The Benton Tigers scored four touchdowns in the third quarter en route to a 44-13 victory over the Huntington Raiders in a District 1-4A opener Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
The defending champion Tigers (4-0) visit North DeSoto (3-1) in a key district contest this Friday. The Griffins defeated Bossier 35-21 in their district opener.
Junior running back Jermaine Newton scored three touchdowns to lead the Tigers. John Westmoreland also had a good night, capped by a 3-yard touchdowns reception from Garett Hable.
Hable passed for 150 yards, according to The (Shreveport) Times, and scored on a 25-yard run. Newton finished with 120 yards on the ground.
Doyle Adams Jr. scored on a 9-yard run in the first half, and Brooks Cram kicked a 26-yard field goal. The Tigers led 17-7 at the break.
Benton got off to a bit of a slow start.
“We just lacked some execution and lacked finishing some drives,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “Hable threw a pick late second quarter. Doyle was wide open and it was one of the easiest throws he had all night. But he made some throws that were unbelievable.”
Moore said he’s pleased with how his team has finished games strong this season, but he’d like to see the Tigers come out a little stronger.
“I told them, ‘I love what you’re doing, I love how we’re finishing games,’ but we’ve got to finish drives early on in games,” he said. “If it’s possible to pull away, I’d rather pull away early and not let people hang around.”
The Tigers first-team defense allowed just one touchdown. Huntington quarterback Tadarrell Maiden had some early success, including a 50-yard TD pass, but the Tigers held him in check for most of the rest of the game.
Kemone Perry set up one touchdown with an interception return to the Raiders 3. Benton also blocked a punt. The Tigers also had another interception that prevented a possible Raiders TD, a fumble recovery and several sacks.
“I thought our defense played really well again,” Moore said. “We did a good job of containing them and making it difficult for them and were able to pull away in third quarter — very, very similar to last week (a 55-20 win over Southwood).
The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com