Tomorrow night, on Friday, the E.D. White Cardinals will travel north to Vacherie for a matchup with the St. James Wildcats. E.D. White enters this contest undefeated, with an impressive 9-0 record. St. James enters this game at 8-1, and this matchup will decide who takes the 3A Division 8 championship.
E.D. White is fresh off of a 45-31 victory over non-divison opponent Sam Houston, who themselves sit at a respectable 6-3 record. Their last divisional game came against Berwick, where the Cardinals won by a score of 56-14. St. James, meanwhile, have rebounded well from a heartbreaking overtime loss to East. St. John in week 1, having won eight straight since then, and outscoring divisional opponents 159-37, all over the last three weeks. This stretch was capped off with a 56-13 win over Berwick last Friday, nearly an identical score to their matchup with E.D. White just a week prior.
This game will be the biggest test both teams have faced all year. Two stout defenses meet two very dangerous offenses, and while the game should be competitive throughout, it will be interesting to see if it’s an offensive-dominated game or not.
Jake Sternfels will lead this E.D. White offense tomorrow. The Cardinals run an option-like offense, so Sternfels does not get too many opportunities to throw, but when he does, he makes his throws count. He is certainly helped out by Paxton Lafont, a 6’4″ receiver with exceptional speed for his size. Lafont has been a focal point of this passing attack, catching 10 touchdowns on 33 catches this season (according to MaxPreps’ team stats). The rushing attack is lead by Jeffery Diedrich, a bruising back who lines up oftentimes at fullback with his hand in the dirt, but shows the speed and athleticism of a running back. Remember, the fullback plays a much bigger role in option and Wing-T offenses that in more traditional offenses. Look out for these players tomorrow as they will contribute heavily to E.D. White’s efforts to win.
For St. James, they are led by dual-threat quarterback Brayden Williams, who throws the ball well and also excels as a runner. He does display pocket awareness and makes good decisions (25-4 TD/INT ratio), and his play this season as one of Louisiana’s most underrated quarterbacks is one of the reasons St. James is 8-1 at this point in the season. Williams has passed for almost 1800 yards and added over 400 on the ground, as well as 9 additional rushing scores. Kobe Brown has been the favorite target of Williams this season, racking up 47 catches for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns through nine games this year. Adrian Prean Jr. and DeAndre Videau are two of the most impactful players on this defense, and should make it a little difficult for E.D. White to run their offense. Prean is second on the team in tackles, with 49, and Videau sits at 31 on the season.
This game is shaping up to be one to remember, as both teams come into tomorrow’s game with a district championship on the line. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM Central time. Stay up to date during the game by following us on Twitter/X and Instagram, where we will be posting score updates and highlights as they happen!