Five intriguing matchups for the 2019 football season
We are now a month away from high-school football jamborees. And just a week after that, the regular season will officially begin.
This season, three parish teams change districts. Also, all of the teams in the area have made tweaks to their non-district schedules, setting up some interesting matchups throughout the year.
Here are five intriguing games to keep your eye on this upcoming season:
East Ascension vs. Zachary - Sept. 6
These two teams were among the most successful 5A programs in the state last year. They combined to win 24 games. The Spartans made a run to the state quarterfinals, while the Broncos won their second straight state championship. East Ascension has continued to build up under Darnell Lee. Now, they'll find out just how good they are in week one. They'll host the two-time defending champs in one of the premier week-one matchups in the state. The last time these two teams met during the regular season, Zachary won an overtime thriller, 37-31, back in 2016.
Dutchtown vs. Covington - Sept. 20
Staying with non-district matchups, Dutchtown will host Covington in their third game. This has turned into quite a rivalry over the past two seasons. Two years ago, Dutchtown headed into the matchup as a heavy underdog, but they pushed a top-10-ranked Covington squad to the limit, until the Lions pulled out a 40-34 shootout victory. Last season, Dutchtown went on the road and took a 16-0 lead over Covington, until the Lions scored 16 straight to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The Griffins then put together a late drive that set up a Hayden Sosa field goal with just three minutes remaining. It proved to be the game winner.
Donaldsonville vs. St. James - Oct. 18
Donaldsonville and St. James have always had a rivalry, but it just became amplified when the two teams joined the same district two years ago. Although, the Tigers haven't been able to take the Wildcats down since they've been league counterparts. St. James won a wild 26-22 affair in 2017 that went down to the final play. Last season, the Wildcats beat the Tigers in the regular season, and then eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs. To add even more salt to the wound, both victories came by way of shutout. Donaldsonville will be looking to end the losing streak this October, as they host St. James.
Ascension Catholic vs. Ascension Christian - Nov. 1
This is a rivalry that is finally being re-visited for the first time in three years. When the two teams were in District 6-1A, Ascension Christian decided not to play a league schedule. However, with the move to District 7-1A this upcoming season, they will play a full district slate for the first time since 2014. Among their opponents will be their parish rival Ascension Catholic in Donaldsonville on the first day of November. This will also be the first time Ascension Catholic plays Ascension Christian with Benny Saia as their head coach. Saia replaced Drey Trosclair during the offseason.
East Ascension vs. St. Amant - Nov. 8
It doesn't matter what the teams are ranked or how many wins they have, the matchup between St. Amant and East Ascension is always must see. To many, it's the greatest rivalry in all of Louisiana high-school football. After losing to the Gators in back-to-back years, the Spartans finally earned themselves a victory in the rivalry last season, coming away with a 20-13 home win. This season, the two teams will again meet at East Ascension for the regular-season finale. If the Spartans win, it would be the first time they beat St. Amant in back-to-back years since 2009.