Five parish football games to watch in 2018.

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville will try to avenge their 2017 loss to St. James when they meet the Wildcats on Oct. 5. Photo by Chuck Montero.

The high-school football season is now less than a month away.

As the teams prepare for successful years, it’s time to take a look at their schedules and preview what should be the parish’s best games of the season.

Here are five Ascension high-school football matchups to look forward to in 2018:

East Ascension vs. Parkview Baptist (Sept. 7)

East Ascension’s resurgent 2017 season was highlighted by their seven-game winning streak that carried into the final week of the year. However, before that run began, they were dealt a bitter 29-7 loss by Parkview Baptist at home in week two. This season, the Spartans return plenty of talent, and they’ll have a chance to avenge last year’s defeat against the Eagles on Sept. 7. Although, this time around, they’ll have to go on the road. East Ascension’s offense will have to find answers against a defense that held them to just 112 total yards last season.

Donaldsonville vs. St. James (Oct. 5)

Last season, the Donaldsonville vs. St. James rivalry was finally given new life as the Tigers made the move to District 7-3A. It set up a much-hyped league showdown on Oct. 6. Donaldsonville came in undefeated, while St. James rolled in at 4-1. The game lived up to expectations as it came down to the final play. St. James pulled it out, 26-22. This season, things will be tougher for Donaldsonville as they replace a bevy of starters and hit the road to play the Wildcats on Oct. 5. For the second straight season, the matchup with St. James will be Donaldsonville’s district opener.

St. Amant vs. Dutchtown (Oct. 12)

One of the biggest upsets in the parish last season came on Oct. 13, when Dutchtown shocked St. Amant, 24-17. The Griffins were just 3-3 at the time and coming off of a loss to East Ascension, while St. Amant was a perfect 6-0 and fresh off of a huge victory over defending district champion Catholic. Dutchtown forced five turnovers, helping them overcome an early 10-point deficit to earn the win. It snapped a three-game losing streak to the Gators. That victory led to the Griffins winning three of their next four games. It was St. Amant’s lone regular-season defeat of 2017. This year, the Gators will be out for a little revenge. On Oct. 12, they’ll host the Griffins in the friendly confines of the Pit.

Ascension Catholic vs. Kentwood (Oct. 26)

Prior to Ascension Catholic’s first state championship appearance in 25 years, the Bulldogs had only lost two games all season. One of those defeats came against the Kentwood Kangaroos, the eventual Class 1A state runners-up. On the road, in the rain and slop, the Bulldogs fell in a physical defensive war, 13-7. Kentwood went on to win the District 6-1A title. With both teams bringing back so much talent in 2018, and both carrying such high expectations, the Oct. 26 showdown between Ascension Catholic and Kentwood will be one of the most anticipated games in all of Class 1A this season. The Bulldogs will get the Kangaroos at home, and it will carry huge implications on who wins the district championship.

St. Amant vs. East Ascension (Nov. 2)

It doesn’t matter if both St. Amant and East Ascension head into their annual clash winless, it’s still going to be the parish’s most anticipated matchup. It’s simply the best rivalry in Louisiana high-school football. In 2017, that rivalry was as hot as it’s been in a long time as each team came into the game with 8-1 records and the District 5-5A title on the line. The Gators pulled off a 22-10 victory. This awarded a share of the league title to each team. This season, the game will be at East Ascension. The Spartans will have a big edge when it comes to experience. They’ll be looking to earn the victory and avoid a streak of three straight losses to their archrival.