The Bossier Bearkats made the trip to Tallulah for their season opener against Madison wearing black t-shirts with the initials DB on the front and the words Team Beeson on the back.
That was in honor of assistant coach David Beeson, who passed away at 57 about a week before school started in August.
Win or lose, they were playing the opener for Coach Beeson. With one of Beeson’s sons, sophomore Coleman, making his first start at quarterback, and another, Coty, on the sideline as an assistant coach, Bossier rolled to a 32-12 victory over the Jaguars.
It was the Bearkats’ first victory since defeating Madison in the season opener last season.
“I’m just excited about being 1-0,” Bossier head coach Michael Concilio said. “I just really am. I’m happy about it. I think that this is one of those games we’re just going to say we played it for Coach Beeson.”
Senior speedster Decamerion Richardson had a big game. He rushed for 205 yards on 14 carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 23 and 29 yards in the third quarter to break open a tight game.
Richardson, who also had a 46-yard run, wasn’t the only Bearkat to produce on the ground. Four other backs — Sentavion Burns, Roderick Francis, Jamaal Brooks and James Davis — rushed for at least 27 yards as Bossier’s Wing-T offense controlled the clock.
Brooks scored the first TD of the season on a 23-yard run with 4:12 left in the first quarter, capping a five-play, 40-yard drive. Francis scored the two-point conversion.
Bossier ate up 6 minutes, 12 seconds on its next touchdown drive, going 61 yards in 12 plays. Davis went in from 2 yards out. The PAT was no good and the Bearkats led 14-0 with 5:37 left in the second quarter.
Bossier looked like it would take the 14-0 lead into the locker room, but the Jaguars intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD with 52 seconds left in the half. The conversion failed and Bossier led 14-6 with two quarters to play.
Richardson’s 23-yard TD run capped an 11-play, 49-yard drive that took 5:16 off the clock. The PAT attempt was blocked and Bossier led 20-6 with 6:40 left in the third.
Richardson’s second TD run came on the final play of the third quarter. The 63-yard drive took seven plays. The Bearkats continued to struggle with conversions, this time because of a bad snap.
Bossier took a 26-6 lead into the fourth.
Madison scored on a fake punt early in the fourth to get within 14.
But the Bearkats answered with a six-play, 46-yard touchdown drive that took just 2:50. Rico St. Fleur scored on a 5-yard run. Another blocked PAT left the score 32-12.
Beeson only threw five passes, completing three for 27 yards. St. Fleur, Brooks and Makhi Tanner all had catches.
Davis was the team’s second-leading rusher with 49 yards. Brooks had 37.
The game was plagued by technical problems. The lights went out on more than one occasion and the scoreboard clock didn’t work.
Concilio said his team had a few glitches, too.
“We had a lot of penalties,” he said. “We put the ball on the ground a little bit too much. But we moved the ball real well. It’s just that we shot ourself in the foot a couple of times.”
The defense more than did its part to get the win. Concilio pointed out that Madison’s TDs came on the fake punt and interception return.
“We played real well defensively,” he said.
Bossier is on the road again in Week 2, but the Bearkats won’t have to travel quite as far. They travel to Sibley on Friday to face Lakeside, which opened its season with a 54-41 victory over Lincoln Prep.