The Benton Tigers and Elm Grove Eagles set up a showdown for the Bossier Parish middle school football eighth-grade district championship with victories Tuesday evening.
Benton downed Cope 36-18 at Airline, and Elm Grove defeated Haughton 38-16 at Haughton.
The Tigers improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in district. The Eagles improved to 6-0 and 4-0. The teams face off Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Benton.
In a non-district eighth-grade game, Greenacres fell to North DeSoto 28-22 in Stonewall.
Haughton clinched at least a share of the seventh-grade district title with a 34-18 victory over Elm Grove.
The Bucs (4-1, 4-0) are one game ahead of Cope (4-1, 3-1), which defeated Benton 22-18 on Tuesday.
Haughton led Cope 22-16 late in the third quarter in the district opener on Sept. 5 when the game was suspended because of a thunderstorm. They plan to resume the game Thursday, Oct. 26, at Haughton. Cope can earn a share of the title with a victory.
In a non-district seventh-grade game, Greenacres downed North DeSoto 16-12.
At Haughton, Ron Richmond rushed for 165 yards on just 11 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead Elm Grove to the eighth-grade victory. He also scored three two-point conversions.
James Jordan gained 50 yards on two carries and scored a TD. Coach Terrence Smith said the offensive line did a good job of paving the way for Richmond and Jordan.
Fabian Ellis, Jacob Janeczko and Malachi White led an overall strong defensive effort.
Haughton’s Coleman Stafford threw a touchdown pass to JJ Dudley. Elton Bryant scored a rushing touchdown and two two-point conversions.
Dexter Smith scored three touchdowns, including one on a 71-yard run, to lift Haughton to the seventh-grade victory.
Tyler Rhodes scored on a 12-yard run and Collin Rains went in from 2 yards out. Connor Blank scored a two-point conversion.
Blank, Smith, Peyton Polk, Adrian McClindon, Jesse Normandin and Waylon Keith led a strong defensive effort.
Elm Grove’s Barrett Newman played well on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 49 yards on nine carries and had five tackles.
Eli Harper completed six passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns to Jaylan White, who had four catches for 65 yards.
At Airline, Benton’s Gray Walters tossed three touchdown passes in the seventh-grade game against Cope.
Two of Walters’ TD passes went to Pearce Russell and covered 5 and 39 yards. The other, a 55-yard screen pass, went to Tyler Trotter.
Brian Williams set up the first touchdown with some effective running.
Caleb Cassidy completed 11 of 12 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in Benton’s eighth-grade victory.
Davis Sellers (58 yards) and Evan Cole (57 yards) were on the receiving end of the TD passes.
Cole accounted for 171 total yards. He ran 41 yards for a TD and scored two two-point conversions. Cole also had six tackles and an interception.
Jayden Miller scored a two-point conversion.
Jalen Taylor had five tackles and Sellers four. Ayden Colvin returned a kickoff 71 yards for a touchdown.
Cope’s Michael Johnson rushed for 106 yards on eight carries and scored two touchdowns. His TD runs covered 70 and 5 yards.
JaRobert Kelly rushed for 56 yards on nine carries and Tyler Bumgardner had 30 on eighth.
Kelly also returned an interception 30 yards for a TD. Joseph Manning was another defensive standout.
Johnson and Bumgardner were named Cope’s Players of the Game by coaches.
At North DeSoto, Justin Epps and Nick Vascocu scored touchdowns in Greenacres’ seventh-grade win.
Epps following his rushing touchdown with a two-point conversion. Vascocu caught a TD pass from Jake Elbert. Zion Smith scored the conversion.
Cozy Graham recovered a fumble. Tyler Bullard, Brian Swan, Mark Engelke, Jackson Tedder and Preston Cooper were defensive standouts.
The eighth-grade game was close all the way.
Gavin Ashworth hit Refeal Edwards with a TD pass. Jyson Thomas and DJ Lamette scored rushing touchdowns. Thomas and Ashworth scored conversions.
Keegan Lehr, Jeremiah Barrett and Gage Vallery recorded multiple tackles. Ashworth and Logan Thurman had interceptions.
Ashworth had a long scramble at the end of the game that came up just short of the end zone.
NOTE: The above report is based on information received from coaches. It will be updated as soon as possible when more information is received.