Dutchtown set for showdown with Redemeptorist

Aanifa LeBlanc
Dutchtown’s Effrem Reed hauls in a 53-yard touchdown reception in the Griffins’ 17-9 jamboree victory over Denham Springs two weeks ago.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Dutchtown/Redemptorist football game was rescheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m., due to inclement weather expected from Hurricane Ike. The announcement came after the Weekly Citizen had gone to press Thursday.

A blockbuster matchup for Week 2 high school football was scheduled in the wake of Hurricane Gustav and impending Hurricane Ike.

Dutchtown announced Tuesday plans to play Class 3A power Redemptorist Friday night at Gerard Majella Field at 7 p.m.  The contest pits former Class 4A district rivals.

The Griffins were originally scheduled to travel to H.L. Bourgeois of Houma, while the Wolves were set to go Monroe to take on Richwood.

Dutchtown’s game was canceled by the Terrebonne Parish School Board and Redemptorist’s contest fell through to the lack of charter buses to make the trip.

“They had a cancellation and we had a cancellation,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “(Redemptorist head coach Guy Mistretta) called me looking for a game and we were looking for one so we are winding up playing each other.”

“(H.L. Bourgeois) said they wouldn’t be able to start practice till Friday, so it wasn’t fair to put their kids out there with no practice and I understand that.”

Saia said the game was scheduled at Redemptorist due to damage at Griffin Field caused by Hurricane Gustav.

“Our stadium is kind of damaged and we couldn’t get in shape in time to play,” Saia said. “We didn’t have a choice.”

Redemptorist advanced to the Class 3A semifinals last season before losing to district rival Parkview Baptist. The Wolves run out of a spread offense return 10 starters on their 4-2-5 defense.

On offense, Redemptorist returns multi-purpose threat Jonathan Green who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had 400 receiving yards last season.

“They are pretty good,” Saia said. “They got some athletes. They are very talented. They have almost everybody back. We got a tape on them. They are very fast. A good football team.  They run the ball. They got a quarterback that can run around a little bit. They throw the ball decent. They have good skill kids.”

Redemptorist fell 10-7 in its jamboree to Catholic, Dutchtown’s Week 5 opponent, two weeks ago. Jeremy Hill returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and quarterback Duece Coon made his debut.

“We needed to play,” Saia said. “It will be a challenge. I think it is going to be a good football game. I think the team that is able to adjust to the hurricane and not practicing for a week and doesn’t turn the ball over or get stupid penalties, I think that is the team that is probably going to win.”

Dutchtown defeated Denham Springs 17-9 in its jamboree. Running back Kelvin York went over 100 yards and quarterback Wesley Perkins connected with Effrem Reed for a 53-yard scoring strike.

“Every game we play is going to be close,” Saia said. “We are not going to blow anybody out. We are not that type of team. We got to get better. That is why I want to play. We got to continue to improve. We have a bunch of young kids. Nobody realizes how young we are. The only way those guys have a chance to get better is to play and that is  why we scheduled this game."

Saia said Eddie Lacy, the Griffins’ leading returning rusher who was held out of the jamboree due to an injury suffered in a scrimmage against Zachary the week before, will not play.

“The doctor will tell me when he is ready,” Saia said. “He is a great back. We would rather have him than not have him but it just means that Kelvin and Effrem have to step up and fill in the hole.”

In other news, East Ascension moved up its game against Denham Springs to Thursday. The Spartans defeated Live Oak 20-0 in its jamboree as Marcus Bailey rushed for 93 yards on eight carries and Avery Williams added two touchdowns.

Denham Springs running back John Simon carried 11 times for 60 yards and scored one touchdown in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Dutchtown.

“We want get a game in and so does Denham Springs,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said Monday. “Denham Springs has already practiced twice for us and we haven’t picked up a football in over a week so we got work to do. I think the most important thing for us is to get everyone refocused.”

East Ascension’s scheduled season opener against Redemptorist was canceled due to Hurricane Gustav.

Denham Springs’ opener  was also canceled due to the storm.