For several players preparing for Saturday’s Red Stick Bowl, playing an all-star game a week after playing for a state championship is providing a chance to relax and have fun.
Ascension Catholic, Zachary and Catholic High all played for state titles at last week’s LHSAA Prep Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. All have players ready to contribute in the high school all-star game, which will be played 2 p.m. Saturday at BREC’s Olympia Stadium.
Zachary, which defeated Hahnville 34-14 for the Class 5A title, is represented by four players. Running back Darweshi Sanders, wide receiver Trae Shropshire, offensive lineman Blake Anderson and defensive lineman Keyshawn Sullivan will play for the Rattlers.
Sanders ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns against Hahnville.
“This is actually quite an opportunity to be here,” said Sanders, who has planned a recruiting visit to Louisiana College. “There’s a lot of adjusting, getting to meet people and learning how they play. It’s a great experience.”
Shropshire had a 30-yard touchdown reception during Zachary’s 27-point second quarter that put the Broncos on their way to a second state title in three years.
Ascension Catholic was shut out 10-0 by Lafayette Christian in the Division IV title game. Two of the Bulldogs defenders who helped keep the game within reach, lineman Charlie Gianelloni and linebacker Bubba Gautreau, will be Rattlers teammates.
Catholic High scored a 20-14 win over John Curtis for the Division I championship, and has three players on the Black Knights squad. Along with linebacker Andrew Gauthier and kicker Preston Stafford, the Bears also placed defensive back Patrick Mensah in the Red Stick Bowl.
Mensah, who is also a key contributor for the Catholic High soccer team, made his presence count against John Curtis.
On the Patriots' first possession, Mensah stripped Curtis receiver Tyrone Legette of the football, which the Bears recovered for a touchback. In the second half, Mensah’s 57-yard punt return set up Catholic’s second touchdown. Finally, Mensah sealed the Bears' second state title in three years with an interception in the final minute.
Bears leave early
Black Knights coach Dwayne Thomassee said all four Catholic players left practice early to attend a team banquet.
Catholic-Pointe Coupee quarterback Nathan Carriere, who missed part of Monday’s practice to attend the Hornets’ banquet, came ready to work Tuesday.
“He was throwing dimes out there,” Thomassee said. “He showed a nice touch. He’s a (Class) 1A guy that maybe didn’t see that speed and athleticism on his level, and he adjusted very nicely today.”
Mims making impact
Defensively, Woodlawn lineman Kyron Mims created problems for his offensive counterparts.
“Its tough sledding on the defensive side with that big boy,” Thomassee said. “He did a good job shedding the blockers and getting to the football, and making the ball spill to the outside.”
More impact players
Rattlers coach Frank Fresina continued to be impressed with Donaldsonville quarterback Jaylin Williams. Defensively, Fresina mentioned the play of his defensive front in general, and specifically praised Southern Lab lineman Cedric Banks and Scotlandville linebacker Bryant Litt.
“(Litt) is playing a little bit out of position because we don’t do the same things they do,” Fresina said. “He struggled a little (Monday) because it was something new, but he caught my eye (Tuesday), especially in coverage.”
The teams will practice Wednesday and Thursday at Independence Park.