High school football: Airline falls to Captain Shreve

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The Airline Vikings fell to the Captain Shreve Gators 20-10 in a District 1-5A game Friday night at Lee Hedges Stadium.

Airline dropped to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in district. Captain Shreve improved to 6-2 and 3-1. The Gators ended a 10-game losing streak against the Vikings.

Airline still isn’t out of the playoff picture. According to louisianasportsline.com, the Vikings are No. 39 in the Class 5A power rankings. The top 32 teams make the playoffs.

Airline closes the regular season with home games against Byrd and Haughton, teams with a combined record of 13-3. Victories in those games would likely propel Airline into the top 32.

Friday’s game was almost a microcosm of Airline’s season. The Vikings had their chances, but a mistake here and a missed opportunity there ending up costing them.

Trailing 13-10 early in the fourth quarter, Airline took over on its 5 after a 65-yard punt that included a very long roll.

The Vikings then fumbled and the Gators recovered in the end zone. It was Airline’s only turnover of the game. The PAT gave Shreve the 20-10 lead with 9:43 left.

Airline had a couple of more possessions but failed to convert fourth downs on both. The Vikings reached the Shreve 30 with just over a minute left but came up short on fourth-and-19.

The Airline defense played well. Shreve’s lone TD in the first half came on a 17-yard pass from Darrius Grant to Jaquez Jones.

Late in the half, Airline had a touchdown erased by a penalty and had to settle for a 24-yard Jackson Tinkis field goal with 25 seconds left, cutting the Gators’ lead to 6-3.

Shreve extended the lead to 10 with a touchdown on its first possession of the second half. DJ Fleming scored on a 30-yard run.

Later in the third, Airline’s Decamerion Richardson intercepted a pass near the 50. The Vikings capitalized as Jordan Gladney completed a 13-yard TD pass to Kevin Pouncy. Tinkis’ extra-point kick made it a three-point game again with 7:38 left in the quarter.

Airline had a chance to tie late in the third but narrowly missed a 34-yard field goal attempt.

The Gators put a lot of pressure on Gladney, who was sacked eight times. He completed 10 of 23 passes for 106 yards. The Vikings hurt themselves with some drops.

Thomas Williams, who has had to sit out most of the season with an injury, returned Friday and rushed for 48 yards on 11 carries. Jamal Johnson gained 35 yards on eight carries. He also had two catches for 39 yards.

Antavius Freeman caught three passes for 38 yards. Pouncy had four receptions for 26.

Shreve had 191 total yards with 137 yards of that coming on the ground. Fleming led the Gators with 113 yards on 18 carries.

The Vikings host Byrd (6-2, 3-2) Friday night. The Yellow Jackets lost to district leader Evangel Christian 42-7 Thursday night.