By Buck Ringgold
Photo of Catholic-Baton Rouge receiver Shelton Sampson Jr. by Crescent City Sports
This week is semifinal week for each division in the Louisiana high school football playoffs.
Those who come away victorious can punch their ticket to New Orleans for next week's Louisiana High School Athletic Association Prep Classic at the Superdome.
There were a few highly ranked teams in last week's SBLive Louisiana Top 25 that saw their seasons come to an end in last week's quarterfinal matchups. This week's rankings include teams that are currently involved in semifinal action.
Here now is this week's Top 25.
1. Destrehan (12-0)
The Wildcats nearly saw their season end last week. But they were able to overcome a tough road challenge at East St. John, winning 21-20.
This week, Destrehan returns home for its Division I non-select semifinal as the No. 3 seeded Wildcats welcome in No. 10 Westgate, which upended No. 2 Neville last week.
2. Many (11-0)
Many also had a fight on its hands in its quarterfinal last week. Trailing 7-0 through three quarters, the Tigers were able to push across a pair of fourth-quarter TDs to beat Rosepine, 14-7.
The Tigers - the No. 1 seeded team in Division III non-select - will be at home Friday for a semifinal against No. 4 St. James.
3. Vermilion Catholic (12-0)
The Screamin' Eagles got an early pick-six, helping set the tone as their defense continued to do the job in a 17-7 win against Southern Lab in the Division IV select quarterfinals.
Vermilion Catholic, the top seed, is at home Friday for a semifinal against No. 4 St. Martin's, which rallied past St. Mary's, 29-25.
4. Catholic-Baton Rouge (11-1)
In a highly anticipated quarterfinal, the Bears were able to outlast a very good Edna Karr squad, 32-24.
But Catholic, the highest seed team remaining in the Division I select playoffs at No. 2, still has another big hurdle to clear in order to head down Interstate 10 next week. They have a home semifinal against John Curtis, the No. 3 seed.
5. Ruston (11-1)
The Bearcats turned in another impressive offensive showing in the postseason, handling Denham Springs, 49-31.
Ruston, the No. 1 seed in the Division I non-select bracket, is home this week in perhaps the state's biggest matchup, welcoming in a defending state champion in Zachary, the No. 5 seed.
6. St. Thomas More (11-1)
For the second straight week, the Cougars scored at least 55 points. In their Division II select quarterfinal, they took care of Madison Prep, 56-34.
St. Thomas More, the top seed, will be at home to take on No. 4 E.D. White in Friday's semifinals.
7. Iowa (11-1)
The Yellow Jackets went on the road last week and took care of Leesville, 31-14, avenging their lone loss of the season at the hands of the Wampus Cats in Week 3.
Iowa, the No. 1 seed in Division II non-select, returns home on Friday for a semifinal against No. 4 seeded North DeSoto.
8. North DeSoto (11-1)
North DeSoto comes into its Division II non-select semifinal with a ton of confidence, posting two double-digit postseason wins. Last week, the Griffins upended No. 28 seed Breaux Bridge, 42-13.
The Griffins head to south Louisiana for the second straight week, this time traveling to face top-seeded Iowa.
9. Teurlings Catholic (11-1)
The Rebels held off Shaw in the Division II select quarterfinals, 27-21.
To win the championship, Teurlings may have to get past a pair of fellow Lafayette schools. This week, the Rebels are home to take on Lafayette Christian, and with a win, can potentially face St. Thomas More in next week's title game.
10. West Feliciana (12-0)
West Feliciana, the No. 2 seed in Division II non-select, picked up a road shutout in its quarterfinal, downing North Vermilion, 30-0.
The Saints are at home for this week's semifinal, taking on a very dangerous No. 6 seed in Lutcher.
11. Lutcher (12-1)
As mentioned above, the Bulldogs may be seeded No. 6 in Division II non-select, but they are more than capable of hoisting the title trophy when all is said and done.
Last week, Lutcher had no trouble with Lakeshore, rolling to a 45-8 quarterfinal win.
12. Union Parish (11-1)
The Farmers continue to roll. Last week, they went on the road and took care of Patterson, 38-14.
Union Parish, the No. 3 seed in Division III non-select, is back at home Friday for its semifinal, as the Farmers welcome in No. 7 Amite.
13. Zachary (10-2)
Though it hasn't been easy at times this season, the Broncos can make another trip to the Superdome.
But to get there, they must win at the top-seeded team in Division I non-select, Ruston. Zachary, the No. 5 seed, won an entertaining quarterfinal last week at No. 4 Southside, 48-37.
14. Ouachita Christian School (11-1)
In one of the most thrilling finishes last week, OCS built a 28-14 fourth-quarter lead on Glenbrook, only to have the Apaches come back with two touchdowns. Glenbrook then tried a go-ahead two-point try, but OCS made the stop in a 28-27 win.