As is usually the case, the annual Bossier City Lions Club Jamboree was a mixed bag for the six high school football teams competing.
Each team saw some positive results in the 24-minute “games” played at M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium. The most positive thing is that it appeared there were no serious injuries.
But as the coaches pointed out, the performances showed there are still some things that need to be ironed out with season openers looming this week.
In the first “game,” the Airline Vikings and Benton Tigers played to a scoreless tie. The Bossier Bearkats downed the Plain Dealing Lions 14-6 in the second, and the Parkway Panthers defeated the Haughton Bucs 28-14 in the nightcap.
The Airline-Benton contest, played during the hottest part of the evening, was a mostly a defensive struggle.
Benton came the closest to scoring. Junior quarterback Ken Gay drove the Tigers from their 37 to the Airline 3. But the Vikings blocked a 21-yard field-goal attempt. Stumbling, the speedy Brandon Marshall picked up the ball and headed for the end zone. Benton kicker Legend Denler made what could’ve been a touchdown-saving tackle.
“We felt like coming into it that both defenses were a little bit ahead of the offenses,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “Kind of trying to get things to jel on that side of the ball. I think they were a little bit, too. I know we were.”
Moore definitely saw improvement from the Tigers’ performance in last week’s scrimmage against North Webster.
“I liked what I saw from our guys up front on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Offensive line answered the challenge. Played a lot better than we did last week. I was kind of impressed we moved the football as well as we did. I wasn’t expecting that.”
Keldric Moody, who rushed for more than 500 yards last season, had some nice runs. Moore also liked what he saw from Gay.
Keldric Moody ran the ball hard,” he said. “We knew he could do that. Ken’s got a ways to go to get a little more crisp, but you know it was his first big-time action against a good football team so we wanted to make sure he continues to progress right there. But overall kind of pleased. Nobody’s hurt. Big, big deal there.”
Airline had chances to make some big plays in the passing game but couldn’t quite make the connections.
“Benton is a well-coached football team that plays hard and that’s what we expected,” coach Bo Meeks said. “They did that tonight. We had some opportunities, shot ourselves in the foot, didn’t take advantage, and when you don’t do that against good football teams that’s what happens. A lot of things to get better on. So we’re going to go back to work and get ‘em fixed and get ready to roll next week when we go to Union Parish.”
As has been the case since spring practice, Meeks alternated seniors Brad Fream and Jordan Gladney at quarterback. He didn’t want to say too much about either’s performance until after watching the video.
“We’ve got to make more plays in that position no matter who’s the quarterback so we’ve got to do a better job there,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job overall.”
Meeks did like the way his defense played.
“We came up with some big, big stops,” he said. “The score was even but I thought we had a lot of positives tonight to build on. Again, let’s carry that into next week.”
Like Moore, Bossier coach Michael Concilio also saw his team improve from last week’s scrimmage. The Bearkats didn’t score against Red River, but they found the end zone twice against Plain Dealing.
A fumble recovery at the Lions 30 by Otis Smith set up the first TD, a 15-yard run by sophomore Sentavion Burns. New quarterback Deondre Summage capped a 38-yard drive in the second half with a 14-yard run.
Except for some minor early penalties, Bossier coach Michael Concilion thought things went well with his team making fewer mistakes than he expected in a jamboree.
“The first drive we had to settle in,” he said. “I expect that in the first drive. The second drive we moved the football, hurt ourselves a little bit. They drove the ball down on one drive. We made some corrections, changed our fronts. We were able to do some good things in the second half.”
Six Bearkats carried the ball. Burns, Rico St. Fluer and Roderick Francis combined for 80 yards.
TJ McCauley scored Plain Dealing’s TD on a 46-yard run, getting some good blocks before breaking free past the line of scrimmage.
Like the rest of the teams, the Lions have a few things to work on this week.
“I think we have a lot of young kids running the ball in skill positions,” coach James Thurman said. “We’ve got new guys. Hopefully the mistakes they made tonight, that’s their chance tonight to get them out of the way.
“We had some big penalties in key spots. We had a first-down run on a drive trying to go down and at least tie it up. Those kind of things hurt. You get a first down called back because of a holding penalty.”
With just 20 players on the roster, Plain Dealing has several players who rarely come off the field.
“Defense got gassed a little bit,” he said. “We’ve just got a few big boys going both ways so we’ve got to get in better shape. Hopefully we made all the mistakes this week and next week it will be ironed out and we can move forward. Proud of some things, but there are some things we can work on. We’ve got to grow up in a hurry.”
Parkway rallied from a 14-7 deficit in the second 12-minute half. The Panthers took advantage of two turnovers deep in Haughton territory, including one on a botched punt snap, to pull away.
Sophomore running back Jamall Asberry had a big night, scoring on runs of 1, 5 and 12 yards. The Panthers’ experienced offensive line opened some big holes for him.
“I like our team,” Parkway coach Neil May said. “I like our senior class. We’ve got 30 of ‘em. They’re hungry. They’re led by a few warriors, including Amani Larry, our quarterback. We feel like we can run the ball. We feel like we can throw it. So right now we’re excited about the possibilities.”
Larry tossed a touchdown pass to Chase Turner to give the Panthers the lead.
May was also generally pleased with his defense.
“Our defense is playing better,” he said. “They’re getting better and better every week. We did make a couple of mental mistakes tonight as a team as a whole that I feel like we can fix and continue to get better. But I’m proud of our guys right now.”
Besides some misadventures in the kicking game, Haughton looked solid most of the contest.
Junior Keyshawn Davis ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run on the Bucs’ first possession.
“That was good to see that he can make that play and go the distance,” Haughton coach Jason Brotherton said.
Sophomore quarterback Peyton Stovall did a good job of running the offense and scored on an 8-yard run in the second half.
But Brotherton saw a lot of room for improvement.
“We’ve got so much to work on,” he said. “They beat us up front on both sides of the ball. We never stopped them. They beat us in the kicking game so it’s unlimited what we can work on.”
Tensas at Plain Dealing
Airline at Union Parish
BTW at Parkway
Haughton at Minden
BTW at Parkway
Benton at Wossman
Madison at Bossier
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com