Top Dawgs: Jennings takes No. 1 seed in 3A

Rodrick Anderson

Last season, Jennings made a stunning run as the No. 23 seed to the Class 3A finals. This time the Bulldogs are the favored team.

The LHSAA released the 2020 playoffs bracket Sunday morning with Jennings earning the top billing in Class 3A.

The Bulldogs won three consecutive games by one point to reach the Superdome in 2019.

“I think our kids have done a good job with the schedule we had,” Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps said. “Now all that is erased.

“It is a 32 team bracket and elimination bracket. You have to refocus yourself. Some of those games we lost last year and had to dig out from it. Wherever you land on that bracket, you have a chance. If you are playing really good when the playoffs start, then everybody has a chance. We are a living proof of that from last year. It depends on if you can get the breaks and a little luck.”

Jennings (6-0) went undefeated in the pandemic shortened season and shared the District 4-3A crown with fellow unbeaten Lake Charles College Prep (6-0), who earned its highest seed in program history at No. 3.

The first round of the playoffs will start this week for both non-select and select teams.

The state championships are still set to be held at the Superdome a day after Christmas, Dec. 26-29.

Jennings will host No. 32 Erath (1-4) in the first round while Lake Charles College Prep will get a bye after No. 30 Caldwell Parish (2-3) had to bow out of the playoffs because of COVID-19.

Jennings and Lake Charles College Prep lead a contingent of 19 teams from Southwest La. into the post season.

Grand Lake (5-1) lost a tight game to East Iberville last year 28-20 in the regional round and will open this year’s post season campaign as the No. 3 seed in Class 1A and will get a bye. The Hornets’ community was heavily damaged by Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

No. 6 Oberlin (5-2), who reached the semifinals last year, also gets a bye in the first round while No. 10 Basile (3-2) and No. 16 East Beauregard (2-4) earned first-round home games. Basile, who has made the quarterfinals seven of the last eight seasons, will host No. 23 Magnolia School of Excellence (1-5) while the Trojans will host No. 17 Montgomery (3-4). No. 21 Merryville (1-5) will start on the road at No. 12 Block (3-5).

There will be one all-Southwest La. match up in Class 3A when No. 14 South Beauregard (4-3) hosts No. 19 Iowa (3-2) while No. 27 Iota (3-3) will travel to No. 6 Jewel Sumner (7-1).

In Class 4A, District 3-4A rivals No. 16 De-Ridder (2-3) and No. 5 Leesville will start the playoffs at home. Leesville (4-3) will take on No. 28 Northwood-Shreveport (5-2) while DeRidder will host No. 17 Lakeshore (4-4).

Class 2A perennial power Kinder (5-2) took the No. 6 seed and will host No. 27 Delcambre (2-5). No. 14 Rosepine (4-2) will also open the playoffs at home against No. 19 Northeast (3-3) while No. 28 Welsh (1-6), No. 20 Pickering (5-3) and No. 22 Oakdale (2-3) will all open the post season on the road.

Kinder reached the quarterfinals last year.

St. Louis Catholic (2-5), a Division II semifinalist a year ago, will start on the road this season at No. 7 Parkview Baptist (6-2).

Division IV No. 14 Hamilton Christian (4-2) will travel to No. 3 Ouachita Christian (6-1).Jennings senior strong safety Ethan Mack has four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in six games this season.

Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press

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