Plaquemine Green Devils face Livonia in season opener

John Dupont

The Livonia and Plaquemine football programs do not need much of an introduction to each other.

The two Class 4A squads have been perennial rivals both from a regional standpoint and from competition in the same district.

The Wildcats and Green Devils now compete in different 4A districts, but it will likely not take much of the heat from the rivalry when they clash in Week 1 action Friday.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Andrew Canova Stadium in Plaquemine.

The two teams have not crossed paths since 2017. In their last meeting, the Green Devils overpowered Livonia 48-26 when the two competed in the Baton Rouge-based District 6-4A, for which PHS won the district title and reached the 4A quarterfinals.

Plaquemine heads into the 2019 season as the favorite for the 7-4A championship after an 8-2 finish last year which came to an end with a loss to Westgate in the opening playoff round. Livonia finished 10-3 during the 2018 slate, which ended with a 35-21 loss to Lakeshore of Mandeville in second-round playoff fare.

Both teams head into this year's season opener amid transition.

Plaquemine will have only five returning starters this season, but the talent and intensity remains red hot. The Green Devils will rely on a high-powered running game led by Melvin McClay, Akim Lanieux, and Darius Washington.

Cullan Scott (6-2, 295) will lead the defensive charge for PHS.

Junior Avery Walker heads into the 2019 slate as Livonia starting quarterback. He assumes the mantle from three-year starter Kerri Wells, who graduated in spring.

Senior running back Jordan Bailey, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, will be among Walker's top targets, along with upperclassman Delvontre Victorian, a starting wide receiver.

Threats on the Livonia defense will include junior tackle Devonte Leonard, senior tackle Demetria Burks and incoming junior tackle Richard Oliver Jr.