What to watch for in the semifinals
In this edition of the Three Point Stance, staff writers Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux discuss local semifinal football games.
<strong>Which is the most interesting football game?</strong>
<strong>WA</strong>: Sterlington at Iota. The Bulldogs have a perfect record and are seeking a return to the Superdome of the first time in 17 years. Sterlington is no stranger to the big stage, having won the Class 2A state title in 2016. Both teams prefer a physical style of play. Sterlington has won its last two games by a single point and is unlikely to get rattled if things are tight late.
<strong>RA</strong>: Welsh at Many. This will be Round 2 for the Greyhounds and Tigers in the Class 2A semifinals. Welsh won last year’s game 28-18 after scoring 14 points off two Many turnovers in the fourth quarter. Both teams can pound it out on the ground and have strong defenses, so the game will likely again come down to turnovers, especially with a 90 percent chance of rain forecasted.
<strong>What is the best in-game matchup?</strong>
<strong>WA</strong>: Welsh offensive line vs. Many defensive line. The Welsh offense was in top form last week, scoring 41 points in three quarters, moving the ball well on the ground and through the air. This week they will face a tough Many defense, led by end Myron Warren, an University of Texas commitment. The ‘Hounds will have to maintain the balance they showed last week, which means they will have to keep Warren from getting to quarterback Austyn Benoit.
<strong>RA</strong>: Iota’s defense vs. Sterlington RB Dallas Reagor. The Bulldogs have to find a way to stop Sterlington’s Dallas Reagor, who has rushed for 2,034 yards and 21 touchdowns in his junior season. Iota will need to stack the box to get to the Superdome for the first time since 2002.
<strong>Name a player to watch.</strong>
<strong>WA</strong>: Iota RBs Luke Doucet and Kollin Guillory. Sterlington gave up 374 rushing yards and 56 points in a second-round win against Church Point. Like the Bears, the Bulldogs like to keep things on the ground. Doucet and Guillory have combined for 2,707 yards and 39 touchdowns.
<strong>RA</strong>: Leesville LB Matthew Pajinag. The senior missed two games but still leads the Wampus Cats with 114 tackles. He has been at his best in the playoffs with 47 tackles in three games, including 16 last week in Leesville’s last-minute win over St. Martinville. Pajinag will have to lead the defense against Warren Easton’s loaded offense that has several Division I prospects in QB Lance Legendre, RB Jahmal Sam, wide receiver Kiaeem Green and RB Ashaad Clayton.