THREE POINT STANCE: What to watch for in playoff games

Rodrick Anderson
Warren Arceneaux

In this edition of the Three Point Stance, staff writers Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux discuss the high school football playoff brackets for area large schools.

What is the best first-round game?

RA: Northwood-Shreveport at Leesville. At first glance, this game would seem to have the standard blowout potential for a No. 5 versus a No. 28, but Northwood is not a typical 28 seed. The Falcons went undefeated but had to forfeit two games because of an ineligible player. Add the fact that the two teams were supposed to meet In Week 7, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19.

WA: Lakeshore at DeRidder. The Titans have had one of the state’s most prolific offenses the past few years. Lakeshore has scored 142 points over its past three games, all wins. DeRidder is stout on defense, led by a strong defensive line. The Dragons have held every opponent this season under 30 points and will need to keep that streak alive to have a chance to beat the Titans.

Name a player to watch.

RA: Jennings kicker Ian Mullen. Hidden amongst all of Jennings’ offensive weapons Mullen. The senior has started 39 games for the Bulldogs in his career and scored 155 points. This season, he has missed a single extra-point and kicked a career-long 41-yard field goal. Given the Bulldogs’ recent history of tight games in the postseason, having an accurate leg will be essential.

WA: Iowa quarterback Gene Natali. Over the past three weeks Natali has completed 26 of 29 pass attempts for 448 yards and three TDs. The Yellow Jackets have won twice and averaged 33.3 points per game in that span.

Which area team is going to make the deepest run?

RA: Jennings. The Bulldogs lived on the edge last season and reached the state final for the first time since 1992. Now, with many of the same faces such as quarterback Lawrence Wilridge, running backs Trevor Etienne and Jalen Lewis, strong safety Ethan Mack and defefnsive back/wide receiver Ja’Corien Palfrey, the Bulldogs have the pieces to make another run to the Superdome.

WA: Lake Charles College Prep. The undefeated Trailblazers have the area’s best set of offensive skill players, with a half dozen players holding college offers. The defense is the area where Prep has improved most over last season when they reached the quarterfinals. This year the Blazers allow 15 points per game after allowing 32 ppg last season. The offense has scored at least 33 points in every game and has held four of six opponents to fewer than 20 points. Quarterback Dillon Simon is a mature, three-year starter who takes care of the ball. Over the past two seasons he has 39 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

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