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Saturday, November 10, 2007

From the Observation Deck at Lee Hedges ...

I thought I'd never see a game better than the Evangel-Calvary epic of a week ago. Well, a week later, there's already a contender to the top spot. But more on last night's Captain Shreve-Byrd thriller later. This space is usually reserved for my thoughts on all the games I couldn't actually get to:

- In only one night of the Louisiana preps postseason, all the hype I'd heard about the strength of south Louisiana schools seemed to be verified. Karr over Parkway and McDonogh No. 35 over Haughton were the two scores that really caught my eye.
A pair of 5-5 teams from District 10-4A came north - following interminably long bus trips - to put a whuppin on two of the best three 4A teams in northwest Louisiana last night. That makes me wonder how good Benton really might be as the Tigers head south to face McDonough No. 35 next weekend.

- By the way, unintentionally, Haughton really fouled things up for district rival Benton. Had both teams won - only Benton did, of course - and the bracket held form, Benton wouldn't have had much of a road trip next Friday. Instead, with Haughton's loss, the Tigers will head to New Orleans for a game with McDonogh No. 35.

- Another Benton note: Casey Henderson is a beast. And, for those who don't know any better, that's a compliment.

- BTW's offense, as advertised, is pretty awesome. Thing is, the Lions' defense let them down again in a 42-12 loss at Cecilia. BTW allowed 346 yards and 20 first downs in the defeat. Jessie Sheppard, the area's leading rusher, closed out an all-star junior season with 207 yards rushing and a touchdown.

- Four of the five playoff teams from District 1-2A won their openers Friday night, with only fifth-place Loyola losing 46-44 in OT on the road at St. John. Not bad for a district I still think is probably one of the state's toughest.

- Can't say that I know much about Arcadia, but I was surprised to see the 24th-seed pull off a road upset in the first round over Central Catholic of Morgan City, La.Good for them.

- Two second-round games of note that I wish I could cover but won't: Acadiana at West Monroe, pitting last year's 5A champ against the top-ranked Rebels; and Neville at Bastrop, a rematch of a district matchup that Bastrop won 27-12 earlier in the season.

- That said, I have no idea how Mansfield was taken apart so easily at home by a former 1A school (Westminster). Even worse, the Wolverines were dominated along the line of scrimmage where, theoretically, 320-pound blue-chipper Chris Davenport is supposed to be dropping anchor. That was eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

- I save this final note for Huntington, where its improbable journey into the playoffs ended in disappointing fashion: a 56-8 loss to Hahnville. There's no need to delve too much into the game. If you're interested, check out this offering from the New Orleans Times-Picayne. But I really, truly think the Raiders have lived a storybook of a season this year, even with a story that ended so abysmally. I'd like to salute those kids and wish them well in the future. I'm not normally one who believes there's a lot of parallels between real life and football but I can't see how they - and all of us - couldn't learn something about the Raiders' perseverance and determination against the odds.


Blogger Class 1022 said...

Thanks Joel for the link to the NOLA newspaper. What the article should have read was "Lackluster Coaching". The Raiders had a winning season because of their own talent and the coaches were credited off the team's momentum, not anything they had taught them. The coaches did more fighting among themselves, trying to erase everything Coach Green had done, practice with the team only 20 to 30 minutes a day and no consistency or intensity. Through it all, the team kept it together and fought hard this season for which we are proud. Hopefully, next year we will have a man in place that has a passion for football and the Raiders at heart. And hopefully next year, Joel, you will see we are a team to be feared.

1:01 PM  

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