Monroe Dispatch - No Struggle, No Progress

Mr. Pickem Grissom's Football Predictions

Week 10 - November 2 & 3 week 10 record: 13-3 featured games: 3-0 18-7 overall overall record: 112-31

 

November 9, 2017 | View PDF

Photo dispatch

Madison Carroll Football At Carroll Homecoming Fri. Nov. 3 Carroll used a smothering defense to stymy a Madison Parish Football Squad. Carroll defenders were ferocious all night which gave Madison fits all night.

POST-SEASON EDITION Thurs. & Fri. NOV. 10-11

As the regular season has ended, the second season for our area teams will begin thursday night when the 1st round of the LHSAA playoffs kickoff. The easy thing for area fans to do is to pick the team with the better seeding and go from there, but after years of prognosticating there's never a sure-fire way to predict the outcomes this time of the year. I've filled out my brackets for each classification and there are some usual suspects that i predict to make a run and there's also some upsetting losses that i think will occur in the early stages. Here's wishing all of our area teams the best of luck in their quests to hoist the trophy in december.

#7 NEVILLE TIGERS (6-3) VS #26 WOODLAWN (BR) PANTHERS (6-4)

The Neville Tigers have somehow managed to salvage a season once considered lost by novice on-lookers. Those on-lookers could point to the 3 early season losses which included 2 on their own home turf and after an early 2-3 start I can honestly say I even had doubts about how the Tigers could make this season respectable to say the least. Well 4 consecutive wins and 9 straight district titles later they'll find themselves hosting the opening round of the playoffs at home vs a familiar foe. That opponent will be the Woodlawn Panthers who the Tigers beat a year ago 44-7 in the 1st round of 2016. Jaiden Cole, Josh Diarse, and Bobby Newton led the Tigers in that game, but this year's cast will be a bit different. Jordan Wallace now takes the snaps for the Tigers while Demaine Riley and Joe Bouie provide the help. Last week it was Riley that put Neville ahead with his 1-yard jaunt after a botched Bastrop Rams snap gave Neville the short field. Riley added 80 yards rushing for the Tigers while Bouie snagged 3 passes for a team-high 25 yards. Neville's defense was at its best against a Rams team that averaged 265 passing yards per game. DE Anthony Freeman put the pressure to QB SirQuan Hawkins forcing several errant passes while completing less than 50% of his throws.

If there's any team than can testify to what a Neville defense is capable of its Woodlawn. The Panthers strolled into Ruple Stadium last year and nearly left with the same amount of points as it arrived with. A late 4th quarter score took the Panthers off the goose-egg and they've used some of that momentum to turn in a very productive season. After dropping their first game of the season the Panthers ripped off 6 straight wins only to lose 3 in a row to end the year. Those 4 losses are very respectable though. Lutcher, Plaquemine and Parkview Baptist all beat the Panthers, but the deficits were 10 points or less. Woodlawn features a power rushing attack and sound defense that's bound to give Neville concerns. RB Xavier Lodge is lightning in a bottle with the ball in his hands and is considered one of the better backs in the Baton Rouge area. On the other side of the ball Woodlawn's defense has not allowed any opponent to score more than 21 points in any game this season. Coach Dan Luquet won't need a big hurrah speech going into Bill Ruple because a majority of his players made the 3 1/2-hour trek last year. They'll look to shorten this game and get back to Baton Rouge with a win.

By no means is this Neville team a sure-fire bet to make it to the Dome. Actually, each round should be weighed heavily when considering how far this bunch of Tigers will make it. Last year's senior laden squad carried the load for Coach Mickey McCarty and not many of this year's band of brothers touched the field in any meaningful situations, but this is a PROGRAM. The old adage, "We don't rebuild, we reload!" should be the motto on Forsythe Ave and these guys know exactly what's required of them at this point in the season. Earlier I spoke about the quality of the opponents that Woodlawn loss to, but they pale in comparison to Neville's losses (Ruston, Warren Central and West Monroe) who are a combined 25-5 on the season. I like a good old-fashioned ground and pound meets brick wall type of game and I think that's what the fans at Ruple Stadium will get Friday night but there's no way just any team can walk into that stadium and snatch a win from Neville. Riley runs wild and the Tigers defense pitches its second shutout in a row.

NEVILLE 17 WOODLAWN (BR) 0

GAME OF THE WEEK

#15 OUACHITA LIONS (6-4) VS #18 TERREBONE TIGERS (7-3)

This is one of those games where one would look at the seedings and go with Ouachita if they hadn't looked at the tape. Well that's why I warned you all earlier that seeding means practically nothing when the post-season adrenaline kicks in. The Terrebonne Tigers will march into Monroe LA with upset on its mind and rightfully so. The Tigers have a remarkable 7-3 record and feature one of the best rushing attacks in the state. Three Tiger rushers have gained over 500 yards on the year but they're led by junior RB/QB/WR Keshawn James' 1100 yards & 14 TDs on 125 carries. Senior RB Chaz Ward also rushes for 105ypg with another 12 TDs for the Tigers. Coach Gary Hill utilizes his weapons all over the field with James, Ward and sophomore QB Ja'Khi Douglas lining up at 4 different offensive positions at any time during the game. They averaged a whopping 40ppg during the regular season and feature one of the most dynamic offenses and set of skill guys that Louisiana has to offer on one team. Their 3 losses came to #10 Hahnville, #26 East St John and #8 Destrehan.

Coach Jeff Fitzgerald has his group of Lions re-focused and poised for nice little playoff run after crushing Alexandria 53-21 at home last week. The Lions showcased a nice rushing attack and amassed nearly 450 yards on the ground. Dylan Parker and Chaunzavia Lewis each eclipsed the 100-yard plateau with Parker rumbling for over 200 yards in the blowout. Not to be outdone was another great receiving performance by stud WR Josh Newton who collected his 10th TD catch in the past 7 games. By now everyone should know that I was high on the Lions early on and big-time performances like this is the reason why. DB Jaden Harris and LB Chris Lewis continue to stifle opposing teams' offenses and they'll definitely need to reach deep if they want to end their senior campaigns on high note.

This game could've easily gone into the upset alert category but with the seedings being fairly close I said, "Why not just make it game of the week"? It'll be all that and a bag of chips if my eyes serve me right. Not many people are familiar with Terrebonne in these parts but after Friday they'll open a few eyes. They're like a Chip Kelly coached Oregon team. Speed sweeps, bubbles, zone-reads, RPO's, you name it and they'll try it. And they have the athletes to do it and do it well. Ouachita hasn't seen a team that will test the perimeters of their defense as much as the Tigers will, but with their complete set of linebackers and fast defensive backs the support on the outside should be there. Terrebonne's defense isn't one to brag and it's obvious that they like to put their talents on the offensive side, however James and Ward will camp out when needed defensively for Coach Hill. If I'm a Lions fan I wouldn't be too happy with this 1st round draw, but they've made their beds and now it's time to lie in them. The first team to 30 will probably win this one and the one thing the Lions have going in their favor is home-field. I expect Fitzgerald to have his team's full attention especially on defense. They'll bend a little against this potent offense, but they won't break. A lot of defensive stops seals the win and the Lions advance.

OUACHITA 34 TERREBONE 28

#20 MADISON PREP CHARGERS (4-5) @ #13 CALDWELL SPARTANS (8-2)

The Madison Prep Chargers voyage to class 3A hasn't been a steady one. After going 14-1 last season, which included a championship game loss to Sterlington on the final play of the game, the Chargers have lost the momentum of a school that was once considered the cream of the crop. They've also lost a ton of Division 1 caliber stars from that team as well and interim Coach Landry Williams is doing is best to find replacements. One of those talented players in 2016 was All-State RB Tyrese Walker who returned in 2017 and has paced the Chargers with 1500 yards and 23 TDs. Last week Walker rushed for 185 yards and 3 TDs in just 3 quarters of action and even intercepted a pass while moonlighting on defense. A shaky and inconsistent MPA passing attack increases the value of Walker and Coach Williams has alternated his QBs throughout the year.

Caldwell Spartans head coach Buster Duplessie must have 2 weeks of late night tossing and turning, after suffering back-to-back losses on last second "Hail Mary" passes to Jena and Marksville. Even in the losses, the Spartans have dispelled any beliefs that they aren't a legitimate foe in 3A and is a threat to beat just about any team on any given night. A bit of a lapse and maybe a little "looking ahead" doomed the Spartans last week vs Marskville. Allowing the visitors to score the game's final 20 points after holding a late 30-14 lead. Senior RB Eric London was business as usual with 200 yards and 2 TDs, but it wasn't enough to avoid the upset. JD Abrams connected on a long 50-yard strike to leading receiver, Cole Buffington but after those yards Caldwell's offense would go cold.

What I like about this game is that with a win by either school the mistakes of the recent past will be easily erased and a 2nd round date will come next. I've been high on Caldwell for the past 7 weeks and when a team loses on two improbable plays as they have I'm not quick to jump off their bandwagon. This squad could easily be 10-0 and perhaps #1 in class 3A and for that reason is why I think Duplessie must be a bit annoyed by a #13 seed vs a stout Madison Prep squad. At #20 Madison Prep has to be licking their chops looking at a team that most people in the state considered overrated and Williams won't let his team believe they're the underdogs in this one. In one of my earlier predications I warned folks to watch out for Caldwell and even tinkered with the thoughts of them making a deep run but that was before the brackets were revealed. They couldn't have asked for a worse draw. Madison Prep has lost a few studs from their team of a year ago but the cupboard wasn't completely empty and they're actually one 3A team that can counter the rushing output of Eric London with a stud running back of their own. If Caldwell had just managed to pull out one of the final two games they'd probably be sitting top 10 with a slightly easier opponent but we'll never know. London puts forth his best effort, but I just don't think it'll be enough. Madison Prep pounds away and advances to the next round.

MADISON PREP 43 - CALDWELL 30

OTHER GAMES:

West Monroe 38 - Central (Br) 13

Ruston 29 - East St. John 6

Carver (N.O.) 27 - Bastrop 23

Sterlington 41 - Baker 13

Richwood 29 - North Vermillion 12

Church Point 28 - Carroll 16

Iowa 38 - Wossman 8

Union Parish 18 - Donaldsonville 15

Ferriday 40 - Oakdale 12

Vidalia 28 - Dequincy 7

Rayville 28 - Delhi Charter 20

Mangham 26 - Lake Arthur 22

Kinder 48 - General Trass 14

Oak Grove 60 - Northwood-Lena 6

Delhi 14 - East Iberville 13

Photo dispatch

Sterlington Richwood Football For the District 2-3A Football title, Richwood fumbled the title to newcomer Sterlington with two fumbles and interception Friday Nov.3 at home in Mackie Freeze Stadium. Sterlington won a hard-fought football contest 28-21. There are no winners that lose. Richwood Defense stood tall during this game. The real test starts this Thurs. or Fri. Nov. 9 & 10 during the first round of LHSAA Football Playoffs.

Elton 50 - Sicily Island 7

Kentwood 55 - Tensas 15

OCS 28 - Sacred Heart 20

Cedar Creek 44 - Hanson 14

St Edmond 30 - St Fred 13

GRISSOM'S G.O.AT OF THE WEEK

week 10

DYLAN ROBERTS - RBOUACHITA HS

14 CARRIES, 222 YARDS, 2 TDS

VS ALEXANDRIA

 

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