The Benton Tigers, Bossier Bearkats and Plain Dealing Lions all suffered losses Friday night on Week 2 of the high school football season.
Benton fell to Alexandria Senior High 26-7 at Benton, Bossier lost to North Caddo 35-12 at North Caddo and Plain Dealing dropped a narrow 14-6 decision to Bolton at Plain Dealing.
At Benton, the Tigers were still very much in the game going into the fourth quarter, but the Trojans scored a field goal then a late TD for the final margin.
“We had our chances again and had the ball on the plus side of the field several times through turnovers or bad punts on their part,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “We just couldn’t execute. Had a couple of dropped balls, missed a couple of receivers.
“They were pretty good up front and we had a tough time moving them and creating running lanes consistently. I think the biggest thing for us is we couldn’t get our running game going and we struggled in the passing game a little bit with some protection and again with a few dropped balls.”
ASH (2-0), which avenged a 63-25 loss last season, scored on a long touchdown pass and a 35-yard run to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Benton cut the lead in half on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Clint Lasiter to Malik Antwine. The Tigers also had a long TD pass erased by an ineligible receiver downfield penalty.
ASH added a field goal for a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Tigers had five turnovers, but Moore said some of those came when Benton was trying to rally in the fourth quarter.
Moore thought his team was starting to get into a good rhythm offensively in the second quarter.
“It’s kind of odd both times we got momentum going there was a heat timeout in the middle of the drive as we were pushing toward the end zone and that kind of disrupts things a little bit,” he said. “But we finished one of those drives and the other we didn’t.”
Lasiter replaced starter Ken Gay after three possessions. Lasiter was a member of Benton’s state championship baseball team last spring and participated in only a week of spring practice. He also played a lot of baseball during the summer.
He played most of the game on defense in Week 1 and had an interception.
“He brings a lot to the table,” Moore said. “He’s little bit more elusive in the pocket than Ken. I wanted to put some pressure on Ken. I wanted to create some competition. I think competition brings out the best in people and makes them better. We seemed to move the ball better with Clint in there. He had several nice runs. He did make a couple of bad decisions and a couple of bad throws. But he hasn’t had the benefit of a full week of reps. He and Ken split reps 50-50 last week.”
Moore said he isn’t sure how the quarterback position will play out.
“Going forward, I’m not sure what we’ll do,” he said. “We’ll see what happens during practice and make a decision at some point during the week again.”
Benton is off to an 0-2 start for the first time since 2013, Moore’s first season as head coach. Friday’s game also marked the first time the Tigers have failed to score more than one touchdown in a regular-season game since Week 5 of the 2014 season.
Moore believes the Tigers aren’t that far away from achieving the kind of success Benton fans have become accustomed to. He said the lack of experience in the offensive backfield and line has been one reason for the slow start.
“I think there were a lot of things we got better at last night,” he said Saturday afternoon. “I don’t think effort was an issue at all last night. I think on offense one thing we’ve done is try to put too much in with an inexperienced quarterback, with an inexperienced offensive line.”
He said the Tigers need to just perfect some of the little things for the offense to get more consistent and allow the defense to get some rest.
“We’re not able get enough first downs spread out throughout the game,” he said. “Our first downs have come in spurts and in clumps. We’ll go through a long dry spell of not being able to move the football, going three-and-out on multiple drives.”
That makes for a tired defense down the stretch when the game’s on the line.
“When it’s gut-check time in the third and fourth quarter, they’re giving everything they have but they’re just shot. It’s not a lack of conditioning or anything else. It’s just that they’re playing too many snaps so far.”
Benton travels to Tioga (2-0) Friday. The Indians defeated Class 1A Jonesboro-Hodge 26-14 Friday night.
Moore is glad that the distractions of homecoming are over. He doesn’t want to put too much pressure on his young team, either. He said the plan is for a fun trip that will hopefully end with the first victory of the season.
At North Caddo, the Bearkats hung with the Rebels in the first half, trailing just 15-12 after Daniel Moore returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown. But Bossier struggled in the second half and North Caddo pulled away.
The Rebels took an early 8-0 lead. The Bearkats sliced the lead to two on an 8-play, 47-yard drive capped by Deondre Summage’s 17-yard run. The try for two failed.
North Caddo, which avenged a 47-41 loss to Bossier last season, held the Bearkats to 77 yards rushing and 103 total yards.
Summage led Bossier with 22 yards on seven carries. Jamaal Brooks gained 21 yards on six carries. He also had one catch for 18 yards.
Bossier (1-1) hosts Class 1A power Logansport (2-0) Friday. The Tigers rolled to a 37-6 first-quarter lead en route to a 44-28 victory over Lakeview Friday night.
At Plain Dealing, Bolton (1-1) scored the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter aided by a big unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
On third-and-long, the Lions got a sack but were flagged for taunting after the play. The Bears scored two plays later.
“We get a unsportsmanlike penalty because the kid gets up and is clapping his hands celebrating,” Plain Dealing coach James Thurman said. “They threw a flag on him, said he was taunting. It was an automatic first down.”
The Lions still had a chance to possibly tie it. Completing a couple of passes, they drove to the Bears 30. But a Hail Mary attempt on fourth-and-long fell incomplete.
Plain Dealing (1-1) almost won despite fumbling nine times and losing five.
“Penalties and turnovers, that’s the name of the game,” Thurman said. “We just couldn’t get it done.”
The game was tied 6-6 at the half. Quarterback Artavious Washington-Carper scored the Lions’ TD on a run.
Plain Dealing travels to Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium on Friday to face District 1-4A favorite Northwood (2-0), which defeated Richwood 38-8 Friday. The Falcons were ranked No. 5 in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Class 4A poll.
Thurman started the season with about 20 players on his roster and that’s already started to go down. He said a couple of players were injured Friday.
“We already had three hurt,” he said. “Our numbers are starting to dwindle a little bit but we’re going to go out and hope we have 11 that can play.”