2015 Plain Dealing Lions preview

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SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT TIME
Sept. 4 @ Haughton 7 p.m.
Sept.11 @ Lakeside 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 St. Mary’s 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 @ Homer 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 Haynesville 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 @ Grambling 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 Ringgold 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 @ Cedar Creek 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 @ D’Arbonne Woods 7 p.m.
Nov. 6 Arcadia 7 p.m.

SCOUTING REPORT

OFFENSE
The big question mark for the Lions at quarterback where Matt Sullivan takes over for two-year standout Logan Allen in coach James Thurman’s spread Wing-T type offense. Thurman has confidence in wing backs Derreon Washington and Shavolyea McKinney and offensive line. Keldrick Carper, a big-time recruit, will attract a lot of attention as an outside receiver which could open up some other options.

DEFENSE
Thurman is very high on the potential of his defense. “Our two inside linebackers, Herb McCauley and Bijan Mitchell, are as good as anybody in the area,” he said. Returning starter Ryan Penwell anchors the line. Twins Jarvis and Jarred Harris will play both DE and OG with Carper and FS.

OVERVIEW
The Lions could have another outstanding season. How well Sullivan develops will be one key. Carper will be difficult for opponents to handle. With 24 players, including a few 8th-graders, conditioning will be key. “If we can stay healthy, especially coming out of Haughton, we have the potential to at least make a little bit of noise,” Thurman said.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Keldrick Carper
DB/WR
The 6-foot-4 returning All-Parish player is one of the state’s top college prospects in the Class of 2017. Last season, he caught 38 passes for 759 yards and 8 TDs and rushed for 263 yards and 6 TDs. On defense, he led the Lions with six interceptions and returned three for TDs.

Herbert McCauley
LB/TE
The senior was the team’s second-leading tackler with 70, including 13.5 for loss. He also had 4.5 sacks. Coach James Thurman describes him as “physical, fast, a big target” with college potential. “He’s extremely fast, quick. He definitely passes the eye test … As a linebacker, he’s all over the place.”

Bijan Mitchell
LB/OL
The senior led the Lions in tackles last season with 91.5, including 14 for loss. He also had four sacks. “We’re trying to keep him off the offensive line and use him as a rotator to fill in on all the spots and start at linebacker,” Thurman said. Mitchell is “extremely athletic” and a team leader.

Shavolyea McKinney
RB/R
The sophomore could be the Lions’ “diamond in the rough” on offense, Thurman said. “I kind of see something special in him. He’s so explosive, so quick off the ball. I think he’s going to do a lot of really productive plays on offense for us this year. He’s very athletic, a big back type kid.”

Editor’s note: The above appears in the 2015 Bossier Parish High School Football Preview.