High School Football Forecast Championship Edition
(VIDEO NOTE: STM had two losses not one...but that doesn't matter anymore, does it?)
It's Championship Week for the final edition of the Football Forecast, and Notre Dame and St Thomas More have a chance to dance in the Dome.
One game separates Notre Dame from a perfect season and a Division III State Championship, while STM is trying to ride the momentum of a semifinal win over Teurlings all the way to a Division II title. The two teams offer differing styles, and they punched their ticket to New Orleans in impressive fashion.
Trevor Begue earned Player of the Week honors for collecting one of the most memorable interceptions in STM history last week in the semifinals, and he doesn't even play defense.
The Cougars inserted Begue into the secondary late against Teurlings, and he picked off Cole Kelley's pass. Add in the explosive plays he provided on offense, and it was a no-brainer. If STM plans on taking out Parkview Baptist, Begue will be heavily involved again. His buddy QB Will Bellamy relies on him, and he might need his help lifting a trophy if everything works out.
Team of the Week had to go to the Pios, who shut out an undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas squad, 33-0, in the semifinals. Defense wins championships, and this unit looks like the undisputed heavyweight champions of Division III...only one game left to prove it.
No question what the two games of the week are this time around. Two teams with a chance to bring glory to the Acadiana area, Notre Dame and St. Thomas More, face equally qualified foes. Gas up the truck, pack some snacks for the road and get to New Orleans. It could be a magical time.
To make matter sweeter, the two teams play back to back on Friday. The Pios kick off against Riverside Academy at 1:30 pm, and St. Thomas More takes on Parkview at 5:00 pm. Both games offer satisfying matchups, deserving of a state championship game.
Parkview Baptist scored over 40 points each round of the playoffs, so the Cougars will need to employ a similar gameplan to what they used against the Rebels. If the STM pass rush plays like they did against Teurlings, Will Bellamy and the offense will have their chance to win the game. If not, expect a shootout.
Keep in mind, Parkview knocked off top seeded U-High to get here, and they did it with some force (41-28).
It will be a clash of game styles with Notre Dame and Riverside. Riverside hasn't lost a game since the first week of the season, which earned them the top seed, and they can put up points in a hurry. The issue with that logic is simple: the Pios don't let you score. Teurlings was the only team all year to score over a single time against them, and Notre Dame still won 28-23 in that game. The Pios' bruising defense compliments their like-minded offense, and the end result is typically a machine-like formula for victory.
Can Riverside do it? Sure. Their seed would indicate they're actually favored. I just wouldn't advise anybody to pick against the Pios. After all, they're one step away from perfection.
Hopefully, the cities of Crowley and Lafayette will be planning victory parades. There's no better present for a football player in the holiday season than a trophy, and a confetti shower is always the best way to start the month of December.