FOOTBALL

Formidable foes await local teams for Week 5

Staff Report

The stakes get higher for all four local football teams as the 2022 season moves into Week 5.

Two squads – Plaquemine and White Castle – will work to remain unbeaten and healthy as they head into the thick of the season.

St. John wants to keep its momentum intact after winning three consecutive games after a loss in their regular season opener.

The young East Iberville squad will set its sights on the second victory of its season with hopes to stay in contention for a playoff shot.

It’s all part of the Week 5 slate in which the season shifts into October and the marquee games that follow. Here’s a look at what each team faces this week.

PLAQUEMINE

The Green Devil offense and defense have both earned much respect from other schools in south Louisiana, but bigger tests loom.

St. Michael the Archangel (1-3) comes to Andrew Canova Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday after a 23-0 victory against struggling Belaire. Its losses came against three formidable programs – defending state champion University, along with Episcopal and Brusly.

The Green Devils earned a playoff berth last season after a 32-18 win over St. Michael.

After the loss of a strong crop of seniors, St. Michael’s rebuilding season includes junior quarterback Anthony Distefano, junior cornerback Hays Marionneaux, junior wide receiver Stephen Redden, senior defensive tackle Parker Mains and 300-pound junior tackle Austin Wood.

“They’re going to be tough, hard-nosed football team,” Plaquemine head coach Drey Troxclair said. “They have a very disciplined approach, they’re very well coached and they run good schemes on both sides of the ball. We are going to have to put the Istrouma win behind us quickly … 24-hour rule. We need to have a great week of practice for this solid St. Michael’s team.”

ST. JOHN

Head coach Coby Minton gave his Eagles a stern warning about Houma Christian after SJHS shut out West St. Mary 41-0.

“This is not the same Houma Christian we saw last year,” he said.

One year ago, Houma Christian and many others along the Gulf Coast struggled to rebound after Hurricane Ida.

HCHS is feeling the wounds after a 61-0 rout against the rugged Riverside Academy, but chalked up a 27-17 win on Sept. 16 at Ascension Christian in Gonzales.

The Eagle offense needs four full quarters, while the defense must remain stingy and aggressive, Minton said.

“They have a new coach, and they’re now running the Wing-T, which is better suited for their personnel,” he said. “They were trying to spread it out without great athletes last year, but this year they’re fundamentally sound on defense. If we focus and lock in the way we did against Highland Baptist, I think we can be successful. We just have to handle it the right way.”

HCHS standouts include junior quarterback Brody Dufrene, junior wide receiver Joseph Landry Jr., junior defensive tackle Trever Daigle and sophomore defensive end Sean Murphy.

WHITE CASTLE

The Bulldogs hope to keep the fire burning on the hottest start their program has seen in more than 15 years, but they will face formidable foe when they travel Friday to New Roads to face unbeaten Catholic-Pointe Coupee at Community Park Stadium.

The Hornets, also 4-0, await the Bulldogs after they breezed past Wilkinson County, Miss. (Woodville) 57-14 a rare out-of-state game for Catholic-PC.

The game could figure as a battle of the rushing attacks. White Castle will aim to stop a Hornet ground scheme that has averaged 52 points per game this season.

“They’ve always been a triple option team, so I know it will be physical and I know what we’re going to see,” head coach Marc Brown said. “We mirror each other a little bit scheme-wise – a little different, but both triple option – so the game might be over by 8:30 the way we both run the ball. I anticipate a very good ballgame.”

Leaders for the Hornets include sophomore running back Parker Jewell, senior strong safety/running back Landon Frey, senior wide receiver Cameron Kennedy, senior running back Hunter Beard and senior defensive tackle Carson Hurdle.

EAST IBERVILLE

The Tigers seek their second of the season when they host Pine (4-0), a Class 3A squad based in the Washington Parish town of Franklinton, near the Mississippi state line.

East Iberville (1-3) came up short 38-20 despite a solid showing against 3A foe Baker, but the Tigers still have time to reverse their fortunes, head coach Justin Joseph said.

“That’s a good program, and we will have our work cut out for us as a young team,” he said. “But if we keep the ball away from them and play four full quarters, we will have chance to win.”

Pine heads to St. Gabriel after a 35-28 win over Livingston Collegiate Academy. The previously chalked wins over Varnado (17-12), Independence (34-0) and Pearl River (28-21). Leaders for Pine include junior quarterback Luke Spears, junior running back James Owens, sophomore wide receiver Jordan Anderson, freshman defensive end Ka’Zyrius Harvey and junior defensive tackle Tre’ Magee.