High school football playoff brackets set

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com

After months and months of controversy and debate over the new LHSAA football playoff format, the postseason is finally here. Regardless of how many are for or against the new method, it will get its test run starting this Friday.

One of the beefs many detractors have with the new system is the increased number of divisions that will compete for a championship. Instead of having one championship for each of the five classes, four new divisions have been created.

So, in addition to the five classes of public schools, there will be four select divisions that contain private, charter and laboratory schools--resulting in nine different state champions at the end of the year.

Because of this new approach, all six Ascension squads have made the playoffs.

In Class 5A, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant were helped mightily. No longer having to compete with powerhouses like St. Augustine, Catholic, Scotlandville or Rummel, the Spartans secured a No. 3 seeding.

Dutchtown was right behind with a No. 5 seed, and St. Amant--despite losing four games--was able to earn the No. 18 seed.

East Ascension will play a 3-7 McKinley team in the first round while Dutchtown hosts a 4-6 Woodlawn squad that they beat 49-23 during the regular season.

Because of their low seeding, things are a little tougher for St. Amant. They'll have to go on the road to face No. 15 East St. John--who also finished 6-4.

They shook off an 0-3 start where they faced a brutal opening stretch against Rummel, Scotlandville and John Curtis to finish 6-1 in their final seven games.

In Class 3A, Donaldsonville was also able to benefit from the new system as they clinched a playoff berth after missing out on the postseason last year.

After doubling their win-total from a year ago, the Tigers earned a No. 25 seeding despite only finishing 4-6.

They drew a first-round matchup on the road against No. 8 South Beauregard--a team that finished with a solid 7-3 record and ended the year on a three-game winning streak.

Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian landed playoff spots in the newly-formed Division IV select-school category.

The Bulldogs were certainly helped by this new division--allowing them to earn a No. 12 seed and first-round home playoff game despite losing four games during the regular season.

For their opening game, they'll host No. 21 Ascension Episcopal--who finished 5-5 and dropped their final two regular season games.

But the biggest beneficiary of the new select/non-select system was Ascension Christian. The Lions were able to secure a playoff spot despite finishing just 2-8.

Ascension Christian made huge strides this season. The two wins don't sound like much but prior to this year, they hadn't won a game in two and a half seasons.

However, the Lions drew a very difficult matchup in the first round. They'll have to go on the road to face No. 7 Southern Lab.

The Kittens only finished 3-7, but their schedule was absolutely brutal. Their first six games were against five 3A teams and one top-10 4A squad in Plaquemine.