Northwood tries to avoid midfield problems against Knights

DYNAMIC DUO: Northwood backfield stars Mason Welch (left) and Quintavion White have led the Falcons to four straight wins. (File photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports)


Red zone? Not a problem for the Northwood Falcons.

Backed up with bad field position? The Falcons have been able to overcome it.

But the area in the middle of the field, between the two 40-yard lines? Might as well call that the Black Zone. For some reason, that’s where bad things happen to the Falcons.

“We are almost 100 percent scoring in the red zone,” Northwood coach Austin Brown said. “That’s if we can get to the red zone. It seems like every single one of our penalties is between the 40s. We can get it out of the back end of the field and then when we get to the middle of the field, we slow down. For some reason, we have a mental block there.”

Or an illegal block. Or a holding call.

The Falcons, winners of four straight, will look to add to that streak when they take on Woodlawn tonight at Jerry Burton Stadium at 7 p.m.

Last week, Northwood beat Booker T. Washington 49-6 but Brown’s message to the team after the game was simple: “We’ve got to get better.”

His team will try to do that against a Woodlawn team that Brown said is “vastly improved” from a year ago when Northwood won 53-0.

“Last year when we played them Coach Thedrick (Harris) was just getting his program started,” Brown said. “They are not that team this year. They have a quarterback (Isaiah Kennedy) and a receiver that can fly. But you look at Thedrick and see his resume and know how good of a coach he is just by looking at what he’s done from last year to this year.”

Woodlawn is 3-5 and 2-3 in District 1-4A and the Knights still have a shot at a playoff berth.

Kennedy had three touchdown passes last week and a touchdown run. Running back Quintin Wilson had 162 yards on 24 carries in a win last week against Bossier, including 119 yards on just five carries in the first half.

The Falcons are led on offense by junior quarterback Mason Welch (1,453 passing yards) and senior running back Quintavion White (776 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns).

Northwood is 6-2 and 4-1 in the district with a showdown with district leader North DeSoto looming next week. Currently No. 9 in the Division 1 Select power rankings, the Falcons still have a shot at a first-round playoff bye.

“We’ve got so much in-house stuff to take care of,” Brown said. “We are not looking ahead to North DeSoto. We got our hands full right now.”

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Woodlawn (3-5, 2-3) at Northwood (6-2, 4-1) 

Where: Jerry Burton Stadium 

Series: Northwood 17-8

Last year: Northwood 53-0 

Last week: Woodlawn beat Bossier 34-14; Northwood beat BTW 49-6  

Rankings: Northwood No. 7 in Shreveport-Bossier Journal Top 10 poll 

LHSAA power rankings: Woodlawn No. 25; Northwood No. 9 in Select Division I 

Radio: Northwood (Miracle 89.1 FM) 

Notables: Woodlawn’s Quintin Wilson rushed for 119 yards on five carries in the first half of Woodlawn’s 34-14 District 1-4A win over Bossier last Friday. Wilson ended with 162 yards on 24 carries … Wilson was running the ball so hard that gear was coming off of him and players who tried to tackle him. In the second half, Wilson lost a shoe one play. On another player, a Bossier defender lost his helmet when he tried to tackle Wilson … Woodlawn defensive lineman Peter Johns had a big third down sack in the middle of the second quarter last Friday. Johns’ play caused Bossier to punt out of its own end zone and the punter threw a pass which was called intentional grounding. This resulted in a safety for the Woodlawn defense … Woodlawn’s Brandon Henderson has made a lot of big plays for the Knights this season. There is one play Henderson made that head coach Thedrick Harris wishes the sophomore had decided otherwise. Henderson intercepted a pass deep in Woodlawn territory which caused the Knights to start inside their own 10. 

Quarterback Mason Welch is about to move into the No. 2 spot on career passing yards for the Falcons … With wins in their final two games, the Falcons would be in great position for a bye in the first round of the Select-Division 1 playoffs … Northwood has one of the most balanced offenses in the city, averaging 190 yards rushing and 201 yards passing per game … Slot receiver Marc Denison had two touchdown receptions last week and is averaging 24.8 yards per catch … Tadarius Collins leads the team in tackles (50), tackles for loss (17) and quarterback sacks (8). 

North DeSoto (8-0, 5-0) at Bossier (0-8, 0-5) 

Where: Memorial Stadium 

Series: North DeSoto 4-2

Last year: did not play 

Last week: North DeSoto beat Huntington 48-6; Bossier lost to Woodlawn 34-14 

Rankings: North DeSoto is 8th in the  LSWA Class 4A Top 10 poll 

LHSAA power rankings: North DeSoto is 2nd and Bossier is No. 39 in Non-Select Division II

Radio: none

Notables: Bossier may be headed for its first winless season since 2014 and for only the second since 1981 … Christian Johnson’s 9-yard touchdown run gave the Bearkats a 6-0 lead after the first quarter of Friday’s game with Woodlawn. The Knights would score the next 28 points to forge ahead 28-6 in the third quarter before Bossier got on the board again. Latravion Christor hit San’tavion Ball for 35 yards for the Bearkats … The Bossier defense is giving up almost 40 points a game while the offense averages 14.3.

BTW (1-7, 1-4) at Minden (2-6, 1-4) 

Where: W.W. Williams Stadium (“The Pit”) 

Series: Minden 6-2 

Last year: did not play 

Last week: BTW lost to Northwood 49-6; Minden lost to Evangel 48-21 

Rankings: none 

LHSAA power rankings: BTW is 32nd in Select Division II; Minden ranks 34th in Non-Select Division II 

Radio: Minden (KBEF 104.5 FM), 

Notables: The Lions will be looking to improve their ability to stay on the field against Minden. BTW converted only 1 of 11 third downs last week … The Lions had only 10 yards passing and had two turnovers … BTW will close the season next week at home against Evangel.

Minden coach Spencer Heard is in his 10th season as the Tide head coach and is second on the all-time win list at Minden … a win will give him 60 in his career, three behind leader Elton Kelley. 

Plain Dealing (0-8) at Beekman Charter (5-3) 

Where: Bastrop 

Series: First meeting 

Last year: did not play 

Last week: Plain Dealing lost to Glenbrook 48-16; Beekman beat Ringgold 50-0 

Rankings: none 

LHSAA power rankings: Plain Dealing is No. 41 in Non-Select Division IV 

Radio: none 

Notables: Beekman Charter of Bastrop is on a two-game win streak and has won four of its last five … The Lions are averaging 39 points a game through eight games … Plain Dealing’s top score output came in a heartbreaking 36-34 home loss in overtime to Ringgold … The Lions have put up 28 points in their two most recent games … The Lions are scheduled to close out the regular season and district play at home against Arcadia next Friday.