High school football: Despite solid defensive effort, Plain Dealing falls to Green Oaks

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The Plain Dealing Lions turned in a solid defensive effort against the Green Oaks Giants but couldn’t generate enough offense in a 20-6 non-district loss Friday night in Plain Dealing.

The Lions dropped to 3-2. The Class 3A Giants improved to 2-3.

The Lions gave up a late safety for the final two points, and a long punt return inside the 5 set up a Giants touchdown. Plain Dealing coach James Thurman said the Lions also had a blown coverage that allowed Green Oaks to get deep in Plain Dealing territory.

“You take those three big plays away right there and I think defensively we played a great game,” he said.

Thurman said the offense played well only in spots.

“It was just kind of a continuation of last week,” he said. “We fumbled the ball several times and we made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t overcome them.”

On one potentially big play, the Lions appeared to have converted a fourth-and-1. But the back popped out of the pack and went back behind the line of scrimmage. He slipped down for a loss with open field in front of him.

“He probably would’ve scored because there was nobody out there,” Thurman said.

On another occasion, the Lions were about to run a trick play that Thurman thought was set up well with Green Oaks out of position. But Plain Dealing was flagged for an illegal substitution.

The Lions finished the first half of the regular season with a winning record despite a non-district schedule that included two 3A teams and one 4A team.

Thurman said his team must clean up the mistakes to have success in the second half of the season.

“I preach it all the time,” he said. “It’s not about who we play; it’s about us. If we can’t go out and correct the little things and stop making the mistakes on offense — not being able to pass block — and stop putting the ball on the ground we’re not going to beat anybody. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing we’ve got to fix us first.”

The best news that came out of Friday’s game is the Lions were injury-free. A starting linebacker didn’t play because of an injury but could be ready to go this week.

Plain Dealing resumes District 1-1A play Friday at Jonesboro-Hodge. The Tigers (2-3) defeated Lincoln Prep 19-0 Friday night.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com