Despite being severely short-handed, the Plain Dealing Lions were still within striking distance of the Arcadia Hornets at halftime of their District 1-1A game Friday night in Arcadia.
The Lions trailed by just a pair of touchdowns and would get the ball to start the third quarter.
But Plain Dealing could not close the gap, and Arcadia went on to win 44-14.
The Lions dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in district. The Hornets (1-4, 1-1) won for the first time this season.
Because of injuries, Plain Dealing only had 20 players available Friday — 16 high school and four junior high. A 167-pound seventh-grader started at guard. He began the week as a backup wide receiver.
During the game, senior quarterback Ken Gay took a hard hit on a two-point conversion attempt and hurt his throwing shoulder. A lineman rolled an ankle. Another player “got mad and walked off and left the field in the middle of the game,” head coach James Thurman said,
Despite the shoulder injury, Gay continued to play.
“He still stayed in and played and threw the ball because we didn’t have anybody else,” Thurman said. “He was cramping real bad.”
Thurman praised Gay’s toughness.
“We’ve got to evaluate what he’s going to do and where he’s going to be,” Thurman said of Gay’s availability for Thursday’s home game against Lincoln Prep. “I think he’s the kind of kid no matter what even if he can’t throw the ball I think he’s still going to want to play. So we have to put him somewhere else maybe.”
There is some good news. Last week running back/linebacker Ladavious Scott appeared to suffer what Thurman thought was a season-ending shoulder injury against Haynesville. It turns out the injury may not be as serious as first thought and Scott may return to action this week.
Thurman said he’s also hoping to get back big lineman Duranczk Newton.
Thurman certainly isn’t ready to throw in the towel on the season. With only 25 boys in grades sixth through eighth this year, there may come a time when he and the school’s administrators have to evaluate the future of the program. The school was not able to field a junior high team this season.
“For now we’re just keeping it going,” Thurman said, “As long as 11 show up we’re going to try to get out there and coach ‘em up and put them on the field and see what happens.”
Like Plain Dealing, Lincoln Prep (1-4, 0-2) is struggling. The Panthers lost to Homer 52-7 Friday night.