Airline knocks off Ruston

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Shun’Cee Thomas scored three touchdowns and rushed for more than 200 yards as the Airline Vikings remained undefeated with a 42-27 victory over the Ruston Bearcats Friday night in Ruston.

Thomas scored on runs of 10, 11 and 75 yards.

Thomas McKain threw long touchdown passes to D’Juan Byrd and Harvey Calhoun to give the Vikings an early 14-0 lead. Ruston rallied to within 14-13 in the second quarter, but Airline scored four straight touchdowns to take a 42-13 lead in the fourth.

Airline improved to 3-0. Ruston dropped to 1-2. The Vikings open District 1-5A play at home against Southwood Friday. Southwood dropped to 0-3 with a 35-0 loss to Benton.

Airline avenged a 12-7 loss to Ruston last year at home.

“It was a huge win,” Airline coach Bo Meeks said. “It was a great win for our program. The kids did a great job all week in preparation. We came out and executed well early against a good Ruston team, very well-coached. They kind of ran back at us but we did a good job of putting it away. Late second quarter and third quarter we really turned it on.”

Running back Brian Fielding was out because of an injury so Thomas shouldered the running game.

“Shun’Cee was unbelievable,” Meeks said. “He carried the load tonight. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. Javarious Jones got in and had a big touchdown for us also.”

Meeks also had praise for his defense.

“Overall, we played well defensively,” he said. “Ruston is really good on offense. Their offensive line, quarterback, running backs and wide receivers are really good. They made some big plays on us. We didn’t break, though. We bent a couple of times, held them to a field goal, and really that was the difference.”

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com