Top 10 high school football games in Central Louisiana heading into 2022
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Week in and week out, plenty of eyes will be on Central Louisiana as some of the best games across the state will be played locally.
Throughout the year, there will be unexpected games that turn out to have some of the best finishes, but on paper, there are games that you won’t want to miss.
With Week 1 upon us, let’s take a look at the Top 10 most anticipated games in the 2022 season. The list is in no particular order.
No. 1: Carencro @ ASH (Week 1)
It won’t take long before fans are treated to an exciting game at The Butch when Carencro comes to town Week 1. Carencro now joins ASH in Class 5A, just two seasons removed from winning the 4A title. The last time the Trojans took the field at home, it was a first-round exit in the playoffs at the hands of Parkway.
No. 2: Leesville @ Jena (Week 2)
When two of the best local teams square off in a non-district matchup, you know all eyes in Central Louisiana will be on that game. That’s the case in Week 2 when Leesville travels to Jena. Although last year’s numbers don’t define this year’s teams, it will be a battle of Jena’s defense vs Leesville’s offense.
No. 3: ASH @ Nat Central (Week 3)
This is the second time the Trojans find themselves on the list early in the season, but prior to last year, the matchup may have been overlooked. However, Nat Central posted a 7-4 record in 2021 and was one of the last remaining undefeated teams in the regular season. The Trojans will be traveling to Turpin Stadium for the first time since the 2020 Class 5A State Title, a goal both teams are trying to reach in 2022.
No. 4: Tioga @ Pineville (Week 4)
One of the best rivalries in Central Louisiana will be renewed in Week 4 when Tioga travels to Pineville. Last year, the Indians edged out the Rebels in true defensive fashion at home 7-6. Bryant Bell will look for revenge this time around against his former coach Kevin Cook.
No. 5: Newman @ Many (Week 4)
Okay, this one was a given right? This game features some of the best senior recruits in the state of Louisiana as Arch Manning will face off against USC commit Tackett Curtis. Texas commit Manning leads the Greenies to Sabine Parish in what is sure to be one of the most packed and electric venues all season.
No. 6: Lafayette Christian @ Avoyelles (Week 5)
Avoyelles’ Coach Andy Boone admitted that it was tough finding opponents this season which is why the Mustangs will roll out a tough non-district schedule in 2022. The highlight of the schedule is a date in Week 5 with Lafayette Christian. The Mustangs were just a few plays away from playing in their first state title game a year ago, and it will certainly be a playoff-like feel when the Knights come to town.
No. 7: Ruston @ ASH (Week 6)
It’s just safe to say that every home game for the Trojans this year will be a must-watch. This matchup is expected to be won on the ground with both teams featuring some of the premiere backs in the state. The Trojans lost this matchup on the road last year 37-23 so revenge will be on the mind.
No. 8: Benton @ Nat Central (Week 6)
If you’re not in Alexandria to watch a revenge game in Week 6, you need to be in Natchitoches. The Chiefs were one game away from hosting a Class 5A playoff game, but a Week 10 loss to Benton hurt those chances.
No. 9: DeRidder @ Leesville (Week 7)
It will be hard to top the matchup we saw last year when DeRidder and Leesville met on the field for their 100th meeting. Caleb Gallashaw had six touchdowns to give the Wampus Cats the thrilling 49-41 win. How will the battle for the Hooper Trophy play out for the 101st meeting? Find out in Week 7.
No. 10: Grant @ Tioga (Week 10)
The final week of the regular season will certainly be a fun one when old rivals get renewed. The Grant Cougars jump back up to Class 4A with new confidence after back-to-back playoff appearances under Coach Barrett. The Indians however have controlled this series winning every game from 2005-2018. This game could have major playoff implications to end the regular season.
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