LHSAA Football Brackets Released: No. 20 Woodlawn visits No. 13 Brother Martin

LHSAA Football Brackets Released: No. 20 Woodlawn visits No. 13 Brother Martin

The LHSAA’s new-look football postseason will send Woodlawn High to New Orleans on Friday for a first-time meeting with Brother Martin in one of the state’s most intriguing first-round matchups.

The No. 20 Panthers (4-6) will visit the No. 13 Crusaders (5-5) for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans City Park.

The winner will advance in the Division-I select bracket to face No. 4 St. Augustine (8-2) the following week.

Woodlawn and Brother Martin have never met in a regular-season or postseason football game in the schools’ history.

The unfamiliar foes spent the past nine years on opposite sides of the LHSAA’s split playoff system, which began separating “select” and “nonselect” schools into different brackets in 2013.

But the organization adjusted both its distinctions of “select” vs. “nonselect” this year and format overall, trimming slightly from nine tournaments to eight.

The top 24 teams in the Division-I select group earned playoff berths.

Seeds Nos. 1-8 will enjoy opening-round byes this weekend, with seeds Nos. 9-16 hosting Nos. 17-24.

Seniors lead Woodlawn past Central (BR), 41-22, in final home game

Seniors lead Woodlawn past Central (BR), 41-22, in final home game

Woodlawn’s talented and decorated 2023 class played its final regular season home game Friday.

And whether or not the Panthers (4-5, 2-2) ultimately host again in the playoffs, their seniors made sure to provide a fittingly memorable performance in a 41-22 defeat of Central (Baton Rouge).

“It was all kind of surreal,” said senior defensive end Cameron Johnson, who made multiple big tackles behind and near the line of scrimmage. “They were lining us up to go on the field before the game, and it all kind of hit me like, ‘Man, I’m really a senior.’ They always used to tell us, ‘It’s gonna go fast. Enjoy these years while you’ve got ’em.’ And it kind of came a lot faster than I thought it would.

“But it was cool how they brought us all on the field and were talking to us and then getting the win on senior night and doing our thing.”

LSU-committed quarterback Rickie Collins completed 15 of his 25 passes for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns to fellow seniors Tramon Douglas II and Willie Nunnery.

Collins and Louisiana (Lafayette)-committed running back Jay’veon Haynes each rushed for a pair of scores.

And Southeast Missouri State-committed defensive back Dezaray “D.J.” Delmore Jr. racked up 12 tackles and a pair of interceptions — with a third negated by a penalty elsewhere on the play.

“Even though the lost (the week before) against Catholic, I want to say that was my best game this year as far as playing and learning,” Delmore said. “Central, I had more impact plays, so as far as stat-wise, it’s my best game of the season… It was just like the plays were just happening, and it really just felt great making plays on senior night for my senior teammates and my family that was in the stands.”

Woodlawn will close the regular season Scotlandville (5-4, 2-2) in a battle for third place in District 4-5A and seeding in Division I.

The LHSAA will release its eight playoff brackets Sunday, Nov. 6.

Woodlawn is No. 16 in the latest Division-I power ratings, the lowest seed to host a first-round game, while Scotlandville enters the week at No. 9, one spot shy of a first-round bye.

“We were just talking about it yesterday,” senior linebacker Jaydan Moulds said. “Even the coaches were talking about it, just how all we’ve got to do is make the playoffs and everybody’s 0-0, so we can make a run.”

Woodlawn loses heartbreaker to Catholic, 30-28, despite valiant comeback

Woodlawn loses heartbreaker to Catholic, 30-28, despite valiant comeback

Senior quarterback Rickie Collins led Woodlawn to three straight touchdowns Friday to turn a 17-point deficit midway through the third quarter into a four-point lead in the final minutes.

But a long kickoff return, final drive and eventual fourth-down touchdown pass lifted Catholic (Baton Rouge) back ahead, 30-28, as time expired on the highly anticipated District 4-5A battle.

“We started too late,” Collins said. “That’s kind of been our kryptonite for the past couple years. We’re just trying to put it together and put a full four quarters together. We didn’t play near our best game, and everyone knows that. And our team knows that. So to say that we were still close and even in the game says a lot.

“That’s a good team. Kudos to them. They came out and played a good game. But we’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and finally put it all together.”

The Bears’ game-winner was the third scoring connection between junior quarterback Daniel Beale and senior wide receiver Daniel Harden.

The first two had helped the reigning Division-I champion build a 24-7 lead.

Woodlawn struck first with a 77-yard punt return by senior Clayton Adams, but Beale and Harden provided a Catholic answer just minutes later.

A 29-yard Landon Carter field goal in the second quarter provided the Bears a 10-7 halftime lead.

And Beale stretched that margin to 24-7 midway through the third quarter with a 2-yard run to cap one drive and 26-yard pass to Harden the next.

“Our offense kind of sputtered there early in the first half,” coach Marcus Randall said. “We had some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on and then we came out and didn’t start the second half the way we wanted to start it, came out and gave up two quick touchdowns that put us behind the eight-ball three scores. And we had to battle back, but we were able to do it.

“That’s the kind of offense we have, though. We have the type of offense that can pretty much explode at any time. If we ever put four quarters together, man, it’s gonna be ugly. Those are some of the things we’ve been preaching all year is trying to put four quarters together and play a complete football game, but that’s a good football team over there. So we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and they were gonna make some plays, too.”

Collins and the Panthers were far from finished.

The LSU commit made two defenders miss in the backfield a couple plays later, bounced out to the sideline, then took off 71 winding yards to the goal line, then scored the next play to trim the deficit to 24-13.

Collins found senior receiver Cordale Richardson for an 15-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter and Adams for the two-point conversion to pull back within 24-21.

Seniors Mark Fielder and Jordan Matthews junior Alex Collins and the Woodlawn defense buckled down for a pivotal stop to force a punt.

And Rickie Collins, Adams and company marched 95 yards to the 28-24 lead on a 10-yard connection between the seniors, followed by a Klayton Tate extra point.

“Coach Randall has always said that somebody’s got to step up and make the play when needed to give us a spark,” Rickie Collins said. “And I feel like I’m that person that can do it and Clayton is also that person. So I know if I can get the ball in his hands, he’s gonna make a big play always. He’s always gonna make people miss and get the ball upfield and get what we need and more.

“So just finding my guys or getting the ball to (running back) Jay’veon (Haynes). Jay’veon’s always due for a big run or something spectacular.”

But a long kickoff return started Catholic within 40 yards of the end zone to provide Beale and Harden the opportunity for one final dagger from the 5-yard line in the final seconds.

Collins finished 13-for-21 for 171 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 12 times for 129 yards and another score.

Adams caught nine passes for 112 yards and the touchdown, and Haynes had 69 yards on 16 carries.

Woodlawn powers past Liberty Magnet, 38-7, behind three Jay’veon Haynes touchdowns

Woodlawn powers past Liberty Magnet, 38-7, behind three Jay’veon Haynes touchdowns

Woodlawn High got going on the ground Friday and got back on track for the season in the process.

Senior running back Jay’veon Haynes scored a season-high three rushing touchdowns before halftime as the Panthers (3-4, 1-1) ran past District 4-5A opponent Liberty Magnet (1-5, 0-2) for the 38-7 road victory.

“It was my best performance of the season so far,” said the Louisiana (Lafayette) commitment, who carried 18 times for 111 yards. “I felt like I hadn’t played as well in the other games we had, so I felt like I needed to make a statement because people were probably starting to think I’m washed up or something. I just felt like I was more focused and ready to go.”

LSU-committed quarterback Rickie Collins completed 11 of his 21 attempts through the air for 205 yards, including touchdown passes to fellow seniors Clayton Adams and Tramon Douglas II.

And sophomore Klayton Tate booted a 41-yard field goal and finished 5-for-5 on extra-point attempts.

“I feel like we learned that we can run the ball,” Haynes said. “We’ve just got to keep working at it, and that helps open up the passing game too.”

The victory ended a two-game, midseason skid and move Woodlawn into more secure standing for the fast-approaching postseason.

“It was important because if we didn’t get these wins we more than likely wouldn’t be in the playoffs,” Haynes said. “So we’re trying to get as many wins as we can move up and get a good ranking in the playoff rankings.”

The Panthers host Catholic (Baton Rouge) this week before the regular season’s final home game next week against Central (Baton Rouge) and final road game Nov. 4 against Scotlandville.

Woodlawn stalls, Zachary runs away in the second half, 33-6

Woodlawn stalls, Zachary runs away in the second half, 33-6

A slew of untimely penalties stalled Woodlawn High’s attempts to build upon an early lead Thursday until Zachary finally ran away with a big second-half.

The visiting Broncos scored 33 unanswered, led by three rushing touchdowns, to top the host Panthers, 33-6, in the nationally televised matchup.

“I feel like we played our best half of football all season long after that first half,” Woodlawn coach Marcus Randall said. “We didn’t turn the ball over. We moved the ball up and down the field other than getting set back by penalties… Then they got that surge there in the third quarter after we couldn’t get the momentum again because of the penalties just stopping drives.

“We’re moving the ball, moving the ball, moving the ball, then we get a penalty that put us in second-and-long, third-and-long and putting us into situations where there’s only so many plays you can run. And that kept putting the defense out there and at that point it kind of looked like we started to wear down.”

LSU-committed quarterback Rickie Collins and fellow senior Jamarcus Sewell put Woodlawn on the board first midway through the second quarter of a low-scoring first half.

But the Broncos responded the next two drives with rushing touchdowns by junior running backs Kameron Thomas and Ethan Veal to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.

Alabama-committed quarterback Eli Holstein found fellow senior Jalen Wright with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter to extend Zachary’s advantage to 20-6.

And Thomas added his second touchdown just over three minutes later to stretch the margin to 27-6 following the extra point.

The Panthers meanwhile had one seemingly promising opportunity after another lose steam upon miscues that left Randall and company frustrated.

Holstein and junior Tyson George connected in the fourth quarter to put the final exclamation point on the Broncos’ night.

“I thought we played a solid game across the board in a lot of ways,” Randall said. It was one of our better games if you take out some of those plays in the third quarter where we gave up some of those runs. We’ve just got to keep on working, get back to doing what we do and eliminate some of these penalties.”