St. Mary’s hunting win, power points vs. 4A Peabody; Lakeview looking for first district win 

DYNAMIC DUO: St. Mary’s will be looking for continued efficiency from quarterback Adam Parker and running back Joe Metoyer as the Tigers will square off with Class 4A Peabody on Friday at Turpin Stadium.

BY DWAIN SPILLMAN JR/Journal Sports  

Speed and athleticism. That’s what our hometown St. Mary’s Tigers will be up against as they prepare for a late-season, non-district collision with Peabody (Alexandria) this Friday night at Turpin Stadium. 

“We will definitely see what we are made of this week,” said St. Mary’s coach Aaron York.  “They are pretty good and are a very athletic team. This will be a good challenge for us.” 

Peabody (3-3, 0-1) comes into the contest after falling to perennial powerhouse Neville last week. It’s a rare meeting between the two schools on the gridiron. Peabody, a Class 4A member, dropped a 46-13 decision to Logansport, the only common opponent for the two schools, at home in Week 3 this season. 

“They have a lot of speed,” York continued when analyzing the Warhorses. “We have to play physical and take care of all of the little things in order to counteract their speed. This can be a really big game for us in power points. Those points can mean a lot for us down the road.” 

Currently ranked No. 5 in the LHSAA Select Division IV power ratings, the Tigers (4-1, 1-0) blasted district rival LaSalle 56-8 this past week on the road and bring a lot of momentum into the matchup. 

The Tigers were a picture of efficiency as they scored 56 points on just 30 offensive plays. 

But, continuing to improve with postseason play just around the corner is key for the Tigers.  

“It’s time to see if we can play our best football of the year,” York said.  

Lakeview attempts ‘bounce back’ after loss 

Rivalry games. Enough said. 

Those contests are what high school football fanatics live for on Louisiana Friday nights. And the term rivalry leaves nothing to the imagination as Lakeview (4-2, 0-1) will host Red River (2-4, 1-0) in a clash of bitter rivals in District 3-2A action in The Swamp. 

“These smalltown rivalries, well, this is what Friday night football in Louisiana is all about,” Gator head coach Brandon Helms said. “It’s real easy for the kids to get up for games like this.” 

Helms said that Red River will present many challenges on both sides of the ball, which will be a change for his Gators.   

“They are very athletic,” he said. “Offensively, they play a spread offense which will present major challenges. Defensively, they are very active and will show many looks.  We just have to recognize their fronts and understand where we need to attack them. This will be a thinking man’s game.” 

Red River comes into the contest after dumping Jonesboro-Hodge, 28-22, last week during homecoming festivities. The Bulldogs took their lumps against Class 5A members Haughton (35-0 loss) and Parkway (45-0 loss), but they whipped 4A Woodlawn (39-8) and started district play off on the right foot. 

Lakeview (4-2, 0-1) comes into the contest after dropping a 53-20 decision to Winnfield a week ago to open district play. The Gators fiercely battled the visitors until early in the fourth quarter before miscues and big plays allowed the Tigers to pull away. 

“Mentally, we have come back,” Helms said of his team’s approach to practice this week. “We have bounced back from last Friday night. It’s easy to bounce back when you forget what’s behind you and see what’s in front of you. And, this week, the rivalry couldn’t get any bigger.” 

The return of quarterback C.J. Jones will be a game-time decision. Jones has been sidelined for the last few weeks with an injury suffered earlier this season. 

Offensive stud Dillon Pikes and Lamarrion Rushing have filled in under center, but Jones’ presence allows Lakeview’s passing game to rev back up and makes the Gators more dynamic. 

Friday’s matchup will be a defining game for the district pecking order, but under the new LHSAA playoff format, Lakeview and Red River will be in different playoff brackets based on the new four-division setup for select and non-select schools. 

Red River sits at No. 12 in the non-select Division III power ratings while Lakeview is at No. 13 in the non-select Division IV power ratings. 

The LHSAA voted to fold in all schools (including B and C members) into four evenly divided classes for select and non-select members, which pushed Lakeview into the smallest non-select football classification while Red River stayed in the next-to-smallest. 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

CUTLINE: DYNAMIC DUO: St. Mary’s will be looking for continued efficiency from quarterback Adam Parker and running back Joe Metoyer as the Tigers will square off with Class 4A Peabody on Friday at Turpin Stadium.