After defeating the Homer Pelicans 30-15 in their season opener Friday night at Memorial Stadium, the Bossier Bearkats didn’t want to leave the field.
They lingered for more than 15 minutes, accepting congratulations from the student body, alumni and members of the community who streamed onto the field.
And who could blame them? The victory ended a 15-game losing streak dating back to the 2013 season.
“Unbelievable,” Bossier coach Michael Concilio said. “I tell you what. It was great. I can’t tell you how excited the football team was. They wanted to take a moment and enjoy it versus the other end of it we felt in the past.”
Bossier rallied from a 7-6 halftime deficit. The Bearkats scored 24 straight points before the Pelicans scored a late TD.
Concilio said some halftime defensive adjustments were key.
“We played real good defense in the second half,” he said. “We made some adjustments and the kids bought into it. It was just really a good feeling for them to make some adjustments and be able to execute. I didn’t feel like we were playing real well defensively in the first half. It wasn’t something we couldn’t correct. We had problems getting lined up.”
Bossier took the lead for good on a five-play drive capped by an Aareon Smallwood 2-yard run.
Keimun Daniels hit Smallwood with a pass and he turned it into a 40-yard score. Daniels’ two-point conversion pass to John Langston gave Bossier a 20-7 lead with 5:41 left in the third.
Joe Alvardo’s 28-yard field goal closed out the third-quarter scoring. The Bearkats sealed the victory with a 44-yard touchdown drive. Michael Taylor scored from 10 yards on with 4:16 left.
Joseph Bush scored Bossier’s first TD on a 12-yard run early in the first quarter. Xavier Venious ended a Homer threat with an interception.
Smallwood contributed to the Bearkats’ victory with his running and play on the defensive line.
Concilio praised Daniels, who also had eight tackles, for his play.
“He played both ways,” Concilio said. “He had a key pass to Smallwood for the last touchdown. He was under pressure. I was really impressed with his play.”
At halftime, Bossier retired the No. 22 that Randy Walker wore during his days as a Bearkat. Walker, a member of the Class of 1969, was a standout punter who went on to set several records at Northwestern State and play a year professionally with the Green Bay Packers.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org