So far, so good for Bossier Parish teams after two weeks of the high school football season.
The six parish teams are a combined 10-2 after a second straight 5-1 week.
Four teams are 2-0 — Airline, Parkway, Haughton and Bossier. Plain Dealing and Benton are 1-1.
Benton was the only team that lost last week. The Tigers fell to Natchitoches Central 43-36 in a game that started Friday night and concluded Saturday night at NSU’s Turpin Stadium,
The game was suspended in the second quarter because of lightning and then postponed when things didn’t improve.
Incredibly, it’s the second time that’s happened to Benton in as many years. Last year, the Tigers had to complete their game against Woodlawn on a Friday afternoon at Independence Stadium after a Thursday night storm.
Even though the Tigers lost Saturday, they showed a lot of character against Natchitoches Central, rallying to take an eight-point fourth-quarter lead.
In the other games, Airline crushed Green Oaks 62-6, Haughton slipped past Minden 17-10, Parkway blasted Gladewater, Texas, 47-27 in the Battle on the Border, Bossier pulled away late to defeat General Trass 35-14 and new head coach James Thurman picked up his first win as Plain Dealing dropped Lakeside 32-6.
Even though the season is only two weeks old, we may have already seen the two best individual offensive performances.
Benton sophomore Garrett Hable completed 30 of 54 passes for 445 yards and five touchdowns against Natchitoches Central.
Plain Dealing junior Keldrick Carper caught five touchdown passes in the victory over Plain Dealing. Of course, sophomore quarterback Matt Sullivan didn’t have a bad night, either, completing 23 of 34 passes for 376 yards and the five TDs.
So now the question is will parish teams be able to continue the success Friday night.
There is only one battle of unbeatens. That will take place at Independence Stadium where Haughton faces 2-0 Woodlawn.
The Knights have put 64 and 38 points on the board in two easy victories, but that was against 3A and 2A teams. Woodlawn is taking a step up in competition against Haughton.
The Bucs gutted out the victory against Minden. The Tide returned the majority of the players that helped them share the District 1-4A title last year and it was their home opener.
Haughton drove for the winning TD behind backup quarterback Pryce Curry late in the fourth quarter. Josh Lister had a big catch and D’Kovin Ware and Kei’Untre Normandin contributed with their running. Curry scored the game-winner with the Bucs facing a fourth-and-goal at the 2.
The Haughton defense was outstanding. Minden’s lone TD came on a kickoff return.
If Haughton can get its passing game revved up to complement its strong running game, the Bucs will be tough to deal with.
Woodlawn may give Haughton a little more trouble than it has in the past, but I expect the Bucs to come out on top.
In the other matchups, Airline visits Ruston (1-1), Parkway hosts Huntington (1-1), Benton hosts Southwood (0-2), Bossier visits Logansport (1-1) and Plain Dealing hosts St. Mary’s (2-0).
Airline will be looking for a little revenge against Ruston. The Vikings defense dominated last year’s game but five interceptions resulted in a 12-7 loss.
The game features two teams who have mostly preferred to keep the ball on the ground. Ruston is a tough p,ace to play, but I expect Airline to win a close one.
Huntington has some very good athletes, including sophomore quarterback Larry Moton, but they don’t have enough to hang with the Panthers. The Panthers should take this one easily.
Junior running back Robert McKnight is off to a fantastic start and the defense stepped up after a shaky opener against Bastrop.
Benton is facing a Southwood team that has only scored one touchdown in two games. But Anthony McClain’s team has played good defense.
If Benton can keep their offensive momentum going, the Tigers should win. But it may not be easy.
Bossier has a very good chance to go 3-0. The Bearkats could be challenged by the 1A Tigers, which have put a lot of points in the board.
A 3-0 start will give Bossier some momentum going into their District 1-4A opener next week at North DeSoto, which shared the title last year.
Plain Dealing is facing its first opponent in its own Class 1A, but the Lions may have the biggest challenge of any parish team in Week 2. St. Mary’s has rolled over its first two opponents, averaging 46.5 points per game using a punishing ground game. The Tigers have last year’s District 3-1A Defensive MVP back in Josh Lucky.
Last year, St. Mary’s made it to the Division I semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Ouachita Christian.
The Lions are battle-tested from their opener against 5A Haughton. If Sullivan and Carper can keep it going, Plain Dealing will have a chance to win.
Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org