Jordan Antoine 1111

Port Allen's Jordan Antoine gains yardage during last week's game against Episcopal.

Playoffs mark a new season, and that’s exactly the approach Port Allen head football coach Don Gibson wants the Pelicans to take Friday night in first-round Class 2A playoff fare.

Port Allen’s quest for a first-ever trip to the championship game at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans begins at home when No. 12-seeded Pelicans (6-4) host No. 21 seed DeQuincy (5-5). Kickoff at Guy Otwell Stadium is 7 p.m.

The Pelicans began the season with losses to Brusly and Donaldsonville before they went on a six-game win streak that made them one of the bigger success stories in Baton Rouge area high school football.

Losses of 45-6 at Dunham Oct. 29 and 28-0 at home against repeat District 8-2A champ Episcopal doused water on Port Allen’s fire. 

The Pelicans need to put the last two weeks behind them, Gibson said. 

 “The last two weeks didn’t go like we wanted, but it doesn’t matter anymore,” he said. “We always tell them they need to look ahead, and so we all need to practice what we preach.”

DeQuincy ended regular season with a 27-9 loss at Rosepine, one week after a 41-34 victory over Vinton. 

Standouts for the DeQuincy Tigers include junior quarterback Reese Ainsworth, senior wide receiver Chris Simmons, senior running back Taije Ceasar, and senior wide receivers Drew Duhon and Gavin Gary. 

“We’re going to need to stop their running game and make sure we put the ball in the end zone,” Gibson said. “We do a good job moving the football, but we need to do better at finishing the drives.”

The 2021 playoffs follow a 2020 post-season run that brought the Pelicans to the Class 2A quarterfinals, which included a 55-9 win at Pine, 22-20 win at Ferriday and a 33-19 loss to Mangham.

“Our goal now is to go further this year, but we know that won’t be easy,” Gibson said. “Those are the things we talk about now and will always talk about.

“We need to make sure that Port Allen doesn’t beat Port Allen,” he said. 

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