East Iberville aims to stop Haynesville in playoff fare

Staff Report

East Iberville’s football team finds itself in a much different role these days than it had for most of the program’s existence.

East Iberville coach Justin Joseph, seen here with players at a recent practices, said success has made his team a prime target in the Class 1A playoffs. Haynesville will be the next team to take aim at EIHS when the Tigers host the quarterfinal round Friday night at 7.

Gone are the days when the Tigers were the perennial underdogs. As the No. 2 seed, EIHS is the moving target among other programs – and they have continued to outlast their adversaries.

As East Iberville moves into the second round of Class 1A non-select playoff action, the gauntlet continues when the No. 2 seed Tigers (6-1, 4-1) entertain No. 7 seed Haynesville (7-2, 5-1) in the quarterfinal bracket Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

“We’ve gone from the undercover hunters to being the hunted,” first-year Tiger head coach Justin Joseph said. “Our motto is to pour the water, pour it early and pour it often.”

East Iberville entered the post-season fray as the highest seeded team across all divisions in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

It’s not a role the team takes lightly, Joseph said.

“We’re looking to finish the business we’ve started this year as the No. 2 seed,” he said. “The target is definitely on our backs.”

EIHS came back from a three-week hiatus – two weeks from COVID-19 quarantine and one week on a first-round bye – to defeat Slaughter Community Charter 41-22 last Friday.

Dontae Lodge and Skylar Jones each had two touchdowns to propel the Tigers, while Jaden Williams and Christopher Boudreaux had one apiece. EIHS led 15-8 at halftime.

“I think we got off really hot like I expected to, but not playing in those three weeks showed itself as the game went along,” Joseph said. “Slaughter Charter had a pretty good quarterback and a good receiver.

“They definitely came in motivated, chomping at the bit after their first time in the second round,” he said. “They had something they wanted to do for themselves.”

Haynseville heads to St. Gabriel after an 18-0 win over Basile in 1A regional action last week.

Leaders for Haynesville include junior quarterback Kyle Woodard, as well as senior running backs Jontavion Brown, Kedrick Grider and James Buffett. Other potential standouts include senior wide receiver Deaz Logan, junior guard Jackson Bailey, junior tackle Emmanuel Jackson, and junior defensive end Keegan Goodwin.