Lions, Bearkats meet with a different purpose in mind

VICTORY ON THE LINE – Bossier quarterback Tre Christor will be in action when the Bearkats welcome the BTW Lions to Memorial Stadium tonight. (Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports)

 

By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports

It’s not like Booker T. Washington coach Tony Reliford and Bossier’s D’Aumante Johnson didn’t see it coming. Both knew their teams were going to be up against it this year.

At the pre-season gathering of the Caddo Parish coaches at Independence Stadium, Reliford said, “We won four games last year and we’d like to improve on that but with this new district, it’s going to be tough.”

The Lions were in a split District 1-4A last year and only had four district games. This year, there is no split, so BTW has seven league games.

One of those teams added was Bossier, which moved up from Class 3A. The Bearkats had a nice season a year ago in 1-3A (making the playoffs with a 6-4 regular season record) but lost almost all of their top players from that team.

Not exactly a well-timed move, especially since 1-4A features three teams that won at least one playoff game a year ago.

To say the least, it’s been a struggle for both BTW and Bossier. Both are 0-6.

But one won’t be winless come late Thursday night as the two teams will meet at Bossier’s Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.

As each has made its way through the gauntlet, there has always been the knowledge that Week 7 would offer some hope.

BTW had a real chance for a win in Week 2 but lost to Bolton 39-36. Other than that, the closest game has been a 22-point loss in the Soul Bowl against Green Oaks.

Bossier’s closest game was a 19-point loss to Evangel.

Offensive consistency has been a problem for both teams. Bossier has been shut out twice and got scores on two kickoff returns for its only points in another game. Other than the Bolton game, the Lions only have three touchdowns.

“I’m certain we lead the state in turnovers,” Reliford said. “Offense just isn’t able to get it going. Part of it is just inexperience.”

Would a win be a season-maker? Probably not, but you can bet you will see some serious jubilation on one side of the field after the game is over.

“The message to the team this week is the same as it has always been,” Reliford said. “If it goes well for us or it doesn’t go well – we are going to keep playing. It’s football and we are going to finish what we started and had fun.”

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com

BTW (0-6, 0-3) at Bossier (0-6, 0-3) 

Where: Memorial Stadium

Series: Bossier 7-6 

Last year: did not play

Last week: BTW lost to Huntington 44-0; Bossier lost to Minden 33-6 

Rankings:  none 

LHSAA Power Ratings: BTW is No. 34 Div. II Select; Bossier is No. 37 in Div. II Non-Select

Radio: none 

Notables: Despite being out of school for Fall Break, Reliford said his team has had a good week of practice and the attendance has been good . . . the same problems the Lions had at the start of the season are still showing up. In particular, getting a clean center/quarterback exchange and the offensive play in motion. BTW had five turnovers last week . . . “We are working hard to get those corrected,” Reliford said. “We just have a lot of inexperienced guys playing new positions . . . after this week, BTW still has Northwood (4-2), Minden (2-4) and Evangel (3-3) remaining on the schedule.

Bossier used a 14-play, 95-yard drive last week at Minden to keep from being shut out for the third time this season. Quintarion Scott ran it in on a third-and-goal from the 3 with two minutes left in the game to cap the drive . . . Scott had 40 of his 55 rush yards in the drive and set up the scoring run with a 40-yard pass to Mateo Guerrero for a first-and-goal at the 3. Two plays later Scott went in for the score . . . the Bearkats are averaging 7.6 points a game. On defense, Bossier is giving up an average of 41.8 points per game . . . Bossier’s next two opponents (BTW and Woodlawn) are a combined 2-10, while their opponents the final two weeks of the regular season (North Desoto) are a combined 10-2 . . . Bossier punter Cristobal Cruz, one of the best rugby style punters in Northwest Louisiana, is out for the remainder of the year with a leg injury. 

Woodlawn (2-4, 1-2) vs. Huntington (4-2, 3-0) 

Where: Independence Stadium 

Series: Woodlawn 22-15 

Last year: Huntington 44-6 

Last week: Woodlawn lost to North DeSoto 47-6; Huntington beat BTW 44-0 

Rankings: Huntington is No. 7 in SBJ poll 

LHSAA Power Ratings: Woodlawn is No. 27 In Div. II Select; Huntington is No. 14 in Div. I Select 

Radio: none 

Notables: Last year’s win by Huntington broke a six-game win streak by Woodlawn in the series. The Knights’ last win was in the final game of 2018, 41-14 . . . Woodlawn has won seven of the last nine between the two schools . . . the Knights are averaging 13 points a game, through six games. Woodlawn is giving up an average of 26.5 points per game . . . it’s a mixed bag when looking at the remainder of the 2022 schedule for Woodlawn. Two teams (Huntington and Northwood) have records of 4-2, while two teams (Bossier and Minden) have losing records. Bossier is 0-6, while Minden is 2-4. 

Quarterback Kam Evans has 20 touchdown passes and only four interceptions . . . linebacker Derrick Edwards had nine tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery against BTW . . . Huntington has scored 132 points during its three-game district winning streak . . . “I have a huge amount of respect for (coach) Thedrick (Harris) in the short time I’ve known him,” Raiders coach Stephen Dennis said. “He’s done this the right way for a long time. They are going to find a way to make it click. I just don’t want it to happen against us.”