High school football: Annual Bossier City Lions Club Jamboree set for Friday; teams have final tuneups before season openers

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Bossier City Lions Club Bossier Parish Jamboree
Friday
M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium
Benton vs. Haughton, 5:45
Plain Dealing vs. Bossier, 7:15
Airline vs. Parkway, 8:45

The 66th annual Bossier City Lions Club Bossier Jamboree Friday night is a final opportunity for parish teams to fine-tune things for next week’s season openers.

The Benton Tigers take on the Haughton Buccaneers at 5:45 p.m. in the opener at M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium.

That will be followed by Plain Dealing vs. Bossier at 7:15 and Airline vs. Parkway at 8:45.

Of course, there will be more on tap than football. Gates open at 4:30. The Haughton and Benton bands will provide the music early.

There will be performances by the schools’ dancelines and introductions of the jamboree queens.

But coaches and players will be focused on football. Each “game” will consist of two 12-minute halves.

“We’re excited like every year,” Airline coach Bo Meeks said. “Getting to compete against Parkway. There will be a huge crowd here. We love it. The kids will be excited about it.

“It will be a good opportunity to get another playing opportunity under our belt that doesn’t count on the scoreboard. In the jamboree, it always counts. So we’ll be looking forward to it.”

Last week’s scrimmages gave coaches an opportunity to evaluate personnel and see what areas need work after three weeks of practice.

Airline scrimmaged Alexandria at M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium. Meeks was pleased with the way the Vikings performed during the controlled series of plays.

But Alexandria, which has one of the nation’s top defensive linemen in Jacobian Guillory, dominated the live 12-minute period that concluded the series.

After the scrimmage, Meeks emphasized that no one would remember how it went in the long run. But he also said it was important for the players to learn from it.

“Until the live quarter, I thought we competed really well,” he said. “They moved the ball really well. They were strong running the ball. Very good team. Physically, I think they’re as good a team as we’ll play.

“We’ve got to do a better job, be more physical on both sides. We’ve got to make plays when we get opportunities. But overall the effort was good, but, again, we’ve got to limit mistakes and get some injured guys back as well.”

Haughton scrimmaged North DeSoto at Harold E. Harlan Stadium.
Neither team scored in the controlled portion although Haughton had three good opportunities.

The Bucs scored twice in the live 12-minute period. Junior quarterback Peyton Stovall hit CJ McWilliams for 28 yards and Matthew Whitten for 70.
Although official stats weren’t kept, Stovall had well over 200 yards passing.

The Bucs will be one of the favorites to win the District 1-5A title, but coach Jason Brotherton said the focus now is getting better before the season opener.

“It was a sloppy scrimmage, really on both sides,” he said. “That’s understandable. It’s early in the year and it’s hot. We played for a long time and we got sloppier at the end.

“We’ve got to get better and we’re going to get better. We’ve just got a lot of work to do.”

Benton scrimmaged North Webster in Springhill.

Coach Reynolds Moore said the most important thing is the Tigers didn’t get anybody hurt.

“But on top of that we didn’t play exceptionally well for the opportunity we had to go out and play against somebody else, being excited about that, getting to hit somebody else,” he said.

“I thought a little bit early on there was a lack of intensity and some of that is just a format thing where it’s just a 12-play script. The intensity really picked up for us when we went to the last quarter at the end. Just in general I felt like early on there wasn’t a lot of real fire right there which caught me off guard.”

The teams played to a 7-7 tie in the live 12-minute period. Benton scored on a 30-yard pass from Clint Lasiter to Malik Antwine.

“I think we may have been a little bit fatigued and that comes back to us coaches not preparing them well and not resting them enough early on last week so that’s an adjustments we’ll make this week going into the jamboree,” Moore said.

One interesting aspect of the jamboree is that for the first time since he’s been at Benton the Tigers will be playing a team they will also play in the regular season.

Haughton and Benton face off in a District 1-5A game in Week 5.
While not wanting to show everything, Moore believes it’s important the Tigers get done what they need to in preparation for the season opener against Oak Grove.

“You can’t just not show anything on film, but you’ve got a lot of young guys playing and you want to get them to see how we do those things and what it looks like at game speed.

“There are not many teams around here where you’re going to get more speed than Haughton. They’ll be coming at us like crazy on both sides of the ball so it will be a good test for our guys.” 

Parkway visited Pineville for its scrimmage. Coach Neil May said the experience of making a road trip was good for the team.

Overall, he was pleased with what he saw. The Panthers scored six touchdowns and allowed two.

“I thought the kids played well,” he said. “Jamall Asberry and Rontavious Richmond, our two little backs, I thought they ran the ball well. I thought (quarterback) Gabe (Larry) handled the offense well. We did not catch the ball as well as I would’ve liked to see us catch it, something we’ve got to improve on.”

May said the coaching staff is still evaluating players on defense.
“We’re trying to figure out is there some guys that can give us more help than we thought they could and see if they’re ready,” he said.

“We played a lot of kids in both sides of the ball. Our defense had played well. Our linebacking corps — Adam Johnson, Conner Norcross, David Bennett — they all played well.

“There are certainly things we’ve got to improve on but for a scrimmage I liked the way we looked.”

Bossier scrimmaged Red River at Memorial Stadium.

Coach Michael Concilio said the scrimmage went “10 times better” than last spring’s scrimmage against Homer.

“We did a lot of things right and I just hope we can continue to do that,” he said.

The first units played three quarters in a game-like simulation except for punting.

Bossier scored three touchdowns and allowed only one.

Two came on runs by speedster Decamerion Richardson and one on a pass from Coleman Beeson to Makhi Tanner.

James Davis led the Bearkats with 90 yards on eight carries, including a 25-yard run. Richardson gained 63 on 12 carries, including a 27-yard run.

Rico St. Fleur got some tough yards, gaining 32 yards on seven carries.
Sentaviun Burns played well on both sides of the ball. Concilio praised his play at linebacker. Burns also had a 41-yard run.

Beeson completed three of eight passes for 37 yards. Backup Avery Williams was nine of 11 for 77 yards. Six Bearkats caught passes. Jamaal Brooks led the team with three for 28 yards.

Plain Dealing traveled to Lakeview for its scrimmage. Coach James Thurman said it rained for about the first 40 minutes.

Lakeview scored the only touchdown by the teams’ first units.

Each team did score twice in simulated goalline situations.

“I felt like we had some good things that happened,” Thurman said. “There are a few things we have to clean up, but overall I was pleased with it. Good effort. A lot of kids flying around to the ball, things like that, definitely something to build on.”

Because of the excessive heat early in the week, the Lions practiced two days in the gym. The scrimmage was a chance to make up for some of that.
“We don’t have a lot of kids as far as getting live meaningful reps against each other, so seeing some real stuff, that was pretty good for us,” Thurman said.