BY ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Stacy Ballew’s team boasts a 4-0 record. His heart? Ballew isn’t sure it’s winning the battle.
“They’re going to give me a heart attack,” Byrd’s head coach said following his team’s 25-20 victory in the battle for Shreveport bragging rights and the District 1-5A opener.
Maybe the 2022 version of the Byrd-Captain Shreve rivalry didn’t have it all, but it was close.
Byrd built a 17-point lead in a dominating first half before Captain Shreve stormed back and thought it took the lead with a long touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. However, it was called back due to one of the night’s 23 accepted penalties. Shreve later missed a field goal before Byrd cemented the victory with an 8-yard touchdown run by Devon Strickland.
“You can be proud of the effort, but not the outcome,” Shreve head coach Adam Kirby said. “We’re young and we have to learn how to overcome some adversity and come out better to start the game. We can’t wait until we get punched in the mouth to answer the bell. We have to learn how to be the aggressor.”
The teams, both undefeated entering Thursday, will try to make you think this is just another game, but this rivalry hits different. The game was interrupted by a streaker who emerged from the visitor’s stands, featured Mayor Adrian Perkins on the sideline and left a couple of Shreve seniors, who won’t get a shot at revenge on Byrd (at least in the regular season), in tears long after the final whistle.
“It’s a crazy week,” Byrd quarterback Lake Lambert said.
Lambert led all players with 142 rushing yards. He also completed 4-of-7 passes for 71 yards and added a rushing touchdown and a 44-yard scoring strike to Jackson Dufrene.
“(Byrd-Shreve) is an awesome atmosphere,” Lambert said. “I’m going to miss it a lot.”
A 49-yard field goal from Abram Murray helped Byrd build the 17-0 halftime advantage.
Shreve’s offense struggled to solve a quick, physical Yellow Jackets defense in the first half, particularly in the passing game. However, Kenyon Terrell found his groove in the final 24 minutes. He compiled 215 yards through the air and a pair of touchdowns — one to Cam Wilson and one to Marquez Stevenson — as the District 1-5A battle turned into a dog fight.
A go-ahead scoring pass to Keaton Flowers was called back due to an illegal man downfield with 8 minutes left. A missed 37-yard field goal set up Strickland’s clincher.
“We didn’t open it up (in the first half),” Kirby said. “That’s on me. I’m the head coach. We have to find a way to get our best athletes involved.”
Jayden Edwards totaled 136 yards on 16 carries for the Gators. Stevenson hauled in four passes for 80 yards.
The Yellow Jackets may be unblemished, but that doesn’t mean there has been a lack of drama. In the just the past two weeks, Calvary and Captain Shreve had late opportunities to tie or take the lead on Byrd.
A win is a win, though, right?
“Every week is a roller coaster,” Ballew said. “I’m ready for us to play good all the way through the game. My message to our team is: ‘Don’t give me a heart attack.’”
Contact Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Byrd 25, Captain Shreve 20
Score by quarters
Captain Shreve | 0 | 0 | 12 | 8 | – 20
Byrd | 7 | 10 | 0 | 8 | – 25
B – Lake Lambert 1 run (Abram Murray kick)
B – Murray 49 FG
B – Jackson Dufrene 44 pass from Lambert (Murray kick)
CS – Cam Wilson 15 pass from Kenyon Terrell (kick failed)
CS –Marquez Stevenson 57 pass from Terrell (run failed)
B – Devon Strickland 8 run (Strickland run)
CS – Terrell 15 run (Jayden Edwards run)
Rushing – CS (37 rushes-208 yards), J. Edwards 16-136, Terrell 15-61, Keaton Flowers 1-10, Jemarlon Otis 5-1. Byrd (44 rushes-334 yards), Lambert 24-142, Malachi Johnson 3-84, D. Strickland 10-67, Dixon Poirier 1-25.
Passing – CS, Terrell 13-31-1, 215 yards, 2 TDs. Byrd, Lambert 4-7-0, 71 yards, 1 TD.
Receiving – CS, Stevenson 4-80, Jordan Wiggins 2-62, Flowers 2-30, Wilson 3-35. Byrd, J. Dufrene 3-63, Tyler Nichols 1-8.