Two winless Bossier Parish football teams made their coaches proud with valiant efforts Thursday night while facing overwhelming odds.
Bossier’s Bearkats had the toughest assignment. Although they played at home, they squared off against one of the state’s most powerful offenses and one of only a few remaining unbeaten teams, the North DeSoto Griffins.
NORTH DESOTO 56, BOSSIER 16: The Bearkats gave the Griffins some early problems with a new defensive scheme and outstanding effort but visiting North DeSoto took command at Memorial Stadium. Despite the final score, the Griffins walked away with a healthy amount of respect for their opponents.
“They played hard for four quarters, and that’s been the story all year for them. They’ve faced difficult odds, but all year they’ve continued to compete and play really hard,” said North DeSoto coach Dennis Dunn.
“I’m so proud of our guys to fight the way that they did, with the (low) numbers we had,” said Bossier’s second-year coach, Plain Dealing native and former Grambling Tiger All-American cornerback DeAumante Johnson. “We hung in there for a little minute. I am really excited about how hard our kids fought.”
San’tavion Ball and Christian Johnson scored for the Bearkats. Ball, a talented junior receiver who is back in the late stages of the season after a fractured elbow at the outset, hauled in a 40-yard TD pass from Latravio Christor. The touchdown run by Johnson, a senior, covered 15 yards.
“I really believe Christian is the best football player in this area,” said his coach. “He’s a great linebacker, defensive lineman and running back for us, all over the field. He played extremely well.”
Another standout performance for Bossier came from Derrick Haynes, a collision-minded defensive end.
The state’s No. 8-ranked 4A team (second in LHSAA power points in Non-Select Division II), North DeSoto (9-0, 6-0 in District 1-4A) didn’t roar out of the gates.
“They showed us a defensive look early on that we had not seen them use, and it took us a couple series to get a fix on it,” said Dunn. “Our kids responded really well once they settled in to how to handle that.”
“We played extremely well defensively,” said Dunn, whose team opened a 44-0 halftime lead. “Our ones took care of business and gave us another stellar effort tonight.”
Freshman quarterback Luke Delafield threw four touchdown passes and piled up 270 yards in the first half for North DeSoto, which used backups as there was a running clock in the final two quarters.
The Bearkats (0-9, 0-5) wrap up their season on the road next Friday at Huntington.
“A lot of lessons learned. I don’t believe in losses,” said Johnson. “We’re learning a lot of stuff. We’re such a young ballclub. There’s no frustration from the players or the coaches. We all understand we’re in a program-building phase.
“I’ll tell you something: all these (other) guys better enjoy their wins, because my team is mostly freshmen and sophomores, a few juniors and two seniors. We’re going to be scary to deal with in the next three years. There will be some great football players coming through Bossier High School. You can write that down, because it’s coming true.”
BEEKMAN CHARTER 46, PLAIN DEALING 12: The Lions are woefully short on numbers with not many more than 11 able-bodied players on the squad. But they are remarkably strong in tenacity and teamwork, never more than Thursday night in Bastrop.
Plain Dealing’s leading running back, Tyrese Kimble, left the game with an ankle injury and will miss the final game of the regular season Friday against Arcadia.
“Hardest our players have fought all season,” Plain Dealing coach Clint Walker said. “Never came close to giving in. So proud of them.”
Plain Dealing is 0-9. Winning for the fifth time in six games, Beekman Charter rose to 6-3 after the non-district contest.