The Bossier Bearkats dropped a 20-19 heartbreaker to the Opelousas Tigers Friday night in Opelousas.
Bossier scored on a 25-yard pass from Joseph Manning to Marquis Harris on fourth-and-11 with just more than a minute left in the game to get within one. But after a penalty moved Bossier 5 yards back, the PAT was blocked.
Opelousas received a short kickoff and ran out the clock.
Bossier dropped to 1-1 in De’Aumante Johnson’s first season as head coach. Opelousas improved to 1-1.
Turnovers, including a disputed fumble that set up the Tigers’ go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, hurt the Bearkats. But Johnson was not disappointed with the way his team played against the Class 4A squad.
“It is a good football team up here in Bossier City,” he said. “We came down here three hours away and these kids fought through adversity. They played lights out. Defense played off the chains. I’m so pleased with how well our defensive guys played. We turned the ball over five or six times and every time the defense got out. We let it be known we were here.”
Opelousas scored on its first drive on a 49-yard pass, but the PAT attempt failed.
After Opelousas intercepted a pass, the Bearkats recovered a fumble at the Tigers 30.
Quarterback Joseph Manning ran for a first on third-and-4. The Bearkats were pushed back to the 24, but Manning hit Sen’Tavion Ball for a touchdown. Cristobal Cruz’s PAT gave the Bearkats a 7-6 lead.
Opelousas had a good chance to regain the lead after returning an interception to the Bossier 10. But a penalty moved the Tigers back to the 25 and the Bearkats picked off a pass in the end zone.
Bossier then extended the lead on a spectacular 73-yard run by Jaylyn Williams in the second quarter. Williams went up the middle, ran into a trio of Tigers around the Bossier 40, stayed on his feet and spun around, and ran down the left sideline for the score.
The kick was no good and the Bearkats led 13-6.
Opelousas cut the lead to one on a short run late in the first half. A two-point conversation pass failed thanks to heavy pressure by the Bearkats.
In the third quarter, Williams broke loose for another good run. The ball appeared to come out as his back hit the ground. But it was ruled a fumble and Opelousas recovered at the Bossier 38.
The Tigers took advantage with a 25-yard touchdown pass. A two-point conversion run put Opelousas on top 20-13.
The Bearkats had a scoring threat ended by another interception inside the Tigers 20.
“These things you should expect,” Johnson said. “This is only Joe’s second time playing the position. He still did a great job with this team, carrying us on his back. We had a few penalties here and there that we shouldn’t have had that kind of cost us in the end.”
Manning once again replaced starter Carlos Butler, who has been quarantining following COVID-19 contact tracing.
“Overall, I’m excited for these guys,” Johnson said. “This is a new ball club who is only playing their second game without their starting quarterback coming down here battling like this. So I’m excited. I have nothing to be upset about. The staff doesn’t either.
“Opelousas is a good ball club. They have some nice athletes out there. Overall I’m so pleased with these kids to hear them speak so positively after the game, talking about, man, we don’t have anything to hold our head down about. We’re still good. We came down here and we fought hard. I just want to see how well they fight through adversity. They fight well.”
Bossier will try to rebound on the road Friday against Class 1A Logansport. The Tigers (0-2) lost to Loyola College Prep 61-44 Friday night.
Homer 49, Plain Dealing 0: A quick succession of turnovers cost the Lions as they opened District 1-1A play with the loss at home.
“We spotted them 21 getting off the bus,” Plain Dealing Head Coach Christopher Wilson said. “We turned the ball over three times in the first six minutes of the game and gave them 21.”
The Pelicans (1-1), who reached the semifinals of the playoffs last year, extended the lead to 35-0 by halftime.
“With the overall inexperience of our team it’s just snowballing on us,” Wilson said. “Being outnumbered, we have to find ways to keep ourselves in games”
The Lions were shut out for the second straight week, but Wilson saw some things he liked.
The defense forced two turnovers. The return of lineman Carnaz Hillmon, a second-team All-District selection last season, provided a boost.
Offensively, sophomore running back Aaron Reddix continued to be impressive.
“Aaron Reddix is a sparkplug,” Wilson said. “If we can get his mental to match his God-given ability he’s going to be really good for us. He’s going to be really good for Plain Dealing for the next few years. The kid is lightning in a bottle.”
The Lions did come close to scoring but dropped a pass in the corner of the end zone.
Perhaps the most positive news is the Lions didn’t have any injuries.
Plain Dealing faces Magnolia School of Excellence Friday in its homecoming game. Like Plain Dealing, Magnolia will be looking for its first points of the season.
The Mariners fell to Haynesville 54-0 In another district opener Friday night.