Airline at Ouachita Parish, 7
Oak Grove at Benton, 7
Bossier at Madison, 7
Red River at Haughton, 7
Minden at Parkway, 7
Plain Dealing vs. Huntington, Independence Stadium, 7
The high school football regular season kicks off Friday night in Bossier Parish and around the state.
As usual, there are several intriguing openers involving parish teams.
Benton, Haughton and Parkway will be at home. The Tigers host Oak Grove, the Bucs play Red River and the Panthers face Minden.
Airline, Bossier and Plain Dealing are on the road. The Vikings travel to Monroe to play Ouachita Parish, the Bearkats head to Tallulah to face Madison and the Lions take on Huntington at Independence Stadium.
Benton is playing its first game as a member of the LHSAA’s highest classification, 5A. The Tigers’ opponent, which are also Tigers, is in the lowest football class, 1A, but Oak Grove isn’t just any 1A school.
Oak Grove went 13-1 last season, falling to Kentwood 40-21 in the state championship game. The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 1A preseason poll.
Oak Grove has lost only one regular-season game in the last two years.
The Tigers’ leading rusher, Otis Moore, and quarterback, Kameron Holloway, are back this season.
Moore rushed for about 1,400 yards last season and scored 19 touchdowns.
Holloway had more than 1,400 yards rushing and passing.
Ladarious Ward, who rushed for more than 500 yards, also returns.
Two first-team Class 1A All-State players are also back — offensive lineman Nick Sciara (6-1, 290) and defensive lineman Kenean Caldwell (6-3, 305).
Benton is coming off a 7-4 season. The Tigers returnees include quarterback Clint Lasiter, receiver Malik Antwine, defensive lineman Cade Waites and linebacker Ashur Hall.
Haughton will be a big favorite against Class 2A Red River.
The Bulldogs were hit hard by graduation and return only one first-team All-District selection off last season’s 6-4 team, running back Markell Washington.
Washington is listed as a receiver and strong safety on Red River’s roster on MaxPreps.
Parkway is facing a Minden team that has had a couple of down years, including 3-7 in 2018.
Trenton McLaughlin returns for his junior season at quarterback. Second-team All-District running back Lieric Robinson, receiver Seth Johnson and linebacker Bobbie Britton are also back.
Parkway is coming off a 5-5 season. The Panthers are looking for big things from junior quarterback Gabe Larry, who started six games in place of his injured brother, Amani, last season.
Other top returnees include running back Jamall Asberry, defensive back Isaiah Robinson and linebacker Adam Johnson.
Airline and Ouachita Parish are familiar foes. The Vikings and Lions have been spring scrimmage partners for several years.
They haven’t met in the regular season since 2010, though.
Ouachita Parish is coming off an 8-4 season that included a 37-35 victory over Parkway in the first round of the playoffs.
Returning from that team are leading rusher Chaunzavia Lewis, quarterback Zach Shaw and leading tackler Carl Glass.
Lewis rushed for 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns. Shaw completed 84 of 182 passes for 1,050 yards and nine TDs with five interceptions. Glass had 146 tackles.
Kameron Williams, a 6-3, 235-pound tight end, also returns.
Airline is coming off a 3-7 season that included several closes losses.
Alex Garcia takes over at quarterback. Senior twins Brian and Brandon Marshall, both three-year starters, lead the defense in the secondary.
Bossier and Madison will both be hungry for a victory.
The Jaguars went 0-10 last season and will take an 18-game losing streak into the game.
One of those losses was to Bossier, 42-28, the Bearkats’ lone win last season.
Madison is a member of District 2-2A. Bossier has dropped down to District 1-3A from 1-4A.
The Bearkats have a new quarterback in Coleman Beeson. James Davis, Decamerion Richardson and Rico St. Fleur will likely be the featured running backs.
Senior Fred Moise provides leadership on both sides of the ball.
Plain Dealing will be facing a Class 4A opponent in Huntington that will have much more depth.
But that’s nothing new for the Lions, who played two Class 4A teams, Bolton and Northwood, last season.
Huntington went 2-8 last year. The Raiders haven’t won more than four games in a season since 2014.
Huntington has moved into District 2-4A from 1-4A.
Plain Dealing is coming off a 3-8 season. The Lions have a new quarterback in Ken Gay, a transfer from Benton.
Darrien Perry made two big play in the jamboree, catching a TD pass from Gay after making an interception.