Avoyelles Parish's three teams win, win close, go to playoffs
Avoyelles Parish’s three football-playing high schools (a) won last Friday, (b) earned berths in the state playoffs, (c) will be on the road in Week 1 of the playoffs, and (d) all won their games by close margins -- Bunkie in overtime and Marksville and Avoyelles in the 4th Quarter.
Following are brief summaries of those games. For more details on the Avoyelles and Marksville games, see this week’s Weekly News. For details on the Bunkie game, see this week’s Bunkie Record.
The two District 3-AAA teams almost drew their district rivals in the first week. Avoyelles at 19th travels to No. 14 Northwestern in Opelousas. Caldwell Parish is No. 13.
Marksville at 29th must face No. 4 St. James. Jena is No. 3.
MARKSVILLE 34, CALDWELL PARISH 30
Coach J.T. Dunbar got his wish … rain … Friday night and his Marksville Tigers got their W.
And what a big W it was.
With their exhilarating 34-30 victory over the Caldwell Spartans, the No. 29th ranked Tigers (5-5, 3-2) earned its ninth straight playoff berth. They now travel to face the No. 4 ranked St. James Wildcats (7-3, 3-2) in the opening round of the Class 3A State football playoffs.
No. 13th ranked Caldwell Parish (8-2, 3-2) will now play host to No. 20th ranked Madison Prep.
“I don’t know what it is about this group but they get excited when they feel rain,” said Dunbar. “When the rain started to fall it caused them (Caldwell Parish) problems almost immediately. They mishandled some snaps, had some exchange problems, and had trouble making their cuts. It was all beneficial to us.”
It also allowed Marksville to begin clawing its way back into the game and led to a dramatic, heart-stopping finish.
AVOYELLES 30, PEABODY 28
There were no district titles at stake Friday when two also-ran teams squared off in Alexandria.
However, the contest between the Avoyelles Mustangs and the Peabody Warhorses is still the “Mane Event” in District 3-AAA.
As expected, Avoyelles won, but not in a runaway. The Mustangs had to come back in the 4th Quarter to take the lead and then saw Peabody pull within two of tying the game in the last minute. The Warhorses failed on the two-point attempt, allowing Avoyelles to come away with a 30-28 victory.
BUNKIE 26, LAKEVIEW 20 (OT)
It wasn’t supposed to be this close. Bunkie was going to roll over Lakeview and step into the Class-AA playoffs. However, Lakeview had a different idea and gave the Panthers a scare before Bunkie edged the Gators, 26-20, in overtime.
The Panthers finished the season with a 3-7 overall mark and 2-3 District 3-AA record. Lakeview ended the season at 0-10 overall and 0-5 in district play.
Bunkie was able to make the Class-AA playoffs as the No. 30 seed in the 32-team single-elimination tournament. The Panthers travel to Amite, No. 3 in the bracket, this Friday to face the 9-1 Warriors. Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.