Football playoffs: Parish 5A teams draw tough first-round opponents

1974

Last year, the Parkway Panthers became the first Bossier Parish school to play for a state championship in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The road to the Superdome begins Friday night with three parish schools — Haughton, Airline and Benton — playing first-round playoff games. A fourth, Plain Dealing, received a first-round bye and will host a second-round game a week from Friday.
Of course, Parkway will not be among those competing for championships honors. Parkway had to forfeit five of its eight wins because the LHSAA ruled it used an ineligible player, a freshman who only played late in routs, in those games,
The LHSAA denied Parkway’s appeal last week and the Bossier Parish School Board decided not to take legal action after the school self-reported another LHSAA violation — playing an academically ineligible player in the spring scrimmage.
Parkway closed its season with a 41-28 victory over Airline. So Bossier Parish’s best team will be forced to watch the playoffs. On the field, the Panthers finished 8-2 and 4-1 in District 1-5A. Parkway’s only district loss was in overtime to Byrd, the top seed in 5A.
The Parkway seniors were part of a 41-8 run over the past four years.
Sadly, the Parkway saga overshadowed a feel-good success story in Benton. The Tigers downed Huntington 14-7 last Friday to win a share of the District 1-4A title along with Minden and North DeSoto.
It’s the school’s first district championship since 2008. The Tigers (8-2) earned the No. 4 seed in the Class 4A playoffs and will host No. 29 Belle Chasse (4-6) Friday night. It will be the first home playoff game for Benton since the Tigers lost to Franklinton 35-0 after making a surprising run to the quarterfinals as the No. 25 seed in 2009.
“I think our community is really hungry for it,” said Benton second-year head coach Reynolds Moore. “We’ve seen a lot of support this year. We’ve seen it grow and grow from last year to this and from Week One to Week Eight when we played our last home game.
“The support and turnout has been incredible. I can’t wait to give this to our fans and student body who has truly bought in and been there for us this year even at away games. I’m so excited about seeing our crowd and seeing our fans.”
Benton will be facing a Belle Chasse team that finished last in District 9-4A, which has three of the top-10 seeds in the 4A playoffs. The Cardinals finished 0-4 in district play and will bring a five-game losing streak to Tiger Stadium.
Belle Chasse, located just southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, will be making one of the longest trips of the first round, traveling 350 miles.
The parish’s 5A playoff representatives, Haughton and Airline, both have tough first-round games. The No. 5 seed Bucs (8-2) host No. 28 Ouachita Parish (5-5) and No. 30 Airline (4-6) travels to No. 3 Zachary (9-1), the District 4-5A champion.
Haughton enters the playoffs on the heels of two losses, but they were against two of the state’s best teams, Byrd and Parkway. Ouachita, which lost to Hahnville in the first round last year, finished fourth in always tough 2-5A with a 2-3 mark. But the Lions lost two games by three points and fell to district champ West Monroe 21-6.
The Lions closed the regular season with a 55-6 victory over Alexandria Senior High.
The Bucs and the Lions have one common opponent. Haughton defeated Ruston 38-17 in Week 4 and Ouachita lost to the Bearcats 17-14 in Week 8.
Airline faces a Zachary team that has won nine straight since losing its season-opener to Byrd, 24-21. The Yellow Jackets are the team’s only common opponent. Airline lost to Byrd 31-13 in Week 6, but the Vikings gift-wrapped three TDs with kicking game mistakes.
With its stout defense, the Vikings have the potential to compete with anybody in the state. That defense will face a stern test against Zachary, which is averaging 43.1 points per game.
While Zachary did go 6-0 in district play, the Broncos didn’t dominate every team. They defeated Central of Baton Rouge 22-21 and Denham Springs 28-24. In the latter game, Zachary scored on a long pass in the final minute to win.
Plain Dealing (8-2), the sixth seed in 1A, gets to rest a week before taking on the winner between No. 11 Block (5-5) and No. 22 North Central (1-9).
The Lions gave defending state champ and No. 2 seed Haynesville all it could handle last Friday night before falling 26-12 in a battle for the District 1-1A title in Haynesville.
Plain Dealing fell behind 18-0 before rallying within six in the fourth quarter. The Lions had a first-and-goal with about 3:30 left but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.
“We can take a lot of positives out of it moving into the playoffs,” Plain Dealing coach Coy Brotherton said.
“It hurts to lose and you have a chance to win the district title and didn’t, but if you can play with Haynesville, you can play with anybody that we’re going to see in the playoffs. So we’re kind of glad about that.”

Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at rhedges@bossierpress.com
Last year, the Parkway Panthers became the first Bossier Parish school to play for a state championship in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The road to the Superdome begins Friday night with three parish schools — Haughton, Airline and Benton — playing first-round playoff games. A fourth, Plain Dealing, received a first-round bye and will host a second-round game a week from Friday.
Of course, Parkway will not be among those competing for championships honors. Parkway had to forfeit five of its eight wins because the LHSAA ruled it used an ineligible player, a freshman who only played late in routs, in those games,
The LHSAA denied Parkway’s appeal last week and the Bossier Parish School Board decided not to take legal action after the school self-reported another LHSAA violation — playing an academically ineligible player in the spring scrimmage.
Parkway closed its season with a 41-28 victory over Airline. So Bossier Parish’s best team will be forced to watch the playoffs. On the field, the Panthers finished 8-2 and 4-1 in District 1-5A. Parkway’s only district loss was in overtime to Byrd, the top seed in 5A.
The Parkway seniors were part of a 41-8 run over the past four years.
Sadly, the Parkway saga overshadowed a feel-good success story in Benton. The Tigers downed Huntington 14-7 last Friday to win a share of the District 1-4A title along with Minden and North DeSoto.
It’s the school’s first district championship since 2008. The Tigers (8-2) earned the No. 4 seed in the Class 4A playoffs and will host No. 29 Belle Chasse (4-6) Friday night. It will be the first home playoff game for Benton since the Tigers lost to Franklinton 35-0 after making a surprising run to the quarterfinals as the No. 25 seed in 2009.
“I think our community is really hungry for it,” said Benton second-year head coach Reynolds Moore. “We’ve seen a lot of support this year. We’ve seen it grow and grow from last year to this and from Week One to Week Eight when we played our last home game.
“The support and turnout has been incredible. I can’t wait to give this to our fans and student body who has truly bought in and been there for us this year even at away games. I’m so excited about seeing our crowd and seeing our fans.”
Benton will be facing a Belle Chasse team that finished last in District 9-4A, which has three of the top-10 seeds in the 4A playoffs. The Cardinals finished 0-4 in district play and will bring a five-game losing streak to Tiger Stadium.
Belle Chasse, located just southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, will be making one of the longest trips of the first round, traveling 350 miles.
The parish’s 5A playoff representatives, Haughton and Airline, both have tough first-round games. The No. 5 seed Bucs (8-2) host No. 28 Ouachita Parish (5-5) and No. 30 Airline (4-6) travels to No. 3 Zachary (9-1), the District 4-5A champion.
Haughton enters the playoffs on the heels of two losses, but they were against two of the state’s best teams, Byrd and Parkway. Ouachita, which lost to Hahnville in the first round last year, finished fourth in always tough 2-5A with a 2-3 mark. But the Lions lost two games by three points and fell to district champ West Monroe 21-6.
The Lions closed the regular season with a 55-6 victory over Alexandria Senior High.
The Bucs and the Lions have one common opponent. Haughton defeated Ruston 38-17 in Week 4 and Ouachita lost to the Bearcats 17-14 in Week 8.
Airline faces a Zachary team that has won nine straight since losing its season-opener to Byrd, 24-21. The Yellow Jackets are the team’s only common opponent. Airline lost to Byrd 31-13 in Week 6, but the Vikings gift-wrapped three TDs with kicking game mistakes.
With its stout defense, the Vikings have the potential to compete with anybody in the state. That defense will face a stern test against Zachary, which is averaging 43.1 points per game.
While Zachary did go 6-0 in district play, the Broncos didn’t dominate every team. They defeated Central of Baton Rouge 22-21 and Denham Springs 28-24. In the latter game, Zachary scored on a long pass in the final minute to win.
Plain Dealing (8-2), the sixth seed in 1A, gets to rest a week before taking on the winner between No. 11 Block (5-5) and No. 22 North Central (1-9).
The Lions gave defending state champ and No. 2 seed Haynesville all it could handle last Friday night before falling 26-12 in a battle for the District 1-1A title in Haynesville.
Plain Dealing fell behind 18-0 before rallying within six in the fourth quarter. The Lions had a first-and-goal with about 3:30 left but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.
“We can take a lot of positives out of it moving into the playoffs,” Plain Dealing coach Coy Brotherton said.
“It hurts to lose and you have a chance to win the district title and didn’t, but if you can play with Haynesville, you can play with anybody that we’re going to see in the playoffs. So we’re kind of glad about that.”

Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at rhedges@bossierpress.com