The Benton Tigers won the Bossier Parish middle school eighth-grade football district championship with a hard-fought 18-14 victory over the Elm Grove Eagles on Tuesday at Benton.
Benton finished 6-0 overall and 5-0 in district. Elm Grove, which also had an outstanding season, finished 6-1 and 4-1.
In another eighth-grade district game, Rusheon downed Greenacres 16-6 at Bossier’s Memorial Stadium. In non-district games, Cope defeated North DeSoto 42-22 at Airline and Webster dropped Haughton 24-8 at Webster.
In seventh-grade district games, Benton defeated Elm Grove 22-8 and Greenacres downed Rusheon 6-0. In non-district games, Haughton topped Webster 24-16 and Cope dropped North DeSoto 16-6.
Haughton won the seventh-grade title with a 34-16 victory over Cope on Thursday at Haughton in the completion of a game suspended on Sept. 5 because of a thunderstorm. The Bucs finished 6-1 overall and 5-0 in district. Cope finished 5-2 and 3-2.
The game was resumed with Haughton leading 22-16 late in the third quarter. Connor Blank tacked on two touchdown runs. Dexter Smith, La’Trell Cooper, Jesse Normandin and Peyton Polk led the defense.
Haughton won the eighth-grade game 24-6. Coleman Stafford threw TD and two-point conversion passes to Hunter Tolbert. Elton Bryant scored two rushing TDs and two two-point conversions.
The offensive line of Hampton Bryant, Davion Moss, Kameron Smith, Charles Yocom, Emmanuel Bryant, Sergio Delgado and Jackson Voigt paved the way for Bryant.
Pete Paintin, Aiden Jones, Voigt, Smith, DJ Gladney, Clayton Rhodes, Jake Pieri and Zach Haley were among the defensive standouts.
At Benton Tuesday, the eighth-grade game was close all the way.
Evan Cole’s 18-yard punt return to the Cope 26 set up Benton’s first touchdown, a pass from Caleb Cassidy to Jackson New. The two-point conversion failed.
Behind some good running by Ron Richmond, Elm Grove drove for a touchdown and scored the conversion for an 8-6 lead.
The Tigers used a double pass to set up their second touchdown. Cassidy passed to Evan Cole behind the line of scrimmage, and Cole threw to Davis Sellers for a 36-yard gain.
Cole scored the TD on a 5-yard run around right end. The conversion was again no good and Benton led 12-8.
Richmond, who rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns with one conversion, sparked another Eagles touchdown drive. He scored the TD but the conversion failed and Elm Grove led 14-12 at the half.
Benton took the lead for good on its first series of the second half.
After some good running by Trent Williams, Cassidy found Cole for a 20-yard TD pass. The try for two failed again.
“The defense really stepped it up in the second half,” Benton coach Jared Stowell said.
Sellers, Jalen Taylor and Jackson Ashley led the strong effort.
Cassidy finished nine of 18 passing for 98 yards.
Detrick Clayborne led Elm Grove with seven tackles. Michael Feaster had six tackles, two assists and one forced fumble. Jacob Janezcko had six tackles.
Fabian Elias had four tackles and two assists. He also had an interception. Richmond had two tackles and two assists.
In the seventh-grade game, Jaylan White scored Elm Grove’s TD on a 62-yard pass from Eli Harper. Barrett Newman ran in the conversion.
Newman had 32 yards rushing on eight carries. He also had three solo tackles and four assists. Demontayvious Blackwell had three solo tackles and three assists.
At Bossier, Jake Elbert passed to Nick Vascocu for a touchdown in Greenacres’ seventh-grade victory.
Justin Epps, who split quarterback duties with Cameron Jefferson after Elbert had to leave the game because of an injury, ran the ball well.
Mark Engelke led the team in tackles and recovered a fumble. Tyler Bullard, Zion Smith, Brian Swan, Preston Cooper and Kyle Lehr were all defensive standouts.
D.J. Lamette scored Greenacres’ lone TD in the eighth-grade game. Lamette, Refeal Edwards and Jyson Thomas all ran the ball well.
Trevor Price, Gavin Ashworth and Chris Maddox were defensive standouts. Edwards had an interception to stop a promising Rams drive.
At Webster, Blank scored two touchdowns and two two-point conversions in Haughton’s seventh-grade victory.
Normandin also scored a TD and two-point conversion.
Normandin, Smith, Cooper and Adrian McClindon were cited for their efforts on defense.
Elton Bryant scored a touchdown and two-point conversion for the Bucs in the eighth-grade game.
Paintin, Rhodes and Pieri were defensive standouts.
At Airline, Michael Johnson had a big game in Cope’s eighth-grade victory. He rushed for 199 yards on 11 carries and scored TDs of 37, 10 and 5 yards.
Johnson also had an interception return for a touchdown and scored a two-point conversion.
JaRobert Kelly rushed for 139 yards on 19 carries. He had TD runs of 10 and 1 yards and also scored a conversion.
Coach Ray Smith praised the play of offensive linemen Kyle Goldstein, Landon Robinson, Zak Flowers, Eli James, James Beane and Clinton Nowkejiezi.
Chris Griffith, Joseph Manning and Beane were defensive standouts. Griffith and Beane had three sacks each.
“It was a big win for our kids after losing three starters on offense and defense during the year,” Smith said.
NOTE: The above report is based on information provided by coaches. It will be updated as soon as possible after more information is received.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org