OP Carroll

Last week’s slate of games offered plenty to talk about throughout the area, and Week 4 offers even more juicy storylines, including a matchup that pits the top two recruits in the state against one another.

So let's not waste any more time. Here are your top five matchups in the parish this week:

1. St. Thomas More at Neville

So St. Thomas More isn’t bulletproof. The Cougars got off to an unexpected 0-2 start with losses to Madison Prep and Alexandria to start the year.

It still has one of the best recruits in the entire country, though, in Walker Howard. This game might have lost some of its shine due to the Cougars early season troubles, but it still features the top two recruits in Louisiana facing off against one another. St Thomas More’s Walker Howard is not only the top rated quarterback in the state, but he’s a Top 25 recruit in the country. As most of you have read by now, Neville offensive lineman Will Campbell is also.

Before the season started, there were some talks about the Tigers and Cougars being a nationally televised event. Ultimately it didn’t work out that way, but that should at least tell you what kind of national appeal this game has.

St. Thomas More picked up its first win of the season — a 63-0 cleansing against Plaquemine last week — so expect a confident Cougar team in Bill Ruple Stadium Friday night. We'll see if St. Thomas More has what it takes to give the Tigers their first loss of the season. 

2. Cedar Creek vs. OCS

What does Ouachita Christian’s run game look like when it has its full offensive line in tact? Something unholy.

The Pancake Platoon returned in full force against Oak Grove and paved the way for a 200-yard rushing performance from starting running back Chad Strickland. The Eagles followed that win against the Tigers up with a runaway victory against Sicily Island last weekend.

Cedar Creek’s defense flew to the football against St. Frederick in Week 2 and the Cougars racked up their first victory last weekend.

This is a district rivalry matchup that could position the Cougars in a spoiler role if OCS doesn’t take its opponent seriously Friday night.

3. Ouachita at Union

The Lions have been reborn.

From packed stands to emotional social media videos of head coach Todd Garvin starting a new tradition by rewarding linebacker Carmycah Glass with the No. 0 uniform, pride is running rampant at a school that’s been rather dormant in recent years.

And the play on the field has reflected that so far. The Lions defeated Airline, put up a fight against Neville and improved to 2-1 last week with a Homecoming win against Carroll.

Now the Lions face a 3A Union team that nearly upset a Top 10 Class 5A opponent last week (Captain Shreve). We saw these two square off a year ago and star running back Trey Holly accounted for 300 yards in that Farmer victory. Though Ouachita is the bigger school, the Lions might have their hands full with Union Friday night.

4. Woodlawn-B.R. at West Monroe

Woodlawn-B.R. isn’t a pushover by any means, but the Panthers aren’t exactly Catholic either. West Monroe proved it can go blow for blow with the top ranked team in the state a week ago, and heck, the Rebels even led that contest at halftime. If not for some cramps and some special teams woes, who knows how that game might have turned out?

But that’s in the past now. The Rebels aren’t licking their wounds after a hard-fought loss to the Bears, nor should they.

Woodlawn comes to town this week with a winless record, but this is still a team that beat the likes of Dutchtown and battled Catholic to a seven-point loss one year ago.

5. Franklin Parish at Carroll  

The Carroll Bulldogs need to shake back after getting beat by Avoyelles and Ouachita in the last two weeks. Franklin Parish could provide that shake-back win, but the Patriots are in desperate need to show signs of life also.

The Patriots suffered losses to Lake Charles College Prep and Warren by a combined score of 98-16.

Which team will get on the right track Thursday night?

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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