday and DeRidder wins its first district title since 2014. Lose, and the Dragons will have to hope Bolton upsets Tioga in Week 10. DeRidder has contained three consecutive high-powered offenses and will have to do it again this week against quarterback Blake McGehee and his talented receiver corps.
WA: Acadiana at Barbe. The Bucs have won a squeaker over Sulphur and lost a heartbreaker to Sam Houston in district road games. Now its district title chances are on the line against district leader Acadiana, which dropped a whopping 82 points on Sam Houston last week. The Rams have won four straight in the series and can clinch a share of the district title with a win.
Name a player to watch.
RA: St. Louis defensive end Wesley Maze played a key role in the Saints' 42-17 win over South Beauregard and will need to lead the charge against Westlake's powerful run game this week. Last week, Maze made six tackles, two for loss, a sack and one quarterback hurry, but that is not it. He also caused a fumble and blocked a punt.
WA: Washington-Marion's JaThan Royal. Over the past six weeks Royal has run for 697 yards and 12 touchdowns. He will need to be in top form again Friday when the Charging Indians face a LaGrange defense that has held its last four opponents to 21 or fewer points.
What is the best in-game matchup?
RA: Leesville's defense vs. Northwood-Shreveport passing attack. The last time Leesville faced a pass-oriented offense, the Wampus Cats lost by two to Tioga, but they did hold Blake McGeHee to 111 yards. The Wampus Cats will need to pressure Northwood quarterback Luke Bogan (133-212-4, 1,711 yds., 20 TDs) and hound wide receiver Detraveon Brown (38 rec., 539 yds., 9 TDs).
WA: Westlake run game vs. St. Louis defensive front. Rams running backs Jasia Semien and J.J. Ross have combined for 1,961 yards and 23 TDs. The St. Louis defense allows 152 rushing yards per game, roughly half of what the Rams gain per week. The Saints defensive line, led by Maze, Kemal Robertson and Gabe Johnson, will need to make stops near the line of scrimmage to force the Rams into uncomfortable third-and-long situations.