Gators’ linebacker Lee front and center against Rummel tonight

MIDDLE OF THE ACTION:  Landen Lee is the tone-setting middle linebacker for Captain Shreve’s defense, which faces a challenge tonight from Rummel at Independence Stadium in a Select Division I playoff game.  (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS)


Captain Shreve middle linebacker Landen Lee isn’t like most defensive players. Just watch what
happens when a ball goes up in the air.

“Everybody is going for the interception,” Lee says. “But I’m looking to hit the guy who was supposed to catch the ball.”

That may help explain why he has zero interceptions this year, but don’t let that fool you. Lee makes his presence known in many other ways.

“Toughness, physicality, leadership … he’s really the complete package as far as what you want
out of a football player,” Shreve head coach Adam Kirby says of Lee. “But he’s also everything
you want out of a kid. He’s very respectful and extremely hard working. He has a high football
IQ and makes our calls on defense. If my kids turned out like Landen, I’d be really proud.”

Lee and the Shreve defense will be on display tonight at 7 o’clock at Independence Stadium
when the Gators take on Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) in the second round of the Division I
(select) playoffs.

The Gators, the No. 2 seed, had a bye through the opening round. Rummel, the No. 18 seed,
defeated Northwood last week.

Lee is the Gators’ leading tackler with 92 this season. That total includes six tackles for loss and
1.5 quarterback sacks.

“Every play I’m thinking if my defense is on point at all times and everybody knows their job,”
Lee says. “After that, I’m making sure I know what I’ve got to do – get to the ball with bad
intentions and punish somebody.”

During his career at Shreve, Lee has been a running back and a linebacker, but it got to a point
where “if the defense didn’t know what to do, I had to step up and lead. The coaches threw me
in the water and I was right there. They’ve been able to trust me in that position,” he says.

His days as a running back are long since over, which is not surprising since the Gators have the
area’s leading rusher in Jamarlon Otis, who had 1,680 yards and 18 touchdowns during the
regular season.

The Raiders have a quality running game of their own as Jaidyn Martin ran for 214 yards and
three touchdowns against Northwood.

Stopping the run figures to be a key for both teams.

“Our team is way more physical than last year,” says Lee, a two-year starter. “I feel like we are
hungrier since last year wasn’t what we wanted. This year we wanted to come back and show
the city we are the real deal.”

That’s been pretty obvious for a few weeks as the Gators have won eight straight on the way to
a 9-1 record and a No. 8 ranking in the final Class 5A poll.

Also ranked in the Top 10 with a 9-1 record is No. 10 Airline. The Vikings, who are in the non-
select bracket, will also be at home when they meet Southside (Youngsville) at 7 o’clock at
Airline Stadium.

That will be a different style of game as Airline features the state leader in passing yardage in
junior Ben Taylor. Airline will be trying to get the bad taste left from last season after losing in the first round.

Calvary, the No. 2 seed in Division III (select) will be at home against Holy Savior Menard
(Alexandria), a winner last week over Houma Christian, at 7 o’clock at Jerry Barker Stadium.

Menard has played seven games in which the Eagles have scored less than 20 points in a game.

Calvary has played seven games in which the Cavaliers have scored at least 40 points.
The other second round playoff game featuring a Shreveport-Bossier school will be Evangel
hitting the road to take on No. 5-seeded Archbishop Shaw (Marrero). Evangel had a resounding
49-0 win over Belaire last week.

No. 18 RUMMEL (5-6) vs. No. 2 CAPTAIN SHREVE (9-1) 

Where: Independence Stadium 

LHSAA playoff bracket: Select Division I 

Series: Rummel 1-0 

Last week: Captain Shreve had a bye; Rummel beat Northwood 34-14 

Rankings: Captain Shreve #8 in LSWA 5A poll, #2 in SBJ poll;  

Radio: CS – The River (95.7 FM); Rummel – NASH ICON (106.1 FM) 

Notables: Shreve, making its 33rd playoff appearance, received its first bye in the playoffs since 1983 … The Gators have set a school record averaging 41.6 points per game in the regular season … RB Jamarlon Otis leads the offense with 1,680 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns … QB Quortni Beaner has run for 830 yards and 19 touchdowns … Landen Lee leads the defense with 86 total tackles … EJ McDonald has been the key turnover magnet with five interceptions and three fumble recoveries (one touchdown return) … Rummel is making its 36th playoff appearance … the Raiders have signature wins over University High and John Curtis … Senior running back Jaidyn Martin has 208 carries for 1,214 yards and 18 touchdowns — three TDs last week at Northwood.