UPHS at home for chance at state championship game

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Farmers are top remaining 3A seed

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  • JaQuarius Donald (left) and Trey Holly combined for 330 yards rushing Friday in a 47-6 defeat of St. Martinville that put the Farmers in this week’s semifinal game. Gazette photo by Byron Avery
    JaQuarius Donald (left) and Trey Holly combined for 330 yards rushing Friday in a 47-6 defeat of St. Martinville that put the Farmers in this week’s semifinal game. Gazette photo by Byron Avery
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Union Parish High School football will play host to No. 3 seed Lake Charles Prep Friday, with a trip to the championship game on the line.

The No. 2 seed Farmers, are now the highest remaining seed in the 3A playoffs, following a No. 1 Jennings loss to Madison Prep Friday. Union took down No. 10 St. Martinville Friday with a 47-6 dismantling of the Tigers.

The Tigers and Farmers struggled in a steady downpour Friday, but the Farmers were able to keep control of the ball and the offensive line was able to do its job just like always.

“Our guys went out there and did their job,” head coach Joe Spatafora said. “That’s our defense doing their job, that’s what it is. The elements are part of the game. You got to get out here and play”

UP rushed for 347 yards on a night where puddles replaced hash marks and the teams combined for only 2 pass attempts on the night. Trey Holly and JaQuarius Donald combined for 330 yards on 40 carries, with Holly picking up 209 on 21 carries and Donald adding 121 on 19 rushes.

“Everything opened up as planned,” Holly said following the game.

“JaQuarius had a great game. The offensive line did what they had to do. JaQuarius is a really special player. It feels amazing to make it back to the semifinals and be able to play in front of our home crowd.”

While Holly gets the headlines and the big numbers, Donald and Spencer Sensley show what a fullback and an offensive line can do together. When those two carry the ball, it’s right up the middle behind that line. They have combined for just under 500 rushing this season.

“My 0-line got me there, said a mud-covered Donald after the game. “They did their job and got us through it. And our defense executed just the way they were supposed to.”

Cole Dison completed his only pass attempt on the night, a 31-yard strike to Rykel Wallace for a TD. Blake Ramsey led the defense with 9 total tackles Friday. Sensley added 8 and Kam Crow had 4 tackles and a sack.

LCP comes into the game after defeating Jena 28-20 last week. Senior QB Dillon Simon averages 207.6 yards passing per game with 24 TDs through the air, while senior RB Jathan Royal averages 118.6 yards on the ground with 13 total TDs.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Doc Elliot Stadium between the 2 10-0 teams. The winner will play the weekend after Christmas in the State Championship game, to be held this year at Turpin Stadium on the campus at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.