Five parish schools open season with victories

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The Airline Vikings, Parkway Panthers, Haughton Buccaneers, Benton Tigers and Bossier Bearkats opened the 2015 high school football season with victories Friday night.

Airline downed Union Parish 21-0, Parkway edged Bastrop 57-56, Haughton defeated Plain Dealing 42-16, Benton knocked off Green Oaks 41-30 and Bossier dropped Homer 30-15.

Bossier ended a 15-game losing streak with its win at home. The Bearkats rallied from a 7-6 halftime deficit.

Bossier took the lead for good on Aareon Smallwood’s 2-yard run with 8:11 left in the third quarter. Smallwood also had a 40-yard catch and run to put Bossier up 20-7 and the Bearkats eventually stretched the lead to 30-7 in the fourth.

Bossier retired Randy Walker’s No. 22 in a halftime ceremony. Walker, a member of the Class of 1969, was a standout punter who went on to set several records at Northwestern State. He played one year for the Green Bay Packers.

Shuncee Thomas scored three first-half touchdowns to lead Airline to the victory over Union Parish, ranked No. 4 in the Class 3A preseason poll.

Class 5A Haughton rolled up a 35-8 lead on Class 1A Plain Dealing in the first quarter and a running clock was used for much of the rest of the game. The Lions scored on an 80-yard drive and briefly took an 8-7 lead.

Haughton coach Rodney Guin was impressed with the Lions, who were outnumbered about four to one.

“We’ve played bigger schools with more people that didn’t play as hard as they played,” Guin said. “They never quit.”

In a wild game at Benton, the Tigers took an early 14-0 lead only to see Green Oaks rally and take a 24-21 halftime lead. The Giants stretched the lead to 30-21, but the Tigers scored three unanswered touchdowns to get the victory.

In an even wilder game in Bastrop, Parkway scored with 5 seconds left to defeat the Rams. The Panthers were down 36-27 at the half and also trailed 50-45 and 56-51.

CJ Morgan scored the winning touchdown on a pass from Keondre Wudtee, who threw for over 300 yards.

— The opening Friday night of high school football around the state was marked by tragedy.

According to media and Twitter reports, Franklin Parish sophomore Tyrell Cameron died after being injured on a punt return in the fourth quarter of a game against Sterlington.

Franklin Parish posted this message under its twitter account @fphs_athletics.

“Tyrell will live on in the memory of those who loved him. Prayers for his family. Support from throughout the state is greatly appreciated.”

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com