Editor’s Note: As we wait for the sport to resume locally, we will look back on the 10 best high school football matches since 2015. Each week will feature a look back at the top matches played between our parish teams.
5: West Monroe vs. Zachary (2018)
The storyline around 2018 Class 5A Country Championship Game is endless.
I mean, really, choose:
– Classic 29-27 instant semifinal rematch a year before.
– Quarterback Garrett Kahmann, with a full year as a starter under his belt, faces the team he debuts against in front of the crowded Rebel Stadium.
– Zachary knocked on the door becoming a dynasty. (The Broncos won the 2017 State Championship Game).
– West Monroe defense pursues legendary status of all time. The rebels did not allow a single point of the entire postseason. West Monroe tied 2,000 Haynesville and 1971 Brother Martin to the longest postseason closure in state history with four.
History was not good that night in New Orleans.
West Monroe came out of a completely flat gate. The first half is all of Zachary, because the Rebels fell into the gap of 20-10.
Zachary Keilon Brown’s quarterback was as advertised, as he threw over 150 yards and a total of three scores in the first 13 minutes of the contest.
It feels like Mike Tyson came out of some vicious attack in the early stages of a heavyweight battle. But unlike most of Tyson’s opponents, Rebels don’t lie helplessly on canvas.
West Monroe believers who traveled far south to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome remained vocal, and they wanted the Rebels to rise again. And I have to tell you – if I can save that energy in the second half and sell it, I will be on a cruise somewhere now.
Dome’s atmosphere changed from festive to berserker in the second round.
Michael Hamburg’s 35-meter touchdown goal early in the third quarter gave Rebels a new life, and the Dome decibel meter peaked at the weekend when Kahmann completed a nine-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter with a sneaky quarterback that eventually put the Rebels in front, 24-20.
Meanwhile, the defense continues to wreak havoc on Broncos. Dalvin Hutchinson, Andrew Gleason and Chandler Moncrief put Brown in his pocket, while Rebel who was running back Cam Wright let go of the adult man who kept the ball in West Monroe possession with the clock subsiding.
But then the game reaches the two minute mark, and the game that takes place in the last two minutes can haunt the Rebels fans forever.
Zachary made a screen that allowed Brown to find a 2021 wide star receiver Chris Hilton (LSU commit). Hilton found the fold and turned it 80 meters for the match winner’s touchdown. Hilton also had an extraordinary touchdown catch in the first round and received offers from schools like Alabama after the performance of her state championship. The problem with 80-yard touchdowns, however, is missed calls.
Obviously like the day on a rerun. A block behind appeared at the Hilton, and no flag could be found.
“I think the critical game is the last goal they scored, and if you look at the replays, I hope you know what I’m talking about,” said West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge. “There is a penalty that is not called. We handled in middle school before the back got there. You can choose many games like that. They won’t see everything, but it is a critical game for me. “
The biggest shame for me in covering this great West Monroe team is projecting how future generations will look back on this team. Since I’ve been here in 2015, this is the best West Monroe team I’ve ever covered. It starts from the defensive line, and we know how special the Rebels have been ahead for years. But there is growing talk about whether this is the best group they have ever had. Just to trigger a conversation while also offering four postseason closures in a row is very rare. And I think Arledge knew the conversation for “the best” would be shut down after the bitter defeat of West Monroe.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Arledge. “The fear of losing keeps us alive. I know that certainly motivates me, but I have never seen a group of young men who are a closer team. I have done this for a long time. This group relies on togetherness and brotherhood. “
West Monroe finished the year 14-1 with a win against the ruling State Champion Class 4A (Noxubee County), 10-3 McGill-Toolen (Alabama), Neville’s semifinal team, and had two wins against John Ehret. innocent this season. The rebels outscored their opposition 618-192 in 15 matches that year.
Next week is another classic postseason in one of the most memorable playoffs in the history of Northeast Louisiana High School football.
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