High school football: Week 8 games

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Here is a quick look at Week 8 games involving Bossier Parish schools. All games kick off at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s game 

Southwood (0-7, 0-4 1-5A) at Benton (3-4, 0-4): Benton is coming off a 46-31 loss to Byrd. The Tigers are looking for their first district victory as a member of District 1-5A.

Southwood lost to Haughton 41-19 last week. The Cowboys have lost 15 in a row dating back to Week 3 of last season. Southwood has lost 45 of its last 47. The Cowboys haven’t won a district game on the field in 10 years.

Needless to say, both teams need a win.

At No. 34 in the 5A power rankings, Benton needs to move up at less two spots in the final three games to make the playoffs.

The Tigers close the regular season with tough games against Airline and Natchitoches Central.

Benton has some reason for optimism after a strong second-half performance on offense last week.

The Tigers scored a touchdown on every possession except the final one that ended the game. Sophomore QB Caleb Cassidy, making his second start, completed 11 of 16 passes for 217 yards and four TDs.

Southwood held its own in the first half against Haughton. The Bucs scored with just 4 seconds left to go up 21-7.

Friday’s games 

Haughton (6-1, 3-1 1-5A) vs. Captain Shreve (6-1, 4-0) at Lee Hedges Stadium: Before the season, this game looked like it would decide the 1-5A title. 

It may not now, but the winner will certainly be in a good position to either win it outright or earn a share. That likely won’t be decided until Airline plays Shreve in Week 10.

The Vikings and Gators are tied for first with Haughton one game back.

Haughton had a bit of a sloppy performance in last week’s 41-19 victory over Southwood.

Head coach Jason Brotherton admitted his team might have been looking ahead some. And you really can’t fault the Bucs for having a hard time getting fired up to play a winless team. 

That shouldn’t be a problem Friday.

Shreve struggled mightily last week in a 10-7 victory over Natchitoches Central. The Gators, who had six turnovers, scored the go-ahead touchdown in the second half on a DJ Fleming run after stopping a fourth-and-1 at the Chiefs 29.

Fleming is one of the area’s top running backs. He has rushed for 824 yards on 102 carries, an average of 8.1 yards per carry, and scored 12 touchdowns. Haughton also has some of the top offensive players in North Louisiana.

But both teams also have strong defenses. 

Haughton built a big first-half lead last season and then held off a furious Shreve rally in the second for a 42-35 victory.

It may not be quite as high-scoring Friday night, especially if the weather conditions aren’t ideal. Overall, the game looks like a tossup.

Haughton has won the last eight in the series. Shreve’s last win was 2006.

Byrd (2-5, 2-2 1-5A) at Airline (6-1, 4-0): The Vikings, who defeated Parkway 24-0 last week, are ranked No. 7 in the LSWA Class 5A poll. Byrd is coming off a 46-31 victory over Benton.

Airline is tied for first in District 1-5A with Captain Shreve.

Airline snapped a 14-game losing streak in the series with a 36-20 victory in 2017. But the Jackets returned to their winning ways last season with a 28-18 victory.

Senior quarterback Cameron Felt returned to action last week after missing a couple of games because of an injury. He helped Byrd amass 302 yards rushing.

Venzell Thompson rushed for more than 100 yards,

Airline struggled offensively against Parkway, but the Vikings intercepted three passes in the first half, returning two for touchdowns.

As usual, Byrd will try to eat up the clock with its option offense. Airline’s defense will be tested.

But that defense has been outstanding all season and it’ll be a surprise if that changes Friday night.

Parkway (4-3, 2-2 1-5A) vs. Natchitoches Central (2-5, 1-3) at Northwestern State’s Turpin Stadium: The Panthers lost to Airline 24-0 last week. The Chiefs fell to Captain Shreve 10-7.

Parkway played good enough to win on defense against Airline, but the offense couldn’t sustain any momentum. Three interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, in the first half were the difference.

Natchitoches Central has suffered two tough district losses, last week’s and 9-7 against Byrd in Week 5. The Chiefs also were competitive against Airline in a 21-7 loss.

Parkway is No. 19 in the 5A power rankings. The Panthers may make the playoffs regardless of how they do in the final three games, but a strong finish could earn them a home game in the first round.

Mansfield (2-5, 0-1 1-3A) at Bossier (5-2, 0-2): Bossier is so close to being at the top of the 1-3A standings instead of at the bottom.

Last week, the Bearkats went toe-to-toe with Loyola before falling to the Flyers 35-28. As in its 35-28 loss to North Webster in Week 6, Bossier tied the game at 28 in the fourth quarter only to lose on a touchdown in the final two minutes.

The Bearkats have played well all season. The breaks just haven’t gone their way the last two weeks.

Bossier can ensure itself a winning season, its first since 2012, with a victory over Mansfield, which is coming off a 32-8 loss to Green Oaks.

The teams’ only common opponent is Logansport. The Wolverines defeated the Tigers 20-16 in Week 5 and the Bearkats won 48-40 in Week 3.

Bossier’s Decamerion Richardson and James Davis rank 1-2 in the parish in rushing with 956 and 694 yards, respectively.

Plain Dealing (4-3, 2-2 1-1A) at Calvary Baptist (7-0, 4-0): Head coach James Thurman knows his team is a huge underdog against No. 1 ranked Calvary Baptist, a 1A team with 5A talent. The Cavs will likely dress out at least three times as many players as the Lions.

Thurman had 19 healthy players available in last week’s 36-7 victory over Ringgold.

He expects the players he puts on the field against Calvary to give it everything they have.

But he is mainly hoping the Lions can get out of the game with no more injuries.

With games left against Homer and Magnolia School of Excellence left, Plain Dealing has a legitimate shot at a winning season.

Plain Dealing quarterback Ken Gay and receiver Darrien Perry have had outstanding seasons. Gay threw five touchdown passes last week and has 17 for season. He has passed for 1,408 yards.

Perry has caught 50 passes for 630 yards and nine TDs.