Parish football teams all set to begin district play

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville Chief
The 4-0 Gators will face McKinley in their district opener this Friday night at Dutchtown.

This week, throughout the state, quests for district championships will begin. That will be the case for five of the six teams in Ascension Parish.

Ascension Christian is the only football squad in the area that will not begin district play this Friday night.

But their league counterpart Ascension Catholic will. The Bulldogs haven’t played in two weeks. Their game against Thrive Academy last Thursday was scrapped. Thrive Academy had to forfeit due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Ascension Catholic will be back on the field on Friday night. The 2-1 Bulldogs travel to White Castle. The White Castle Bulldogs are winless and coming off of a 20-13 loss to Port Allen.

Ascension Catholic is seeking its third straight District 7-1A championship.

The Donaldsonville Tigers are a perfect 4-0, but they’ll face their toughest test of the season as they open District 9-3A play on the road against undefeated and seventh-ranked E.D. White.

The Cardinals are coming off of a 52-13 win over A.J. Ellender.

Last season, Donaldsonville lost only one district game. That came at home against E.D. White by a score of 18-14.

But the toughest district in the parish looks to be District 5-5A.

St. Amant head coach David Oliver talked about just how demanding the league is after his team beat Helen Cox last week.

“There’s a stiff mountain to climb. We start with McKinley, and then every week after that is going to be a major battle with Woodlawn, Catholic, Dutchtown and EA. It’s a gauntlet,” Oliver said.

The Gators have looked good so far this season. They’re a perfect 4-0, but Coach Oliver thinks they can be even better.

“We need to continue to not turn the ball over, and we need to clean up some of the penalties we had,” Oliver said. “We had some pass interference calls and some hands penalties. One of the things we preach is to not beat yourself. More often than not in high-school football, that’s what happens. You don’t beat somebody; they beat themselves. Those are the kinds of penalties that haunt you in district games.”

On Friday night, St. Amant will begin district play at Dutchtown with a meeting against 1-3 McKinley.

Dutchtown is also 4-0 this season. Coming off of an impressive road win over Ouachita Parish in which Dylan Sampson ran for a school-record 287 yards, the Griffins will hit the road again to face winless Woodlawn.

But that record is deceptive. Woodlawn’s losses came against University (No. 1 team in 3A), West Monroe and Zachary (No. 2 team in 5A).

The Panthers beat Dutchtown last season, 26-24. They’re led by an LSU target at quarterback in Rickie Collins.

The Griffins are seeking their first district championship since 2015.

East Ascension finally earned its first win last week. The Spartans’ reward will be having to face the best team in the state.

East Ascension has the unenviable task of opening district play on the road against top-ranked and undefeated Catholic. The Bears are coming off of a 38-17 victory over Lafayette Christian, the top-ranked team in Class 2A.

Catholic has won the outright District 5-5A championship three years in a row. Last season, the Bears beat East Ascension, 35-0.