What if I told you the best was yet to come in district play?

It’s Week 6 of the high school football season, so that might sound like a rather cold take from yours truly. But think about some of the district clashes we’ve already seen. Heck, Ouachita Christian trailed Cedar Creek, 22-21, in the final minutes of their district affair before a 97-yard touchdown pass completely altered the trajectory of that district.

Our big schools begin district play this week, and let me go ahead and tell you — they’re not easing into anything… 

1. Sterlington at Union

There are plenty of local fans who have been dubbing this the game of the year. In fact, I can recall over the summer having conversations with my co-host on The Morning Drive, Aaron Dietrich, about which district game would be bigger this year: Sterlington at Union or West Monroe at Ruston?

The arguments for Sterlington and Union getting the top billing involved a running back named Trey Holly, who is still on pace to break the all-time rushing record in Louisiana. 

Holly led the Farmers to a victory last year against the Panthers. 

And let’s not forget a two-point conversion converted by quarterback Hayes Crockett separated these two in 2019 and kept Sterlington undefeated in District 2-3A play at the time.

Classic slugfests have become commonplace between these two proud programs, and quite frankly, I believe both squads are good enough to compete for a Class 3A State Championship this year. 

This might even be a primer for it.

2. ASH at West Monroe

If you were banking on Alexandria Senior High to be a one-hit wonder, well I’ve got some bad news for you…

ASH comes to Rebel Stadium with a 5-0 record. The Trojans have averaged 53.8 points per game in their first five games of the season, and that included a 59-35 victory against St. Thomas More.

But talking with West Monroe players in the summer, multiple seniors told me they had ASH on their mind during those hard summer workouts. They remember how their season ended on the road in a 31-17 defeat against those Trojans, and they’ve heard the chatter about West Monroe’s district reign being in jeopardy. That outside noise intensified after Neville defeated the Rebels 28-7 last Friday night. 

But I still believe in the potential of this West Monroe team. Sometimes that lion feels like it has to roar to remind folks, and this could very well be one of those instances.  

But that’s if West Monroe returns to form after the Neville loss. That regular season District 2-5A win streak, which dates all the way back to 2002, is still in tact heading into this contest.

Will West Monroe make it 99 in a row or will Alexandria start the Rebels off with a loss in district play this season?

3. Carroll at Richwood

Good for Marcus Yanez.

Richwood’s head coach had been through a lot of adversity with tragic losses of former football players in the offseason, and despite having less than 40 football players on the roster heading into the 2021 season, he’s built a winning football team. 

There’s your feel-good story of the year. 

The Rams are 3-2 heading into this matchup, and it’s the first time Richwood had boasted a winning record since the 2017 season. 

And now the Rams enter district play against a (3-2) Carroll football team that is fresh off of back-to-back victories against Class 4A opponents. This is an enormous game for both schools.

4. Ouachita at West Ouachita

It was a frustrating night for West Ouachita against Loyola College Prep. Not only did Mike Rainwater have to sit on the sideline while running backs R.J. Henderson and Kohl Nolan exited the game early due to injuries, but he also had to watch his team lose to what many would consider an inferior opponent.

Now at 2-3 on the season, the Chiefs are desperate for a victory.

And even though Ouachita is coming off of a loss to Dutchtown, the (3-2) Lions feel like they still have plenty of momentum entering this matchup after going blow for blow with a Griffins squad that’s sure to make a deep playoff push this season.

Can Ouachita keep the momentum going or will West Ouachita pull off a stunner at home?

5. River Oaks at OCS

River Oaks was simply on the wrong side of things Friday night, as Cedar Creek took out some frustrations against the Mustangs. Fresh off of hard-fought losses to St. Frederick and OCS, Cedar Creek made a statement against River Oaks, but the Mustangs still have key playmakers like quarterback Peyton Odom, who totaled seven touchdowns two weeks ago.

Could OCS be caught napping after winning an emotionally charged game against St. Frederick one week prior?

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