For the third time in the last six years, the Bossier City Lions Club Bossier Parish Jamboree took a hard hit from Mother Nature.
With 2:31 left in the first 12-minute half Friday night at M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium, the 66th annual jamboree’s second “game” between Plain Dealing and Bossier was suspended because of lightning.
After a 40-minute delay and with lightning still crackling to the northwest, administrators and coaches at the schools agreed to cancel the remainder of the game at 8:30 p.m. That gave Airline and Parkway some hope of possibly playing the nightcap without having to start too late.
PA announcer Harrell Shelton announced the Parkway-Airline game would start no earlier than 9:15. But the lightning show continued unabated.
About 9, Airline and Parkway jamboree queens Gracie Hebert and Morgan McCarty, standing in the south end zone area, were introduced to rousing ovations.
About five minutes later, Shelton announced that the Airline-Parkway game would not be played.
In 2016, the jamboree was canceled outright after heavy rain in the middle of the week made field conditions unsafe. In 2014, the jamboree was canceled at the half of the second game when a severe thunderstorm rolled through.
Friday’s first “game” between the Haughton Bucs and Benton Tigers was played as a nice breeze kept things tolerable and dark clouds gathered in the distance.
The Bucs took advantage of three turnovers for a 21-7 victory.
Haughton got off to a rough start with a holding penalty behind the line. On their second possession, the Bucs were penalized for illegal motion on first down.
But it wasn’t long before the experienced Haughton offense made a big play.
On third-and-13, quarterback Peyton Stovall fired a pass to Elijah Rochon, who was all alone running down the left side of the field near the Benton bench. Rochon made the catch and sprinted about 50 yards untouched, completing the 81-yard score.
Carter Jensen kicked the first of his three extra points and Haughton led 7-0 with 6:00 left in the period.
On Benton’s next possession, Jacob Stephens picked off a pass and returned it for a TD with 5:08 left.
In the second half, Keyshawn Davis sprinted 21 yards for a TD and the Bucs led 21-0 with 6:52 left.
Benton had some success moving the ball both early and late in the first period. The Tigers missed a 35-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds left.
The Haughton defense kept Benton mostly in check in the second period. But the Tigers avoided the shutout. Clint Lasiter drilled Artis Cole in the end zone from 15 yards out with 20 seconds left.
“The defense played well, flew to the ball, created three turnovers in basically one half of football so that’s good,” Haughton coach Jason Brotherton said. “But then we gave up a score at the end of the game when we were trying to get a shutout which is frustrating.
“Offensively we were sloppy. There wasn’t a lot of good with our offensive performance, but the positive is when we play well there’s no telling how good we can actually be, because we scored 21 points without playing well against a pretty good team. So if you’re looking for a positive that’s what we’re going to hang our hat on and go back to work this week and have three great practices and get ready to win our opener.”
Haughton junior linebacker Jake St. Andre said the Bucs played well for a jamboree but need to clean some things up before playing Red River at home Friday.
“We went out there and battled and competed,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to prepare for Week 1.”
Benton junior linebacker Ashur Hall recovered a fumble. The Tigers open the season against Class 1A power Oak Grove at Tiger Stadium.
In the second “game,” Bossier led Plain Dealing 14-6 before a lightning bolt followed quickly by a roar of thunder caused the suspension.
Decamerion Richardson, one of the fastest players in the state, scored Bossier’s first touchdown on a 10-yard run with the offensive line clearing a large path up the middle.
Richardson also had a 45-yard run to the Lions 4 that set up the second TD, a run by Sentaviun Burns.
Richardson’s TD came after Lamark Taylor recovered a fumble at the Plain Dealing 34. Sophomore quarterback Coleman Beeson ran for a two-point conversion after Burns’ TD.
Richardson, who has scored three touchdowns in a scrimmage and 10 minutes of a jamboree, rushed for 73 yards on just four carries.
James Davis gained 36 yards on three carries, including a 25-yard run.
Davis also made plays on defense, causing a fumble and recovering one. The Bearkats recorded two sacks.
Darrien Perry made two big plays for Plain Dealing. He intercepted a Beeson pass inside Bossier territory. He then caught a perfectly thrown pass from Ken Gay in the end zone near the sideline.
Per Bossier stats, Gay completed five of six passes for 81 yards.
Plain Dealing faces Huntington on Friday at Independence Stadium. Bossier travels to Tallulah to take on Madison.
Airline faces Ouachita Parish in Monroe. Parkway hosts Minden.
Hopefully, the lightning will stay away.