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Editor/Consulting Writer

There is only one district game among the nine contests scheduled to be played among St. Landry Parish schools in Week 5.

Most league contests begin next week, adding an additional ingredient of importance as football moves past the 2023 midway point.

Although only Port Barre and Northwest kick off their district schedules in a game scheduled for Prairie Ronde, there are still some relatively significant contests involving St. Landry programs this week.

The Week 5 focus of importance is located in Eunice, where Eunice High and St. Edmund each hosts teams that have also drawn state recognition in the power rankings and combined 13-3 records.

If you’re wondering about Opelousas High, which previously drew moderate ranking interest in the weekly Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll, the Tigers are still accumulating mileage on their team buses and providing meals on wheels for the team.

Opelousas will be riding to a fifth consecutive road game this week. Since the annual jamboree, the Tigers have played games in Lafayette, Natchitoches, Lake Charles and the Baton Rouge area.

The Tigers have already driven a low estimate of 600 round trip miles for those four games and there are still appearances at Leesville and New Iberia pending before the long-awaited Oct. 13 Homecoming game against Livonia.

So continue checking the oil on the Tigers’ bus and examining the need for tire changes.

Once again there is no LHSAA-sanctioned game scheduled for Donald Gardner Stadium in Week 5.

St. Landry normally focuses on one particular contest as the Game of The Week. Deciding on one for Week 5 involved some major contemplation that failed to bring a definitive conclusion.

There is no tie-breaking system for choosing a Game of The Week, so in this case we reluctantly chose two.

Oakdale (4-0) at St. Edmund (3-1)

The Blue Jays host an Oakdale team that averages over 30 points a game. St. Edmund also hasn’t been shy about adding points, especially against the last three opponents. So obviously this will be a point binge game that will be decided on a late-game fumble or interception. I like home field advantage.

Catholic High-New Iberia (3-1) at Eunice High (3-1)

Eunice was surprised in 2022 when the Bobcats encountered an upset loss at Catholic High. After losing an opener to highly-ranked Vermilion Catholic this season, CHNI has impressively beaten Parkview Baptist, Erath and Leesville. Eunice has displayed good and bad moments this year. Again, I’m picking the home team.

Port Barre (2-2) at Northwest (2-2)

If only Northwest could solve the mysterious center-to-quarterback delivery, the Raiders might be 4-0 or at least 3-1. Last week that issue, ball possession and penalties helped create problems for Northwest in a game at Eunice. Athletically though, Northwest is impressive.

Port Barre meanwhile, discovered some missing offensive success against Mamou last week. That revelation helped the Devils obtain a second win. However Northwest starts district at 1-0.

Opelousas (2-2) at Leesville (2-2)

Leesville is not an easy place to win a football game and the Class 4A Wampus Cats will have that as an advantage over the Tigers.

The Tigers experienced defensive and kicking game breakdowns in the St. Amant loss last week. However Opelousas always possesses that ability to score, which could prove advantageous.

After adding another 250 miles or so to the 2023 road trip, the Tigers should return with a win.

Opelousas Catholic (1-3) at Holy Savior Menard (2-2)

Highly-ranked Southern Lab hung 60 on the Vikings in Baton Rouge last week, so it will be interesting to see what adjustments the Vikings make when they travel to Alexandria.

Like the Opelousas team across town, OCS has also compiled significant mileage on the team bus, with games in Oak Grove at the Arkansas border and at Southern Lab.

Menard has defeated Pineville and Sacred Heart-Ville Platte, indicating the Eagles have improved over last year.

Give OCS a shaky advantage in this game.

Delcambre (0-4) at Westminster (2-2)

The Delcambre offense is having difficulty, scoring 38 points in four losses. Westminster meanwhile, is attacking defenses with a passing game that makes things entertaining. If the Crusaders avoid injuries, they can possibly win several district games. It’s hard not to like Westminster in this contest

Kaplan (3-1) at Beau Chene (1-3)

The Gators need to find a way to ignite an offense which has few dimensions. Give credit to Beau Chene though, they have not backed away from playing a difficult non-district schedule.

Kaplan is another tough contest. Both teams have lost to Rayne, but the Kaplan victories have come over some mediocre opponents. Kaplan however wins this one.

Northwood-Lena (0-4) at North Central (1-3)

North Central failed two weeks ago to beat Thrive Academy in an obviously winnable game. The NCHS game this week with Northwood represents another chance to acquire an elusive victory that the Hurricanes need before the start of district next week. If the ‘Canes avoid fundamental problems, they need to win this one.