Jason Brotherton picked up his first victory as Haughton’s head coach Friday night as his Bucs defeated the Plain Dealing Lions 37-0 at Haughton.
The game went the way most games between Class 5A and Class 1A teams are supposed to. The Bucs started fast and built a 34-0 halftime lead. The second half went by fast with a running clock.
The Bucs outnumbered the Lions about 3-1 in terms of number of players. Many of the Lions played on offense and defense. Plain Dealing started four freshman and three sophomores on defense.
Brotherton started subbing for his first-team players late in the second quarter and backups played the entire second half.
“They were overmatched,” Brotherton said. “(Plain Dealing coach James) Thurman knew that. We knew that.”
But Haughton still had to come out and do its job.
“We played well,” Brotherton said. “I thought we played better than we did against them last year. We got on them pretty quick and kind of kept the throttle down and it got to a point where we didn’t need to keep it down anymore. I was very pleased with the effort.”
Thurman was also pleased with his team’s effort. He knew the Lions would have trouble on both sides of the ball against the Bucs’ bigger, experienced linemen.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I’ve been preaching the whole preseason that we’ve got four freshmen and three sophomores starting on our defense. At some point they’ve got to grow up a little bit and tonight they grew up a little bit.”
Thurman said the Lions will have to be more physical on both sides of the line going forward to be successful.
“We’ve got to get more physical in practice,” he said. “If not, we can’t go out there and be a finesse offensive line and expect to be able to play with guys like that. But we’re not going to see a whole lot of fronts like that. We’re going to see a few — Haynesville, people like that. So we’ve got to get better. And we’re going to get better, starting next week.”
Brotherton called Thurman and the Lions a class act. Despite the mismatch, there was good sportsmanship on both sides. Haughton had a chance to score another touchdown late in the first half but just let the clock run out.
“It was a clean game,” Brotherton said. “Sometimes games like that you get a lot of extra stuff involved and there was none of that. Their kids played to the very end, and I thought our kids handled it well, too.”
Lavonta Gipson scored three touchdowns on runs of 11, 3 and 4 yards. He gained 42 yards on six carries.
Pryce Curry, making his first start, completed six of eight passes for 52 yards.
Haughton rushed for 283 yhards on 35 attempts. Derion Phill gained 91 yards on eight attempts. Kynan Hayes had 44 yards on six carries.
Josh Lister caught four passes for 16 yards, including an 11-yard TD. Mason Cordell set up a touchdown with a 26-yard reception. Duncan Smith scored on a 2-yard run.
Nico Broadway scored the only points of the second half on an impressive 45-yard field goal.
The Bucs defensive front gave Plain Dealing junior Matt Sullivan very little time to throw, making it difficult to get the ball to All-State wide receiver Keldrick Carper.
The Lions’ best chance to score came when Sullivan hit Derreon Washington for 62 yards. But the Bucs turned back the threat.
Greg Phill and T’Marquise Winnfield had interceptions that set up touchdowns. The Bucs also got a short field after a fumble recovery.
According to Haughton stats, Sullivan completed five of 16 passes for 123 yards. Meiko Ford rushed 14 times for 32 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards. Shavolyea McKinney caught two passes for 41 yards.
Haughton hosts Minden, a 27-0 winner over Southwood in its season opener, on Friday. Plain Dealing hosts Lakeside, which lost to Ringgold 34-28.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org