History does repeat itself. For the second straight year, St. Mary’s will meet Metairie Park Country Day in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Division IV football playoffs opening round.
But this time, the game will be played in Natchitoches, at Turpin Stadium, Friday night at 7.
That gives the Tigers (8-2) an advantage as they hope to avenge last year’s 24-10 playoff defeat on a rainy night in metro New Orleans.
Tickets will be available only at the gates of Turpin Stadium on game night, and are $10 each. Season tickets are not valid for playoff games.
St. Mary’s is the No. 7 seed in the 16-team playoff bracket. Country Day, the 10th seed, has a 5-2 record with a schedule altered by Hurricane Ida, which derailed three games.
The Tigers have won eight of their last nine games. The Cajuns are riding a five-game winning streak in which they’ve averaged 47 points and have scored no less than 37. Last Friday, they held off Riverside 38-31.
The winner of Friday’s contest will meet either second-seeded Southern Lab or No. 15 Hanson Memorial.
While the LHSAA playoff announcement was delayed for a day due to an unsuccessful eligibility appeal by Class 5A Booker T. Washington of New Orleans, the teams correctly anticipated the playoff pairing, said St. Mary’s coach Aaron York.
“We had an idea and ran with it. We were a day behind because we didn’t get film on them until Sunday, but then we talked to their coach and A.D. and agreed we were going forward assuming we would be playing,” he said. “So we swapped film, and got going on scouting, being ready to adjust if something changed Monday.”
With today’s HUDL online game video system, the days are long gone of coaches driving hours to meet for an actual film swap. Now it’s done with a couple clicks of a computer mouse, granting access for another team to watch your tape online.
Tigers players were already able to talk about Country Day personnel and tendencies by dinner time Monday evening. They are eagerly anticipating a supportive homefield environment Friday night.
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