7-in-Seven Countdown: Top Touchdown Live matchups in 2022
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - We are just weeks away from KPLC’s coverage of the 2022 high school football season and to get ready we continue our 7-in-Seven countdown series.
Countdowns will include topics from McNeese to high school football. A new countdown each week, beginning every Monday.
We continue the countdown with the top seven Touchdown Live matchups this upcoming season.
7. Westlake vs Welsh (September 9)
We open the list with a cross-class clash between Westlake and Welsh.
The two schools are connected by coaching staffs very familiar with each other as the Rams are led by former Welsh state championship coach John Richardson. His protege Cody Gueringer is once again leading the Hounds as they aim to put up back-to-back winning seasons.
The teams met last season, as Welsh would use a fourth-quarter comeback to make Westlake sweat but the Rams would hold on, 30-22. Both teams lose quality seniors on offense like Jamaal Guillory and Cohen Fontenot, so it’ll be up to the next group of stars to give us another classic.
6. Kinder at Jennings (October 7)
Onto a matchup of two of the most consistent teams over the last decade in the area that now become district rivals.
Kinder and Jennings will meet for the fourth time since 2005 in October and could be the beginning of a new rivalry. The football programs have each made a name for themselves with their option running games and postseason success.
Both Kinder and Jennings must shake off disappointing seasons as both finished with losing records in 2021. However, each team has a proven head coach and quality talent waiting in the wings, so this should be a fun run-based matchup for years to come.
5. LCCP at Westgate (September 9)
The next matchup on the list will be the one with the most college prospects. LCCP heads to Westgate in the second week of the season as a follow-up to last year’s 28-12 Tiger win.
The Blazers hosted the eventual Class 4A champs and proved to be a true test for a Westgate team that had arguably the state’s toughest schedule.
Despite the Blazers losing some top-end talent like four-star running back Trevonte Citizen and three-star wide receiver Keshlon Jackson, this year’s LCCP squad may be a better team with quarterback Josiah Bushnell entering his second year starting and the state’s No. 10 player, Curley Reed, entering his senior season.
For Westgate, the Tigers must replace star tight end Danny Lewis, however, five-star defensive back Derek Williams returns on what should be another quality Westgate team with an eye on a repeat.
It’ll be a battle of arguably the state’s two best defensive backs and will be a can’t-miss affair.
4. Rosepine at Avoyelles (October 28)
Coming in at number four on the list are two teams that have played each other in the past, but now they will be doing so as members of the same district. In addition, both teams are coming off quarterfinal appearance’s last season.
Rosepine will take on Avoyelles who just joined District 4-2A. Both teams have a philosophy of running the ball a lot. The Eagles will no doubt rely on Grant Ducote to be the bell cow and they will have to do life without Ethan Frey at quarterback. Good news for Rosepine is that they have a solid defense that came alive in 2021.
One interesting thing about Avoyelles is that they don’t punt the ball away. It will be interesting to see how the offense does against an improved Rosepine defense that will aim to build upon their success in 2021.
3. LCCP at Westlake (September 30)
This game has been a must see over the past few seasons. LCCP and Westlake will engage in their rivalry once again and as of late it’s been the Trailblazers who have gotten the better of the Rams.
LCCP’s high powered offense took over in the second half of last years meeting and came out with a 40-7 win. This season they’ll be without key parts to their offense but look for Josiah Bushnell to build off what was an impressive 2021 campaign in his first season starting at quarterback.
Westlake made a big turn last season and a big reason why was because of Jamal Guillory. His play making ability in and out the pocket was a big reason the Rams made a second round appearance in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the Rams keep the pop in their offense while trying to replace a big veteran presence.
2. Sulphur at Barbe (October 7)
This matchup is between two old foes that are multi-sport rivals. Barbe and Sulphur will square off for another thrilling affair in week six. The Golden Tors won last season’s game in a come from behind effort which was just their second win against the Bucs in the last three tries.
Barbe returns Will McClain at quarterback along with speedy receiver Jamal Levi who helped catapult the Buccaneers offense to some high numbers in their return to the field. Sulphur lost a big part of their offense in Swiss army knife Tag Stelly who played many roles for the Tors over the last four seasons.
1. DeRidder at Leesville (October 14)
Coming in at the number one spot is a long standing rivalry that’s played for the Hooper trophy. DeRidder and Leesville will renew their rivalry in October and if you went to the game last season you know it was a must watch.
These teams are no strangers to each other. Both like to run the ball and the Dragons will aim to do it again with Ronnie Crosby carrying the load. Last season he rushed for over 1800 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran back the opening kick off in last seasons game.
Leesville will be without their lead man in Caleb Gallashaw who almost single handedly brought the Wampus Cats back in the come from behind effort. Gallashaw finished last seasons game with over 400 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. Despite Gallashaw not being there anymore the Wampus Cats still have a young nucleus of talent on both sides of the ball that will aim to step up in 2022.
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