No. 6 seed Griffins host Comeaux in bi-district playoffs

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Colby Crysel, Zack Hill and Brandon Castjohn provide blocking in the Griffins’ 14-3 victory over East Ascension last week. No. 6 seed Dutchtown hosts Comeaux Friday night at Griffin Field.

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GEISMAR – Dutchtown will look to expand on its already successful post-season history when they open the Class 5A playoffs Friday night at 7 p.m. at Griffin Field against Comeaux in the bi-district round.

The Griffins, who have only been playing varsity football for seven years, advance to the post-season for the fourth consecutive season. Their most successful run was to the quarterfinals in 2007 but they have twice been to the regionals most recently a 28-26 loss to Barbe a year ago and sport a 4-4 record after Week 10.

“We were a veteran ball club last year that had some big name kids,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “We had a lot of kids with experience on that team so this year’s team has been a pleasant surprise. I don’t know how I would compare the two teams. I think the thing in my mind that sticks out is that both have competed extremely hard against every opponent each week and that is one of the reasons I think we have had a chance to have had the seasons that we have had.”

No. 6 Dutchtown (7-3) earned its highest seed ever by producing wins against the toughest schedule in the state regardless of class according to strength factor. The Griffins opponents finished the regular season with a combined record of 71-28.

“I knew we would be pretty high seeded,” Saia said. “I didn’t know exactly where. I think that the schedule was a big part of it and we won games. I don’t know exactly what the record is of the guys that we played in non-district but they didn’t lose very many football games.

“All we are thinking about is Comeaux right now. I don’t even know who is in the next bracket. I haven’t looked at it.”

No. 27 seed Comeaux (5-5) placed fifth in District 4-5A standings behind St. Thomas More, Westgate, Carencro and New Iberia. They are coming off a 20-16 loss to the Bears last week and are under first-year head coach Kevin Magee, who won a state championship as an assistant with Saia at Crowley, before becoming head coach. The Spartans were knocked out the playoffs in the bi-district round a year ago by Barbe to finish the season with a 4-6 mark.

“They are not a sleeper to us,” Saia said. “They will be very sound in what they do and how they do it. They play hard and that is the thing that shows up when you put the tape in. It should be a good football game.”

Dutchtown limited East Ascension to just 126 total yards a week ago in a 14-3 victory one week removed from shutting down East St. John to just 59 total yards. LSU commitment, Eric Reid leads a secondary that includes Marcus Godfrey, Johnathan Darville and Shaquille Lewis,  while the Griffins’ front  consists of John Williams, Aaron Davis, Devante Jones and Telfry Gaines. Linebackers are Jacob Magee, Landon Collins and Cole Harp, who led the Griffins with nine tackles a week ago. 

“I am proud of what the whole team has done,” Saia said. “I think we have pretty much gotten better from week to week. We battled through some injuries and things that all teams go through but I think we are better now than we were when the year started and that is what you strive for. To get better and make the playoffs to see how far you can go.”

Comeaux runs out of a Pro I set let by quarterback Mike Strentz, who threw for 135 yards and ran for another 45 a week ago. Jordan Porter rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries. Returning starters include running backs Dillon Williams and Shawn Hebert and tackles Seth Wood and Michael Rubio.

”They have not scored a ton of points but don’t seem to turn the ball over and don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Saia said. “We just have to try and not give them anything easy and make them have the long field.”

Dutchtown’s Wing T attack rushed for 161 yards a week ago. Effrem Reed led the attack with 67 yards and one score to up his season totals to 897 yards and 11 touchdowns on 178 attempts.

Quarterback Leon Blouin threw for 58 yards on 5-of-6 passes and also ran for 30 yards and a touchdown, while Troy Lewis has compiled 487 rushing yards this season. The offensive line is anchored by Colby Crysel, Eric Babin, Zach Hill, Brandon Castjohn and Jared Spriggs. Max Rought and Jamon Stanton are two targets.

“Hopefully, we won’t make any mistakes and stick it into the end zone,” Saia said. “I don’t think we are going to have to score a ton of points to win. We just have to be efficient in what we do and not make any mistakes.”

Comeaux runs out of a 4-3 defense and return eight starters. The Spartans held St. Thomas More to just six points and Acadiana to 10 this season while only giving up 148 total during the season. Returning starters include ends Kyle Rudolph and Adam Bourgeois, tackle Blake Fusseller and linebacker Garrett Bau.

“They haven’t given up very many points up against some good people,” Saia said. “We haven’t been real consistent from week to week. I don’t know why. We have to get better each week because the competition that you play is going to get better each week.”

Dutchtown’s Leon Blouin keeps for a 15-yard gain in the third quarter of the Griffins’ 14-3 victory over East Ascension last week.