By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Parkway defensive coordinator Dillon Jackson joked it was time to take a sabbatical. With his Panthers set to finish out the season with potent District 1-5A foes Airline and Benton, it’s a good time to tend to his wife, Kathryn, and newborn child, Luke.
Airline scored 73 points against Benton in Week 4 and has averaged 53.2 in its past five games, while Benton snuck past Haughton, 78-71, last week and has scored at least 52 points in six straight games (61.7 average).
“It’s crazy,” Jackson told The Journal ahead of tonight’s matchup between Parkway (7-1) and Airline (5-3) at M.D. Ray Field. “This year has featured the most explosive group of offenses we’ve seen locally.”
All jokes aside, Parkway head coach Coy Brotheron says Jackson has been the calmest coach on campus as the storms approach.
How is that possible? For starters, it’s Week 9. Parkway has 5A talent, too.
“You have to trust your players,” Jackson said. “(Airline) has a great player at every position, but if you try to overcompensate, that’s where they get you. You pay too much attention to one guy and let the other guys get loose.”
The Vikings’ running back-receiving combination of Tre’ Jackson and Daxton Chavez has posted 31 touchdowns (10 rushing, 21 receiving). The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Chavez has 16 receiving scores, helped by speed that earned him an All-State track honor last spring.
“You have to stay balanced in what you’re doing defensively and try to limit explosive plays,” Jackson said.
Parkway boasts cornerback Carmaro Mayo, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound sophomore who has already received offers from Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Nebraska and Grambling.
“We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want Mayo on Chavez as much as possible,” Brotherton said, “but it’s also going to depend on the situation.”
While the Airline offense has opened eyes across the state due to gaudy numbers, Brotherton says the tempo at which the Vikings play can get overlooked.
Through eight games, Airline’s offense averages more than 60 plays per game (not counting punts or field-goal attempts). If you just count the past handful of games, the number is closer to 70. Parkway’s offense averages 42 plays a game this season.
“The fun level is through the roof,” Airline head coach Justin Scogin said. “We’re throwing it around, running it, kind of doing everything. However, it was fun when we were struggling, too — the kids kept their spirits up. Now, it’s just made the good times even better.”
The offensive standouts won’t all dress in Vikings’ blue and white Thursday. Parkway’s numbers may not be as eye-popping as Airline’s, but Panthers running back Jaylan White recently became the 10th player in the history of Bossier Parish to surpass 3,000 rushing yards in a career. He also has more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage.
“I don’t think you contain a guy like that,” Scogin said. “You do your best to keep his numbers reasonable. He’s going to get his yards, but we have to make sure other people don’t hurt us – make tackles and plays when given the opportunity.”
A victory for Airline would be its sixth straight after an 0-3 start and would all-but guarantee an outright 1-5A championship (the Vikings host Southwood to close the regular season). Meanwhile, a Panthers victory will give them a shot to claim a share of the league title in Week 10.
“We’ve challenged the kids,” Brotherton said. “They’d love to be the team to stop the Vikings. They’re on top and that’s where we want to be.”
Contact Roy at email@example.com or via twitter @Roylangiii
Parkway (7-1, 4-1) at Airline (5-3, 5-0)
Where: M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium
Series: Airline 22-17
Last year: Parkway 34-17
Last week: Parkway beat Natchitoches Central 37-22; Airline beat Byrd 48-28
Rankings: Parkway is No. 3 in the Shreveport-Bossier Journal Top10 poll; Airline ranks 1st in the SBJ poll
LHSAA power rankings: Parkway is 13th and Airline is No. 8 in Non-Select Division I
Notables: The Panthers have won eight of the past 10 games against the Vikings. Airline’s lone victories came in 2019 and 2012. Last year, Parkway doubled up the Vikings, 34-17 … Vikings head coach Justin Scogin served as Parkway’s offensive coordinator under then-head coach David Feaster from 2012-2016 … Panthers running back Jaylan White leads Caddo-Bossier with 1,105 rushing yards.
Since losing its three non-district games to open the season, Airline has scored 75, 46, 42, 55, and 48 points in five straight District 1-5A games, all wins … The Vikings’ smallest margin of victory in that span was 13 points in their 55-42 back-and-forth battle with Haughton … Among SBJ statistical leaders, junior RB Tre Jackson is ninth in rushing yardage (83-512-10) … Sophomore QB Ben Taylor ranks second in passing yards (164-269-9, 2229, 29 TDs) … In receptions, Daxton Chavez is third (46-946-16), Cam Jefferson is sixth (38-443-4), and Bob Patterson is 19th (21-283-3) … Airline is scheduled to close its regular season at home against Southwood next Friday.
Captain Shreve (4-4, 1-4) at Benton (5-3, 4-1)
Where: Mason-Newman Field at Tiger Stadium
Series: Captain Shreve 3-0
Last year: Captain Shreve 48-35
Last week: Captain Shreve beat Southwood 29-26; Benton beat Haughton 78-71
Rankings: Benton is 2nd in the Journal Top 10 poll
LHSAA power rankings: Shreve is No. 16 in Select Division I; Benton stands 15th in Non-Select Division I
Radio: Captain Shreve (KLKL.fm; 95.7 FM); Benton (The Light 92.1 FM, http://www.184.108.40.206:8192/ksyr)
Notables: The Gators are coming off their first district win (Southwood 29-26), which snapped a four-game losing streak … Tonight, Kenyon Terrell will try to pick up where he left off. After missing the Natchitoches Central game two weeks ago with an injury, the senior QB ran for 191 yards and three TD’s last week – and 149 of those yards came in the second half … Shreve is #16 in the state power ratings. They are on the bubble for a first-round home playoff game. The top 24 teams make the playoffs.
As the Tigers eye their first victory against Captain Shreve, they may be the only program in the state to boast a 1,000-yard rusher (Greg Manning, 1,074 yards, 22 TDs) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Pearce Russell, 1,115 yards, 14 TDs) … In the three previous seasons, Benton has lost to Shreve by scores of 48-35 (2021), 24-21 (2020) and 58-14 (2019) … The CEO of the offense, quarterback Gray Walters, has 2,109 passing yards and 24 touchdowns.
Lakeside (4-4, 0-3) at Calvary (6-2, 3-0)
Where: Jerry Barker Stadium
Series: Calvary 2-0
Last year: did not play
Last week: Lakeside lost to Loyola 41-14; Calvary beat D’Arbonne Woods 56-7
Rankings: Calvary is No. 5 in the LSWA Class 2A Top 10, and also 5th in the Journal Top 10 poll
LHSAA power rankings: Lakeside is No. 29 in Non-Select Division III; Calvary ranks 5th in Select Division V
Radio: Calvary (Promise 90.7 FM)
Notables: The Cavaliers have scored more than 50 points in five straight games … Dating back to 2007, Calvary has won 10 straight games against Lakeside. The Cavaliers have scored at least 41 points in all 10 games. In those matchups, the defense has posted three shutouts and allowed less than 10 points on four other occasions … running back James Simon (680 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns this season) picked up an offer from the University of Arizona this week.