The LHSAA state power rankings dictate who makes the playoffs, but the MPH area power rankings determine bragging rights. It’s a fun exercise (everyone loves a list), but really it’s just a chance to talk about our favorite teams as they prepare for this week’s games.
The order has changed each week as no team has stayed at the top for very long.
This week was all about Lakeside, the only team to win their game last weekend. The Warriors will be remembering their win at North Caddo for some time to come, while North Webster and Minden will be finding reasons to forget their most recent losses and move on.
1. Lakeside (5-1, 1-0)
2A state power ranking: 10
The Warriors seem to have found a real identity this season. Only after their 46-42 comeback win over North Caddo have they found their edge. Most of Lakeside’s wins this season have been straight-forward. Lakeside outguns teams and, simple as it sounds, tries to score a touchdown every possession. Their style of play means that their defense only needs to come up with a few stops each game and the Warriors will win. That puts a load of pressure on the offense, but it’s welcome pressure.
Lakeside has one of the best running backs in class 2A in Jacquez Lott. Lott is in the top three in total rushing yards and is a 100-yard rusher every week.
They have Trey Sanders who is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the area. Sanders averages twenty yards per touch and scores touchdowns with ease.
The key has been adding quarterback Jordan Preuett to this three-headed offensive monster. Preuett threw for five touchdowns against North Caddo and is coming into his own as the shot-caller for the Warriors.
Lakeside could run the table the rest of the year, they are that good. The Warriors’ only loss this season was on the road to undefeated Rosepine, and their schedule doesn’t see another top-15 2A team until the last week of the regular season when they play #14 Mansfield. Even if they were to drop that game, the Warriors are the clear surprise of the season in the area and it’s time they receive their due.
2. Minden (2-4, 2-1)
4A state power ranking: 34
The Tide are on the outside looking in at this point as far as the playoffs are concerned, and things don’t look to be getting any easier. Minden still has to play #5 Northwood, #8 North Desoto and a Woodlawn team that might be better than they look. The good news is that the Tide are miles better than they were to start the season.
I’ve spoken about it plenty already, but the loss to Benton was just a gut-shot. There’s no way around it, the poor officiating, the significance of the game, and especially the way Minden played that second half, only to lose could make things tough down the stretch.
Benton now sits at #22 in the state and have already played Northwood.
All of this means that this Friday’s game against Woodlawn is an absolute must-win. Will the Tide respond with a chip on their shoulder after a season of seemingly endless bad luck? Or will it be too much, the loss too difficult to overcome and they revert to indecisiveness?
My money is on a win this Friday against Woodlawn. Minden may not beat Northwood, but they can go 3-1 to end the season and see how far the defense can take them into the playoffs.
3. North Webster (3-3)
3A state power ranking: 9
It looks like many of us underestimated how good undefeated Logansport were going into last week. I’ve had the Knights atop my rankings a few times this season, but the loss hurts them this week if only in perception.
There’s a few reasons for that. Playing in Springhill is tough, trust me, I’ve played countless high school games there and seen plenty of football. The Knights defense has been so successful all season that it’s hard for me to imagine giving up 34 points at home.
It’s one of two things. North Webster has been playing bigger teams all season with probably the toughest schedule of any team in the area. They were due for an off-game.
The other reason could be that they simply didn’t have enough luck.
They had the ball three times in the red zone and couldn’t get touchdowns from it.
They sit at number three this week because they have to travel to Airline for another game against a school three times their size. Airline has only won one game this year, but they are still a class opponent. North Webster may have a tough time in that game.
The flip side is that the Knights have been beating up on the big boys all season.
They are well-coached, have a dynamic offense, a bruising, massive defensive line, and a knack for going on the road and making a statement.
4. Glenbrook (0-7)
Glenbrook had a BYE week last week, and it came at the right time. The Apaches needed a week to move past the winless start, catch their breath after starting the season two weeks earlier than everyone else, and get focused on winning at least one of their last two regular-season games. Porter’s Chapel this Friday is a winnable game for Glenbrook, even on the road. The Eagles are 1-7, and have lost to the same schools that Glenbrook lost to, only by a wider margin.
The Apaches just need to string together a few stops on defense and let their offense do the work. Even in their biggest losses, the offense seems to be able to put up points. Offensive coordinator David Feaster knows how to game plan and spread the field, and they have capable players that quarterback Jackson Powell can throw to.
There isn’t a lot of manpower on defense, but hopefully after a week-long break the Apaches will muster enough energy to get a few stops and snag a win before coming home for their last game of the season.