Under Beard’s leadership, Live Oak has accomplished a lot of firsts. The Eagles have won the school’s first playoff game, hosted its first playoff game and last year reached the quarterfinals for the first time.
This season, Live Oak received its first ever ranking in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll. The Eagles are currently ranked 8th in 5A as they are 2-0 after victories over Woodlawn and Mandeville.
Last week against the Skippers, Live Oak trailed 14-0, but rallied to win behind three rushing touchdowns from Kee Hawkins.
Hawkins leads Live Oak’s run heavy attack as he has 305 yards on the season and is averaging 8.5 yards a carry.
Live Oak is looking to throw the ball more this year with senior Sal Palermo at quarterback. Palermo has tossed for 272 yards for two touchdowns.
His top wide receiver is Grant Richardson, who has seven catches for 175 yards. Richardson has deceiving speed and is known for making some ridiculous catches.
Live Oak has five new starters on its offensive line. Matt Kiger has the most experience and he’s been the most consistent so far.
The Eagles defense features six returning starters including McNeese State commitment Eli Johnson. Johnson leads the team with seven solo tackles.
West Feliciana’s offense looks much different than last year. They lost 5,000 yards of offense from last year’s championship team that included Davon Harris, Derek Turner and Darius Davis.
Running the Saints Flex Bone option offense is quarterback Bennett Clement. He’s just the second sophomore to start at quarterback for 14-year head coach Robb Odom. Clement is a good passer and decision maker.
His top two running backs are the speedy Clayton Howard and D.J. Cummings. Howard had a touchdown run against Live Oak last season, while Cummings scored twice in the Saints season opening victory over rival East Feliciana.
Louisiana Tech commitment Khiry Morrison is West Feliciana’s top playmaker. He’s an incredible athlete, who plays on both sides of the football field.
Junior linebacker O’Koryea Anderson leads the team in tackles. Coach Odom says Anderson has a motor that doesn’t stop.
His fellow linebackers Jackson Fazio and Clayton Howard have played really well and the secondary is very good with cornerbacks Sanders Nelson and Alzonzo Jackson. Plus, there’s Khiry Morrison.
These two teams have met the last three seasons and each game has been close. West Feliciana won last year 22-21.