SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - While this is a quarterfinal preview, the St. Louis Saints are making their first semifinal trip in 41 years after a thrilling three-point win over Loyola last week. A road trip to face top seed St. Thomas More awaits on Friday.
The match up features contrasting styles as the Saints are led by Evan Joubert his nearly 1,700 yards on the ground while the Cougars have a successful air assault led by Harvard commit Caleb Holstein who has thrown for over 3,000 yards this year.
“Right now our focus is beating linemen one on one and getting to the quarterback and putting pressure on him,” St. Louis defensive end Wesley Maze said. "We have to keep pressure on him he’s a good quarterback.”
“We have to play aggressive on both sides of the ball and call an aggressive defensive and offensive plan," said St. Louis head coach Chad Lavergne. "We have to play smart special teams and just reset after every play.”
Heading east to Jennings where the Dogs have lived up to their underdog role in the postseason. In a muddy, defensive battle the Bulldogs were able to shut down Church Point en route to their one point win to get back to the quarters.
They’ll remain at home as fate would have it as number two seed Sterlington comes to town. Despite being seeded highly, the Panthers haven’t been rolling over teams in the playoffs, winning their first two games by a combined 12 points.
“Our seniors have worked awfully hard to get to this point as far as keeping us together after an 0-3 start,” Bulldogs head coach Rusty Phelps admitted. "We’ve been the underdog for the last two weeks but we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and stay focused and continue to practice hard and get ready for Friday.”
Kinder is the lone team remaining in 2A and is a bit of a mainstay when it comes to practicing during Thanksgiving week. The Jackets are making their sixth quarterfinal trip in the last seven seasons after taking down Red River. They'll will hit the road for the first time this postseason to take on top seed Ferriday.
Since losing to ASH in week one the Trojans haven’t tasted defeat since and have held every opponent to 14 points or less in their wins. However, Kinder isn’t letting any of that interfere with their preparation.
“Those seedings really mean nothing. The games are played on the field and our guys know that they need to stay true to what they’ve done all season long," Kinder head coach Bret Fuselier said. "Every week we just try to get a little bit better than we were the previous week and that’s all we can do. Do your job and trust what you do.”
Class 1A features a pair of district foes in Oberlin and Basile who will go head to head for the second time in four weeks. The two seed Tigers are aiming to get back to the semis for the first time since 2010 while the Bearcats have gone 23 seasons without advancing past the quarters.
Of course, now there’s a lot more at stake than just a district title and both teams must be prepared for new challenges the other brings.
“It’s really just about trying to pick up new stuff that they put in as well as putting in new stuff for us," said Oberlin running back Colin Chatman. "We have to try and come out and not play them the same way we did but even better than last time.”
“Three weeks ago feels like a season ago. We want to continue playing well," Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand said. "We want to continue to be able to block and run the ball and stop people when we need to. We’re hoping for a different outcome obviously. We know we’re going to have to play our best game of the season and that’s what it takes in the quarterfinals.”