Big plays help Haughton defeat Ruston

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O’Shun Smith returned two fourth-quarrter interceptions for touchdowns and the Haughton Buccaneers stayed undefeated with a 38-17 victory over the Ruston Bearcats Friday night in Ruston.

Haughton improved to 4-0. Ruston dropped to 2-2.

“It was a big one for us,” Haughton coach Rodney Guin said of the win. Ruston was Haughton’s first Class 5A opponent this season.

Smith’s first interception broke a 17-17 tie early in the fourth quarter. His second was for Haughton’s final TD.

Ruston led 10-7 at the half. Haughton tied it in the third quarter on Nico Broadway’s 28-yard field goal.

“We made some mistakes early in the game,” Guin said. “I felt like we could’ve scored a touchdown more at least in the first half and we made some mistakes there and didn’t get it done and had to kick a field goal.”

The Bucs exploded for 28 points in the fourth quarter.

Will Haines threw touchdown passes of 34 yards to Josh Lister and 25 to Javonte Woodard. Woodard’s catch came on fourth down.

“We just had some big plays in the second half and that made the difference,” Gun said. “In the second half we made very few mistakes, offense or defense.”

Haines, who scored on a 15-yard run in the first half, completed 15 of 24 passes for 184 yards with one interception. He also rushed for 50 yards.

Kei’Untre Normandin, the parish’s leading rusher going into the game, gained 86 yards on 17 carries.

Woodard caught six passes for 83 yards, and Lister caught five for 78.

Sophomore Duncan Smith led the Haughton defense with 6.5 tackles. TJ Sweeney had six, Jesus Santos five and JT Bledsoe 4.5. Mason Moreau and Chance Brown had four each. Brown had 2.5 tackles for losses.

Sweeney and Bledsoe also had one interception each.

Haughton closes non-district play at home Friday against St. Mary’s, which won its fourth straight game, 46-8, over Arcadia.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com