The No. 4 Neville Tigers have a date set with No. 29 Peabody in the opening round of the Class 4A Playoffs.
The Tigers are one of two Top 4 seeds in the parish, as Ouachita Christian is the only other team in the parish to secure a top four spot.
But the two teams enter their respective playoff matchups with different situations. For instance, Neville enters the postseason after taking an open week in the final week of the regular season. Head coach Jeff Tannehill wanted to schedule an opponent for Week 8 to stay in a rhythm, but Tannehill said the opponent had to make sense.
“We’re going to do some tempo work against air,” said Tannehill before heading out to practice last week. “We’re trying to be perfect against air right now because we’re staying away from contact as much as possible. We’re trying to heal up some bumps and bruises that we had happen to a few players. Some of them played injured last week.”
The Tigers defeated the Rams, 38-15, two weeks ago to improve to 4-2 on the season. With games against top-caliber 5A foes such as West Monroe and Ruston — Neville’s only two losses on the season — the Tigers earned valuable power points to vault them up the polls.
That earned Neville a home matchup against a Peabody team that possesses a 4-3 record. Peabody has suffered losses to DeRidder, Tioga and Leesville this season.
Meanwhile, the Tigers enter the postseason with victories against Leesville, Franklin Parish, Minden and Bastrop. The Tigers have scored 32.3 points per game this season while giving up just 16.3 points per contest.
The Tigers have their eyes set on the Warhorses, but Tannehill knows the state championship runs through Edna Karr, which is looking for its fifth consecutive Class 4A State Championship.
“If you look at the last four or five years, it’s been Karr and then everybody else after that,” Tannehill said. “I feel like we have just as good a chance as anybody to get to the Superdome in our class.”