Port Allen-Livonia advance 2020

Port Allen's Mekyle Franklin tries to break a tackle from a Parkview defender during a scrimmage last week. Port Allen opens the regular season at home Friday against Livonia.

The wait is almost over.

After months of speculation over the fate of the 2020 Louisiana high school football season, action will kick off in Port Allen for one of the biggest fall traditions.

The season kicks off with what has become something of a ritual every year for Port Allen, when the Pelicans cross paths with neighboring rival Livonia in non-district fare Friday night at Guy Otwell Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Scheduling conflicts scratched off the annual Port Allen-Brusly “Sugar Classic Showdown” for the first time since 1966, but Livonia comes to town as a familiar foe for the Pelicans.

“They’re a very good program, and one that’s very similar to us in a lot of ways fundamentally,” head coach Don Gibson said. “They’ve had some very good seasons over the last couple of years and we’re ready for the next chapter in the rivalry, this time on our home turf.”

The Wildcats ushered two new faces to the coaching personnel, and neither is a stranger to the Pelicans.

Longtime assistant coach Josh Laborde, who also worked in baseball and softball during an eight-year tenure at PAHS, now serves as the head coach for the Wildcats. He replaces Marc Brown, who left LHS and now works as head coach at White Castle. 

Guy Blanchard, who coached the Pelicans from 2006-2014, will work as an assistant under Laborde.

The nostalgia seems nice for a short time, but it can’t get in the way of the business at hand, said Laborde, who worked five years on the coaching staff at West Feliciana under Rob Odom.

“We need to concern ourselves with today and winning today,” Laborde said. “Port Allen is going to have a lot of speed and we know we’re going to need to be at our most physical to win.”

Potential leaders for Livonia will include senior running backs Jamorian Jackson and Devonte Leonard, along with senior wide receiver Jamarion Bridgewater.

GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST … Capacity will be limited to 625 for the game. Presale tickets will be available to the general public at 8 a.m. Wednesday and will continue until 3 p.m. Friday.

All remaining tickets will go on sale at box office, starting at 6 p.m. Friday.

Admission for spectators 5 and up is $10.


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