Bearkats repeat as 1-3A champs
Even though his team was the defending district champion, Bossier coach Michael Concilio knew not many people outside the Bossier High community gave the Bearkats much of a chance to defeat North DeSoto in their showdown Friday for the 1-3A title.
The Bearcats proved the doubters wrong, defeating the Griffins 28-21 in overtime on their home turf in Stonewall. The Bearkats, who won their sixth straight game, finished the regular season 7-3 overall and a perfect 3-0 in district.
It’s the first back-to-back district championships for Bossier in 13 years.
North DeSoto (7-3, 2-1) came into the game as the favorite based mainly on their strength of schedule. The Griffins’ only two other losses were to Class 5A teams.
“We were the underdog,” Concilio said. “That’s what intensified their play. We were talking about it all week. My pregame speech was based around being the underdog. It was everything the kids saw, we saw as coaches. We were never even picked to be in the game. I think that’s what basically kind of made our kids play real hard.”
It definitely wasn’t easy.
Bossier withstood a pair of outstanding performances by North DeSoto backs Aurren Cooksey (191 yards) and Enone Thompson (121).
Some key defensive stops, and touchdown runs by Jaquarious Tutt and Tevin Robertson, helped Bossier build a 14-3 halftime lead.
A 60-yard halfback pass from backup quarterback Rodney Bonds to Robertson gave Bossier a 21-10 in the third quarter. But the Griffins rallied with 11 points in the fourth to send it into overtime.
Bossier went first on offense. Things didn’t look good for the Bearkats when they faced a third-and-goal from the 19. But Samuel Dudley found Malik Dunn for a touchdown.
North DeSoto was flagged for roughing the kicker on the extra point so the Griffins had to start their possession at the 25.
North DeSoto moved to a third-and-goal at the 1. A Bossier stop forced a fourth-and-two. Cooksey took a pitch, slipped down in the backfield and the Bearkats celebrated their district title.
Dudley led Bossier with 114 yards on 18 carries. Terrell Brewer led the defense with nine tackles, including 3.5 for losses. Robertson also had nine tackles.
Darius Leary and Bonds had one interception apiece. The Bearkats also recovered two fumbles.
Vikings fall to Byrd on late FG
For the first time since 1998, the Airline Vikings are district football champions.
But there was no celebrating Friday night at Airline Stadium.
The Vikings lost to the Byrd Yellow Jackets 31-30 in gut-wrenching fashion. Byrd’s Jake Wyss kicked a 23-yard field goal with five seconds left.
The Jackets’ drive to the winning field goal started at their 15-yard line with just 4:22 remaining.
Byrd, a running team which passes only when forced to, completed a 15-yard pass on fourth-and-14 with just less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Airline finished the regular season 8-2 overall and 4-1 in District 1-5A. The Vikings share the district title with Byrd (7-2) and Parkway.
The loss was especially tough because this was a game the Vikings pointed to since losing to Byrd 35-24 in the second round of the playoffs last year. Last year, Byrd had 17 senior starters and one of the school’s best teams in years. This season, Airline was the experienced team.
“It was a heckuva job by Byrd,” Airline coach Bo Meeks said. “They were better prepared and I accept responsibility for that. Coach (Mike) Suggs did a great job. The kids executed their game plan flawlessly. We made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball to win a game like this. They looked like the experienced team and we didn’t.”
The Vikings had a dropped pass on third down just before Byrd’s game-winning drive that might have allowed them to run out the clock.
Airline lost despite winning the turnover battle 4-1. Airline’s Aaron McGuire and Jaterious Pouncy both returned fumbles for touchdowns.
Pouncy’s TD gave Airline a 27-14 lead early in the second game. But unlike in their 44-14 loss to Parkway, the Yellow Jackets kept coming.
They converted a fourth-and-4 on a touchdown drive to get within six.
Place kicker Matt Hanisee had a big night for the Vikings, kicking field goals of 24, 26 and 32 yards. His third field goal gave Airline a 30-21 lead late in the third quarter. But the fact that Byrd’s defense made stops inside the 20 that forced the field goals was a big difference in the game.
Byrd’s option offense was another key. The Yellow Jackets rolled up a whopping 379 yards on the ground on 60 attempts, keeping Airline’s high-power offense off the field.
The Vikings had only two offensive possessions the entire second half. Michael Nunnery scored Airline’s lone offensive touchdown on a short run in the first half. The Vikings had 244 total yards, well below their season average. Hayden Hildebrand completed 14 of 23 passes for 141 yards.
Airline played without linebacker and leading tackler Rodriguez Parker, who suffered a leg injury in the Week 7. OJ Smith, who anchors the defensive line, also sat out most of the second half with an undisclosed injury.
But Meeks didn’t use any of that as an excuse.
After the game, he basically told his players that they had to put this one behind them with the playoffs starting Friday.
“We’ve got to rebound,” he said. “We’ve got a big playoff game here next week. We’ve got to play the way we’re capable of playing and be ready to go.”
Panthers claim share of 1-5A title
When the Parkway Panthers got on the bus to head back to the school after their 38-0 victory over Captain Shreve Friday at Lee Hedges Stadium, they didn’t know they’d soon have something else to celebrate.
As the bus was leaving, word spread that Airline had lost to Byrd 31-30. That gave Parkway a share of the District 1-5A title in only its second year of competing in the state’s highest classification.
It’s Parkway’s first district title since 2007, when the Panthers shared the District 1-4A title.
Feaster said a Parkway assistant coach heard the news on the radio in his truck.
“He spread the word and there was a lot of cheering,” Feaster said. “That was probably the biggest cheer of the night.”
Parkway finished the regular season 9-1 overall and 4-1 in 1-5A. The Panthers share the title with Byrd and Airline.
Parkway is one of the smallest schools in Class 5A.
“For us to get a share of the district championship in 5A is unbelievable,” Feaster said.
Feaster said his team’s district run has been satisfying, especially the wins over Byrd and Haughton.
“Even losing at Airline was a special night for our guys because we had a chance to play in front of a lot people, make some plays, look good at times and all that. You can’t say that the only way it counts is winning a state championship. That would be too much. These guys have had a great season already. I’m just very proud.”
Parkway controlled the game against Shreve (4-6, 1-4) from the outset and led 28-0 at the half.
Panthers junior quarterback Brandon Harris completed 13 of 26 passes for 246 yards an three touchdowns in limited duty. He also ran for one.
Brandon Smalley led Parkway on the ground with 88 yards on 12 carries. Corey Hamilton caught four passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Brodrick Jefferson, Bossier Parish’s leading receiver, had another big game, catching five passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Avery Shoebridge kicked a 22-yard field goal and made five PATS.
Tray Walker led the defense with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery. Marcus Harper had nine tackles. Andre Henson had an interception.