Ten parish football players make All-Metro

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
East Ascension's Justin Daniels goes to tackle St. Amant's Cade Nelson. Both players made All-Metro. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

The talent in Ascension Parish is comparable to that of any parish in the state. That was made abundantly clear recently when the Baton Rouge area All-Metro football team was released.

In an area chocked full of football standouts, 10 Ascension athletes were selected. Nine of those selections came on the Class 4A-5A team.

One of the best stories of the football season was how the St. Amant program was able to overcome all the adversity the August flood laid at their feet and make a memorable run to the state quarterfinals.

Head coach David Oliver’s home was flooded. He said that a third of the players on his team had suffered the same fate.

The school was submerged by the flood waters, including many of their athletic facilities—like their weight room and practice field. Much of their football equipment was lost.

Despite the misfortunes, the team came together and never batted an eye.

They were ready to go for week one. They were forced to play a scheduled home game at Live Oak and left with a dominating victory.

From there, the Gators rolled to a 9-1 regular season and eventually came just two victories away from the state title game.

Senior Briggs Bourgeois, fresh off of being named District 5-5A’s Overall MVP, made the All-Metro squad as both a receiver and a kicker.

As a wideout, Bourgeois corralled 66 passes this year for 836 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a kicker, the Southern Miss commit made 13 of his 15 attempts.

After a performance this season where he scored 26 points on his own, Oliver said of Bourgeois: “He’s a great kicker, great punter, great receiver and he’s been decorated All-State. He’s one of the best to ever play at St. Amat High School—if not the best. Every time he touches it, he’s a threat to score.”

Running back Cade Nelson had a breakout season.

The junior was supposed to be a complimentary back to starter Mark Darby, but when Darby went down with a season-ending knee injury, it was up to Nelson to pick up the slack. He did just that.

Nelson rushed for 1,194 yards and 13 touchdowns on his way to claiming All-Metro honors.

He was able to gain many of those yards behind the excellent blocking of senior center and fellow All-Metro player Prentiss Stanley.

Senior defensive lineman Garett Stephens was the lone Gator defender to make the All-Metro squad. He finished the year with 46 tackles and seven sacks.

After a difficult opening schedule saw East Ascension drop to 0-6, first-year head coach Darnell Lee and the Spartans got things rolling.

They ended the regular season with three straight victories and upset Ruston in the opening round of the playoffs.

Much of their success hinged on their huge offensive line. It was anchored by All-Metro selection Adrian Ealy—a 6-foot-7, 300-pounder that has committed to Oklahoma.

On the defensive side of the ball, another huge prospect made the All-Metro squad in Justin Harris. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end finished the regular season with 65 tackles and an amazing 11.5 sacks.

Spartan linebacker Justin Daniels had a terrific 2016 at linebacker.

In addition to the All-Metro squad, he was named the District 5-5A Co-Defensive MVP for his output of 109 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

Dutchtown might have missed the playoffs this season, but that didn’t stop one of their starters from earning All-Metro honors.

As a baseball star that committed to Nicholls, Cameron Crawford took over as a starter for the football team for the first time in 2016. He instantly made his presence felt at safety with 87 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions.

The final parish player to make the All-Metro squad was Ascension Catholic’s Jacoby Stewart.

Stewart helped lead the Bulldogs to a great turnaround in 2016 as they improved from 4-6 to 6-4 and played their way into the second round of the playoffs.

Stewart made the 3A and below All-Metro team as a defensive back.

During the season, he had 43 tackles, five interceptions and four pass breakups.