Teams that make it to the semifinals of the state football playoffs usually have experience in being there.
Haynesville and Oak Grove are no strangers and will face each other tonight at 7:30 at Red Franklin Memorial Stadium in Haynesville.
The David Franklin coached Golden Tornado (13-0) have won 17 state championships and are looking to capture their third in the last four years in Class 1A. The Tigers (10-3) have won four, the last coming in 2001 and are in the semifinals for the first time since 2009.
Quarterback Trent Franklin heads up the Tornado offense along with backs Treyon Hunter and Jerious Bittle. Haynesville is led on defense by Jamarceon Jackson, Jalan Harris and Fabian Washington.
That defense will have plenty to contend with as the No. 5 seeded Oak Grove offense had posted four consecutive 60 point games before last week’s 46-20 win over Plain Dealing. Quarterback Kohl Milligan, fullback/kicker Sam Philley and running back Donald Gray head up the Tiger offense.
The two teams have met seven times with Haynesville winning four of those.
In another Class 1A semifinal in the area, No. 2 seed Logansport will host No. 3 seed Kentwood. The Tigers won their only state title in 1995 while Kentwood picked up its eighth last season, with a 40-7 win over Haynesville.
Logansport (13-0) got there with a 50-14 win over Varnado in last week’s quarterfinals as Debell Crawford ran for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Logansport spread things out as four other Tigers scored.
Quarterback Dalton Shaw passed for 202 yards and three scores. The junior signal caller has over 2,000 passing yards on the season and 30 touchdowns.
The Kangaroos (9-4) defeated Arcadia 42-20 in their quarterfinal and have won 9 of their last 10.
In Class 2A top seeded Many (13-0) will host No. 4 seed Sterlington (11-2). The Tigers won their only state title in 2014 but were eliminated from last year’s playoffs in the second round.
Many is led by two running backs with over 1,000 yards rushing. A.J. Carter has amassed 2,090 yards and 35 touchdowns while Shacori Carter has 1,159.yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior Isaiah Smith leads the team in tackles with 102 and has five interceptions and junior Peyton Fredieu has recorded seven sacks..
Sterlington who is looking for its first title, reached the semifinals in 2014 before losing to Kinder who won last year’s Class 2A title.