Class 5A playoff analysis: Acadiana is the team to beat, Ruston a good bet to make a run

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Acadiana football
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Let’s begin exploring the brackets with analysis of each of the nine championship competitions in Louisiana high school football’s 2020 postseason.

We start with the non-select brackets.

In Class 5A, it is hard to pick against Acadiana.

The top-seeded Wreckin’ Rams (6-1) may be better than last year’s team that won the state title.

Acadiana has won five state titles since 2006. Current head coach Matt McCollough has picked up where Ted Davidson left off.

The Wreckin’ Rams have played a great schedule which has prepared them well. Acadiana has big wins over powers Lafayette Christian, John Curtis Christian, Ruston and Lafayette and lost only to Division I power Catholic of Baton Rouge.

Acadiana plays outstanding defense and simply dominate possession offensively.

Leading his team to the No. 2 seed in 5A, Reggie Rogers has done a fine job in his first season at John Ehret.

The Patriots are 7-0 but have not been tested. Can they step up in class in the playoffs and contend, as they did in 2015 when reaching the title game?

Zachary (4-1) has had a season interrupted by COVID-19 and the Broncos lost a one-point game to Scotlandville with a few players out. As always, the Broncos are a dangerous team and are on the opposite side of the bracket from Acadiana.

Ponchatoula (6-1) is the fourth seed and Hank Tierney has a very potent offense and a really good win over Mandeville. If the defense can hold up, the Green Wave have a shot at reaching the semifinals.

Speaking of the Skippers, Mandeville (7-1) is the eighth seed and a sleeper with a veteran, well coached team and a difference maker at quarterback in Devon Tott.

Destrehan (7-1) has ripped off seven straight wins after a surprising season-opening loss at St. Paul’s and the Wildcats of Marcus Scott have a punishing run game.

The dark horse teams include two from District 2-5A.

Ruston is clearly the most dangerous lower seed.

The Bearcats (5-2) beat Neville and lost competitive games to Acadiana and Catholic of Baton Rouge. They have a punishing running game and are battle tested.

West Monroe (4-1) was shutout by 4A top seed Carencro but won its other four games. I don’t know if anyone knows how good the 2020 version of the Rebels are but history suggests to watch them closely in the playoffs, with eight state titles since 1993.

East Ascension (4-3) cannot be ignored.

The Spartans won a pair of overtime games over Warren Easton and St. Amant. They are huge, capable of winning up front against most teams. Their losses were to St. Charles Catholic, Byrd and Catholic of Baton Rouge.

The winner of the matchup of No. 18 East St. John at No. 15 Woodlawn will have a real shot at beating Ehret in the second round.

The Wildcats (5-1) lost only to Destrehan. The Panthers (2-2) lost a competitive game to Carroll and played Catholic of Baton Rouge tough in a 34-27 loss. Their sample size is small, due to cancellations.

Central (7-1) is a good team. Sid Edwards has championship pedigree and the Wildcats lost only to unbeaten Scotlandville. Central averages 36.7 points per game and if seeds hold, the Wildcats would host West Monroe in the second round.

One-loss teams in Haughton, Alexandria and Lafayette are all capable on stringing wins together in the bracket.

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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