Thursday Night Football: Battle for Jefferson Parish as Warriors face Buccaneers at Memtsas
It is battle for supremacy in Jefferson Parish between the two schools carrying the parish name when West Jefferson plays host to East Jefferson Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
Much is at stake as the Buccaneers (3-3) are battling to make the Class 5A playoffs, unofficially 30th overall in the power ratings.
The Warriors (3-2) are unofficially at No. 18 and hoping to climb two spots to secure a home playoff game with a victory.
Both schools were born at the same time, in 1955, one serving the east bank in Metairie and the other the west bank in Harvey.
West Jefferson claimed a state championship in 1970 while East Jefferson took home a state title in 2013.
The Buccaneers have produced NFL players in Al Dodd, Larry Foster, Garry James, Sylvester McGrew, Glenn Montgomery, Parry Nickerson, Gene Sanders, Ron Singleton and Randy Thornton.
The Warriors have produced NFL players in Gary Barbaro, Nolan Franz, Randy Hilliard, Otis Smith, Dwight Walker, Marty Wetzel.
The series has been as even as you can get of late, with the two rivals splitting the last six meetings.
A year ago, East Jefferson won 54-21 at Joe Yenni Stadium. Two years ago, the Buccaneers won a 34-33 thriller at home. East Jeff won 24-8 in 2017 while West Jeff won 19-12 in 2016. The Buccaneers also won 41-20 in 2015 while the Warriors won 59-24 in 2014.
First-year Buccaneers coach Willie Brooks feels his players have overcome a lot in a short time.
“There’s a lot going on in the midst of a pandemic,” Brooks said. “We are starting to come around. “It’s hard to change a culture in a short time but we are really making progress. It has been fun to watch the growth of the program and the future is nothing but encouraging. We are really looking forward to it.”
“The kids are starting to believe that they can win,” Brooks said. “It is a big rivalry. Coaching in Jefferson Parish for 17 years, this was always a traditional rivalry. This year has so much more meaning with so much on the line. Frank Allelo has done a great job with his program. We will have to play well.”
East Jefferson coach Frank Allelo was part of the 2013 coaching staff that won the 4A state title. Allelo understands the gravity of the rivalry.
“It’s the oldest rivalry in the parish,” Allelo said. “I look forward to it every year, having grown up on the West Bank. The importance of the game potentially puts us in line to have a home playoff game. Going into this year and all the craziness we’ve gone through to put ourselves in this position is a credit to our kids and their hard work. I’m excited about it. If you cannot get excited about it, shame on you.”
Already qualified for the playoffs has created excitement on campus in Metairie.
“The last time we made the playoffs, this senior group were freshmen,” Allelo said. “They know what it feels like to not make the playoffs. We are looking forward to it. West Jeff is good, with talent and speed everywhere. It will be a daunting task. They are ridiculously fast. Our defense will have a tough time. It will be a great matchup. It could be like an Arena Football game.”
Louisiana Prep Football Schedule for Thursday, Nov. 19
(All games at 7 p.m. unless noted)
Abbeville at Berwick
Arcadia at Calvary Baptist
Belle Chasse vs. Landry at Behrman Stadium
Bonnabel at Grace King, 6:30 p.m.
Byrd at Southwood
Carencro at Westgate
Covenant Christian at Central Private
Donaldsonville at Berwick
Douglass vs. Sophie B. Wright
East Jefferson at West Jefferson, 6:30 p.m.
East St. John at Thibodaux
Hamilton Christian at Merryville
Huntington at Neville
Istrouma at Broadmoor
Lafayette Christian at Welsh
Lincoln Prep at River Oaks
McDonogh 35 vs. B.T. Washington, 7 p.m. at Pan American Stadium
McMain at Jewel Sumner
Oak Grove at Cedar Creek
Opelousas Catholic at Westminster Christian
Patterson at Lutcher
Pearl River at Franklinton
Pine Prairie at Church Point
Pope John Paul II at St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Frederick at Delhi
St. Michael at Belaire
Thomas Jefferson vs. De La Salle, 7 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium
West Feliciana at Madison Prep
West Ouachita at Alexandria
Woodlawn (SH) at B.T. Washington (SH)
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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 NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…