FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2011: Dutchtown favored in Ascension Parish, Baton Rouge district

Michael Tortorich
Dutchtown's Landon Collins

Expectations are high for Dutchtown once again this year.

The Griffins won the district title and went undefeated during the regular season last year. They won playoff games against Covington and Brother Martin, before bowing out to Westgate.

In the new District 5-5A, Dutchtown was chosen by the coaches to finish first.

The new league is comprised of three Ascension Parish teams – Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant. Baton Rouge schools Catholic, Woodlawn and McKinley are also in the district. The three Ascension schools spent the last four seasons in a River Parishes-based league.

Aside from the district change this year, a standout player has been grabbing headlines for the Griffins. Safety Landon Collins has garnered national attention. At 6-feet, 210 pounds, Collins is regarded as Louisiana’s top recruit and ranks highly among national prospects. Several major college football programs, including LSU, Alabama and SEC?schools, are interested in Collins.

“We’re expecting big things from him,”?said Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia, who plans to include Collins in the offensive backfield and again in the return game.

Of course, Collins made his name for himself on the defensive side, which will be a strength for the Griffins as they return seven starters.

They also have weapons on offense, but lack experience. The two key cogs in the offense have graduated and moved on to play college football. Last year’s quarterback, Leon Blouin, is now at Tulane University in New Orleans. Standout running back Effrem Reed is with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Blouin passed for 1,054 yards, while Reed ran for 1,978 last season.

Reed carried on a tradition of great running backs for Dutchtown, following in the steps of Eddie Lacy, who now plays for Alabama, and Kelvin York, who has committed to Southern California.

While the Griffins had plenty of success, Saia and his team both understand that last year is done, and “every team writes its own history.”

Stepping in at quarterback will be junior Mason Nickens, who was a slot receiver last season. Nickens, who also stars on the Griffins baseball team, brings many of the same skills Blouin brought to the offense.

Taking over in the backfield will be senior running back Michael Davis and junior Chris Collins.

Junior Shelby Christy, a returning starter, will once again man a wide receiver spot. He will be joined by sophomore Corey McBride.

Senior tight end Alec Osbourne will get the starting nod this year.

Along the offensive line, the Griffins have two seniors who are returning starters. Zac Hill and Jared Spriggs both return at the guard positions.

Senior Zannie Black and junior Brian Hernandez will take over starting spots at the tackle positions. Senior John Saxon will play center.

Six starters return on the Dutchtown defense.

Experienced players will be back along the defensive line. Junior defensive end David Elias, senior tackle Aaron Davis, junior tackle Corey Thomas and senior end Darrien Batiste will make up the front line. Batiste recently committed to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Elias was an All-District selection last season. Saia called Davis, Batiste and Elias three of Dutchtown’s top returning defensive players.

Senior linebacker Lucas Shipman returns as a starter. Senior Erick Bass and junior Alex Thibodeaux will step into starting roles in the linebacking corps.

The Dutchtown defensive backfield will be ripe with experience. Along with Collins at strong safety, senior Jacolby Bureau returns as a top returner. Both were All-District selections. Bureau led the Griffins last season with eight interceptions, while Collins led in tackles with 45 solo tackles and 15 assists.

Juniors Tevin Reed and Austin Sampson will step into starting roles in the defensive backfield.

Set to punt for the Griffins will be Terry Hughes. Tyler Sarrazin is slated to handle kicking duties.

2011 Schedule:

Aug. 26 –Jamboree

Sept. 2 – Lutcher

Sept. 9 – Donaldsonville

Sept. 16 – at Sulphur

Sept. 23 – Zachary

Sept. 30 – at Destrehan

Oct. 7 – at St. Amant*

Oct. 14 – East Ascension*

Oct. 21 – Woodlawn

Oct. 28– at McKinley*

Nov. 4 – at Catholic*

* – District 5-5A

Roster:

1    Shelby Christy    WR/DB    Jr.

2    Landon Collins    LB/RB    Sr.

3    Terry Hughes    P    Sr.

4    Antoine Magras    RB    Jr.

5    Torrance Mosley    WR    So.

6    Corey McBride    WR    So.

7    Marquillis Holden WR    Jr.

8    Evan Maiocchi    QB     Sr.

9    Marcus Jones    DL    Sr.

10    Patrick Thompson QB    So.

11    Rick Tadda     QB    Sr.

12    Steven Bright    QB    Jr.

13    Grant McCrory    DB       Jr.

14    Justin Martin    QB    So.

15    Mason Nickens    QB     Jr.

16    David Crain    DB    Jr.

17    Adam Boyd    WR     So.

18    Taylor Hartley    DL    Jr.

19    Yamaury?Velez    DB    Jr.

20    Tevin Reed    DB    Jr.

21    Austin Sampson    DB    Jr.

22    Tyler Hughes    DB    So.

23    William Wyatt    WR    Sr.

24    Bryan Broussard    WR    Sr.

25    Darrell Hardnett    DB    So.

27     Justin Sampson    DB    Jr.    

28    Chris Collins    RB    Jr.

29    Jacolby Bureau    DB    Sr.

30    Reggie Miles    LB    Jr.

31    Austin Henriksen    RB    Jr.

32    Erick Bass    DL    Sr.

33    Michael Davis    RB    Sr.

34    Austen?Brown    RB    Jr.

35    Garrett Rivere    LB    Jr.

36    Brady Bergeron    K    So.

37    Dominique Davis DB    Sr.

38    Landon Joshua    DB    Sr.

39    Luke Egloff    LB    Sr.

40    Victor Mattaur    DB    Jr.

41    Marshall Richard    LB    So.

42    Kendell Lomas    RB    Sr.

43     Alex Thibodeaux    LB    Jr.

44    Andre Jones    LB    Jr.

45    Nick Leger    LB    Jr.

46    James Brown    DB    So.

47    Kyron Weary    RB    Sr.

48    Keynan Edwards    DE    Jr.

49    Lucas Shipman    LB    Sr.

50    John Talley    OL    So.

51    Jared Spriggs    OL    Sr.

53    Ahmad Henry    LB    Jr.

55    John Saxon    TE    Sr.

56    Brennan Buturla    OL    So.

58    Adam Rhodus    OL    Jr.

59    Sam Pruet    OL    Jr.

60    Brennan Waguespack OL    Sr.

61    Zack Hill    OL    Sr.

62    Austin Labbe    OL    Jr.

63    Adam Hebert    OL    Sr.

64    Brian Hernandez    OL    Jr.

65    Seth Denham    DL    So.

66    John Gallman    OL    So.

67     Jesse Bueche    DL    Sr.

69    Matthew Waguespack OL    Jr.

70    Blake Pacheco    OL    So.

71    Austin?Freeman    OL    Sr.

72    Landon Maulden    OL    So.

73    John Dunbar    DL    Jr.

75    Hunger Buckland    OL    So.

76    Aaron Digerolamo OL    So.

77    Billy Chandler    OL    Jr.

78    Zannie Black    OL    Sr.

79    Joshua Langolis    OL    Jr.

80    Cameron?Joshua    WR    So.

81    Dakota Brown    DL    Jr.

82    Tyler Sarrazin    K    Jr.

83    Dane Bertolet    TE    So.

84    Alex Stewart    TE    Jr.

85    Mark Dorsey    WR    Jr.

86    James Clark    WR    Jr.

87    Alex Medine    DL    Jr.

88    Hunter Daloglu    DE    Sr.

89    Alec Osborne    TE    Sr.

90     Darrien Batiste    DL    Sr.    

91    David Elias    DL    Jr.

92     Raheem Baptiste    DL    So.

95    Corey Thomas    DL    So.

96    Landon Campo    DL    Jr.

97    Jalen Wagner    DL    Jr.

98    Frederick Frazier    DL    Jr.

99    Aaron Davis     DL    Sr.

Offense (4)

WR    Shelby Christy        Jr.

TE    Alec Osbourne         Sr.

T    Brian Hernandez        Jr.

G    Zac Hill            Sr.

C    John Saxon        Sr.

G    Jared Spriggs        Sr.

T    Zannie Black        Sr.

RB    Chris Collins        Jr.

RB    Michael Davis        Sr.

WR    Corey McBride        So.

QB    Mason Nickens        Jr.

Defense (6)

DE    David Elias        Jr.

DT    Aaron Davis         Sr.

DT    Corey Thomas        Jr.

DE    Darrien Batiste        Sr.

LB    Lucas Shipman        Sr.

LB    Erick Bass        Sr.

LB    Alex Thibodeaux        Jr.

SS    Landon Collins        Sr.

DB    Jacolby Bureau        Sr.

DB    Tevin Reed        Jr.

DB    Austin Sampson        Jr.

K    Tyler Sarrazin

P    Terry Hughes

Projected starters:

Offense (4)

WR    Shelby Christy        Jr.

TE    Alec Osbourne         Sr.

T    Brian Hernandez        Jr.

G    Zac Hill            Sr.

C    John Saxon        Sr.

G    Jared Spriggs        Sr.

T    Zannie Black        Sr.

RB    Chris Collins        Jr.

RB    Michael Davis        Sr.

WR    Corey McBride        So.

QB    Mason Nickens        Jr.

Defense (6)

DE    David Elias        Jr.

DT    Aaron Davis         Sr.

DT    Corey Thomas        Jr.

DE    Darrien Batiste        Sr.

LB    Lucas Shipman        Sr.

LB    Erick Bass        Sr.

LB    Alex Thibodeaux        Jr.

SS    Landon Collins        Sr.

DB    Jacolby Bureau        Sr.

DB    Tevin Reed        Jr.

DB    Austin Sampson        Jr.

K    Tyler Sarrazin

P    Terry Hughes

Head coach: Benny Saia (10th year at Dutchtown, 63-30; 108-74 overall).

Assistant coaches: Blake Kling, Bill Jones, Bill Mitchell, Chris Daigle, John Talley, Mark Kavanaugh, Jason Brown.

Offense: Zone Read.

Defense: 3-4.

Starters returning: 10 (4 offense, 6 defense).

2010 record: 12-1

Last playoff appearance: 2010, lost in quarterfinal round to Westgate. Won playoff games against Covington and Brother Martin

Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia