5 local schools advance; 4 play at home in next round

With #38 Anthony Cazedessus holding the ball, FIELD GOAL — #31 kicker Jake Leitz kicks a late game 30-yard field goal to put Ponchatoula up by 10. Ponchatoula beat St. Amant Friday 24-14. See more in Tuesday's Daily Star.

Five of seven local high school football teams successfully battled the elements as well as their first round opponents Friday night to advance to next weekend’s second round of the state playoffs.

Amite, Kentwood, Ponchatoula, St. Helena and Sumner all emerged victorious amidst rainy conditions to continue in the hunt for the state championship while the season came to an abrupt end for Loranger and St. Thomas Aquinas, who lost Friday.

In this week’s second round, Kentwood, Ponchatoula, St. Helena and Sumner will play at home.

The playoffs are a single-elimination tournament, and each school that wins next weekend will move on to the quarterfinals Dec. 10-12, the semifinals Dec. 17-19 and then the championship game, officially titled the LHSAA Prep Classic, set for just after Christmas Dec. 26-28.

In Class 2A, the Amite Warriors, seeded No. 9, registered the most impressive victory Friday night, clobbering No. 24 Capitol 54-0.

Amite, a five-time state champion, will have a tougher test next weekend when the Warriors travel to No. 8 Red River, a 41-6 winner over Lakeview.

Also in Class 2A, Kentwood upset favored Jonesboro-Hodge 27-18 in Jonesboro. The Kangaroos were seeded No. 18 while Jonesboro was 15th.

Though Kentwood will have home advantage, the Kangaroos will also have a more formidable test waiting for them in the second round when they take on No. 2 Mangham, which handily defeated Madison Friday night 55-18.

St. Helena, the area’s highest ranked Class 2A team at No. 4, stopped Vidalia 28-16 and will next face No. 13 Bunkie, a 22-16 winner Friday night over Pickering.

In Class 3A, Jewel Sumner, seeded No. 6, received a scare but took a 9-6 victory over No. 27 Iota, so the Cowboys advanced to the second round. This coming weekend Sumner will play host to No. 11 Jena, which defeated Kenner Discovery 48-12.

Also in Class 3A, Loranger lost its finale to heavily favored Donaldsonville 46-0. Loranger was seeded No. 25 while Donaldsonville was No. 8.

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