Parish teams all set for regular-season openers

Kyle Riviere
Ethan Bagwell and East Ascension open the season with a huge matchup against defending Class 5A champion Zachary. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After a nine-month hiatus, high-school football is finally back.

Last week, teams from across the state played their jamborees. Now, it will be the real thing. This Friday night, week one officially begins.

There are some intriguing matchups set for the six high-school teams in Ascension Parish.

Starting out in Class 1A, Ascension Catholic will be playing in their first regular-season game under new head coach Benny Saia. This will also be the first game Saia has coached in three years.

After stepping down as Dutchtown's head coach back in 2016, Saia stayed away from the game for two seasons, until he decided to take the Ascension Catholic job last fall.

The Bulldogs are hoping this will be the beginning of another journey to the Division-IV title game. They've made it to the game for the past two seasons.

In their opener, Ascension Catholic will go on the road to face St. Thomas Aquinas. They are a squad from Class 2A, but they finished just 5-5 last season and were blown out in the first round of the playoffs.

Ascension Christian is looking to turn things around this season after finishing just 3-7 last year. It was their first losing season in four years.

This year, they'll be playing their first full district schedule since 2014, making them eligible to reach the playoffs.

In their opener on Friday night, the Lions will be on the road, facing Centerville. Centerville went 5-5 last season, but one of those victories came by forfeit.

In Class 3A, Donaldsonville returns after a 5-5 campaign that saw them lose in the first round of the playoffs.

They'll be facing a very familiar opponent in their opener. For the ninth straight season, they'll meet Assumption to kick off the year. They'll host this season's matchup.

Donaldsonville vs. Assumption has been quite the rivalry over the past decade.

The two team have split the last eight meetings, and most of the games have been extremely close. In fact, four of their last five matchups have been decided by single digits.

Assumption won last year's opener by a score of 14-8.

Like Donaldsonville, Dutchtown also went 5-5 last season and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. They're hoping to change that this season.

In Friday night's opener, the Griffins will hit the road for a matchup against Northshore. Northshore finished just 4-6, and missed out on the playoffs last season.

St. Amant went 7-3 last season but failed to win a postseason game for the first time in four years. They'll face a team in their opener that had a season very similar.

George Washington Carver went 7-3 in the regular season. However, they were ousted in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The marquee matchup in the parish this week will be at East Ascension. The Spartans are coming off of a 9-1 campaign in which they finished as District 5-5 runner-up and reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in over a decade.

In their opener on Friday night, they'll face the reigning, defending, two-time Class 5A state champion Zachary.

They are led by a Memphis commit at quarterback in Keilon Brown, who passed for 2,700 yards and rushed for 1,354 yards last season. He also accounted for 30 touchdowns.

This will be the first time the two teams have met since the second round of the 2016 playoffs. Zachary won that game by blowout, 51-17. Brown was their starting quarterback as a freshman.