Benton, Haughton try to make their point(s)

CONVERSIONS NEEDED: Haughton’s offense will be under the gun to convert on third down to stay with Benton. (Photo by DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports)

By TEDDY ALLEN, Journal Sports

Haughton football coach Jason Brotherton is old enough to remember when scoring 42 points would most likely win you any game.

But the Bucs scored 42 last week at Airline — and lost by two scores, 55-42.

“And that’s not even the crazy thing,” Brotherton said.

No, it’s not. This is …

Haughton goes into each game with a prescription that would usually work for any team. Be able to run the ball. Don’t turn it over. Convert on third down.

Against the Vikings, the Bucs exceeded their rushing-total target, didn’t turn it over, were 7-of-11 on third down. Lost by 13.

“Our defensive coordinator is ready to jump off a bridge,” Brotherton said. “I’m not gonna let him because eventually we’ll lose a game, 7-0. Two years ago, we beat Benton, 7-0; it won’t be 7-0 this year, that’s for sure.”

Unless they play the game with a bowling ball, probably not when Benton visits Haughton tonight at 7 in yet another big District 1-5A game.

“Might need 62 to win,” Brotherton said.

That’s not unchartered waters for the Tigers. Benton (4-3, 3-1) has scored 63, 62, and 56 points in its current three-game win streak.  But Haughton, (4-3, 2-2) is at home, has maybe the best athlete on the field in its quarterback, Colin Rains, and maybe learned some lessons in the Airline loss.

Four times the Vikings went for it on fourth down. Four times they were successful; once Haughton was called for encroachment on a 4th-and-1 from the 2.

“If we win those four plays, we probably win the game,” Brotherton said. “We said all last week that Airline was going to score; they were going to get their yards. So is Benton. So on defense, you can still give up points, but there are gonna be three or four big plays in a game, and you gotta win those to win it. We don’t need 10 stops; we need three or four.”

Benton senior quarterback Gray Walters is one of several three-year starters at the position in the district. “Seems he’s been playing there 11 years,” Brotherton said. “I’m ready for him to graduate.”

Walters’ favorite target is Pearce Russell, who caught four of Walters’ five TD passes in last week’s 62-15 rout at Natchitoches-Central.

“He reminds me of (former Haughton star) CJ McWilliams,” Brotherton said. “CJ is faster, Pearce is bigger, but everything looks so easy for them. I don’t know if (Benton coach) Reynolds (Moore) even needs to go to the games anymore.”

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Benton (4-3, 3-1) at Haughton (4-3, 2-2) 

Where: Harold E. Harlan Stadium 

Series: Haughton 20-8 

Last year: Benton 42-21 

Last week: Benton beat Southwood 56-12; Haughton lost to Airline 55-42 

Rankings: Benton is No. 2 in Shreveport-Bossier Journal Top 10; Haughton is 7th in Journal poll 

LHSAA Power Ratings: Benton is No. 17 in Non-Select Division I; Haughton ranks 21st in Non-Select Division I 

Radio: Benton (The Light 92.1 FM) 

Notables: The Tigers are on a roll, putting themselves back in the District 1-5A race by winning three straight since an early-season three-game losing skid … Benton has scored at least 50 points in five straight games. Haughton allowed 55 points to Airline last week. Benton is 2-9 in their last 11 against Haughton, but ended an eight-game losing streak to the Buccaneers with a 42-21 victory last season … Tigers receiver Pearce Russell leads Bossier Parish with 54 catches (second statewide, per, 3 behind Howard Kinchen of Patterson) and 1,041 yards receiving yards (also second statewide, 82 yards behind Kinchen). His 14 touchdown receptions are tied with Airline’s Daxton Chavez.

The Bucs were 5-6 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Chalmette, 21-20, but are much better offensively this season. “It’s weird because we have a lot of the same kids (this year) who were on that team,” Brotherton said. “We didn’t have as much speed when they were younger as we do now. We weren’t very explosive. We run it a lot better this year” … For Haughton against Airline, Rains was 13-of-18 for 289 yards and 3 TDs, no picks … Tyler Rhodes rushed 22 times for 119 yards and two scores, and Rains rushed 14 times for 88 yards and a TD … Jalen Lewis caught six passes for 158 yards and a score … Rashard Douglas had three catches for 101 yards, including a 75-yard catch-and-run TD.

Natchitoches Central (3-4, 2-2) at Parkway, (6-1, 3-1) 

Where: Preston Crownover Stadium 

Series: Natchitoches Central 12-10 

Last year: NCHS 38-21 

Last week: Natchitoches Central beat Captain Shreve 30-17; Parkway lost to Byrd 39-14 

Rankings: Parkway is No. 4 in Journal poll 

LHSAA Power Ratings: NCHS stands 35th in Non-Select Division I; Parkway is No. 13 in Non-Select Division I 

Radio: Natchitoches Central (95.9 FM Kix Classic Country) 

Notables: Panthers licking their wounds after their first loss of the season – 39-14 to Byrd … Parkway running back Jaylan White has 1,124 yards from scrimmage (895 rushing, 229 receiving) and 12 touchdowns … Chiefs are coming off a surprising 30-17 victory at Captain Shreve … Natchitoches Central has allowed at least 46 points three times this season … Parkway is 2-2 against the Chiefs since 2015 … NCHS quarterback Brian Young, who injured a shoulder early in the jamboree, finally regained form last week at Shreve and is a dual threat along with productive tailback Jeremiah Miles.

Southwood (0-7, 0-4) at Captain Shreve (3-4, 0-4) 

Where: Lee Hedges Stadium 

Series: Shreve leads 31-21 

Last year: Shreve won by forfeit 

Last week: Southwood lost to Benton 56-12; Captain Shreve lost to Natchitoches Central 30-17 

Rankings: none 

LHSAA Power Ratings: Shreve is No. 15 in Select Division I; Southwood is 33rd in Select Division I 

Radio: Shreve (, 95.7 FM) 

Notables: Despite the 56-12 loss to Benton last week, Southwood coach Jesse Esters thinks the Cowboys handled the Tigers “pretty well” until late in the game … “Our defensive backs missed a couple of assignments and they scored late,” he said … While the Cowboys started with a strong rushing attack against Benton, penalties killed first-half drives … Senior DB Marrio Stevenson filled in at RB and had 157 yards on 27 carries with 2 TDs … Junior Shamichael Johnson also filled in at RB … “We’re finding special players that (maybe) should have been heavy contributors early in the season,” said Esters … WR’s Dantonio Arkansas and Zamarian Tageleri continue to be threats on offense. “They’re the offensive threats we need to beat some of these teams in our district,” Esters said of the receiving duo … There is great news for the Cowboys as senior RB/DE Melvin Coleman will be back from an injured knee – along with two junior LBs, Caleb Nunsant and Jathon Skinner … “We are very positive about this week,” said Esters. “We’ll get back to the drawing board and prepare for a good Captain Shreve team.”

The Gators are dealing with a rash of injuries. It’s hard to build depth in high school football, especially along the offensive line. “You need those five guys playing as one unit,” said Shreve coach Adam Kirby. “There has to be a level of trust that can only be built by playing beside someone rep after rep. Offensive line is a position where if one guy messes up, it makes the entire unit look bad … Because of injuries, Shreve had to play a lot of young players in last week’s loss to Natchitoches Central. But, there is a bright spot. “They gain the experience needed in order to build a program,” Kirby said. “That way, they’re not caught in the moment when they’re older” … A win over Southwood would give their Gators their first district W. “Execute at a high level, give great effort, and have a great attitude when things don’t go our way,” Kirby said, when asked what the keys are to beating the Cowboys. “If we can do those three things, I like our chances.”