Byrd likes how it stands after lopsided win

FOURTH SCORE:  Sophomore Desmond Simmons didn’t start for Byrd Friday night, but he finished in the end zone four times on eight carries, including this 64-yarder in a dominant win over Southwood. (Photo by APRIL JOHNSON, Journal Sports)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

When C.E. Byrd head coach Stacy Ballew gathered his Yellow Jackets Friday night at Independence Stadium after a 58-0 thrashing of the Southwood Cowboys, he didn’t talk much about what had transpired over the previous two hours.

He did talk about where the Jackets are, and where they are headed.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Ballew said to his team. “We are 6-3 with a chance to be 7-3. We play Natchitoches Central next week, and I don’t need to remind you about what happened last year. We need a great week of practice this week.” 

Since taking over as Byrd’s starting quarterback Week 1 of his sophomore season, senior Lake Lambert has only lost three District 1-5A games. Two of those have come this season. The first was Byrd’s 23-10 homecoming loss to the Natchitoches Central Chiefs a year ago. 

“Yeah, motivation is not going to be a problem this week,” Lambert said, after rushing for 88 yards on six carries – all in the first half — against Southwood. 

Sixty of Lambert’s yards came on Byrd’s second possession of the night. For good measure, Lambert added a four-yard touchdown run with one minute left in the half to give the Yellow Jackets a 37-0 halftime advantage.

Sandwiched between Lambert’s touchdown runs, the Yellow Jackets found ways to score on offense, defense, and special teams. 

Dixon Poirier had an 8-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Fellow fullback Desmond Simmons added a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter. The Byrd defense recorded a safety by taking advantage of an errant Southwood snap. And senior defensive back Christian Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards for a score. 

Byrd’s junior kicker Abram Murray had a busy night, connecting on all eight point after attempts. 

In the second half, it was the Desmond Simmons Show for the Jackets as the sophomore added three more touchdown runs (1, 7 and 64 yards). Simmons ended the night with a game-high 106 yards on eight carries – half for TDs.

“It was really just the team coming together,” Simmons said. “We’ve been working hard at practice, really. I’m just thankful for my teammates, and I’m thankful for God, too.”

Of course, he couldn’t have done it without the offensive line opening holes for him.

“I love them,” Simmons said. “They are awesome. Every night!”

Byrd senior offensive guard Kyle Sprague was just one of the Jackets opening up holes for Lambert and Simmons. 

“It was a good game,” Sprague said. “We went out there and fought hard. We hit them in the mouth every single play and tried to get as many yards as we could, and in the end we came out on top.”

Simmons wasn’t the only non-starter to stand out for the Jackets Friday night. Senior Hunter Thrasher had two interceptions, including one late in the fourth quarter which preserved the shutout. He also caused a fumble recovered by teammate James Logan. 

Southwood, 0-9, will travel to Airline next Friday night with the Vikings trying to secure an outright district crown. The Jackets will head south on I-49, looking to avenge last year’s homecoming loss to the Chiefs.

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C.E. Byrd 58, Southwood 0 

Score by quarters

Byrd | 14 | 23 | 14 | 7 | – 58

Southwood | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | – 0

Scoring summary

B – Lake Lambert 60 run (Abram Murray kick) 

B – Dixon Poirier 8 run (Murray kick) 

B – Desmond Simmons 3 run (Murray kick) 

B – Safety

B – Christian Jones 61 kickoff return (Murray kick)

B – Lambert 14 run (Murray kick)

B – Simmons 1 run (Murray kick)

B – Simmons 7 run (Murray kick)

B – Simmons 64 run (Murray kick)

Individual Leaders 


Byrd (39-378) – D. Simmons 8-106, Lambert 6-88, Poirier 5- 67, Devon Strickland 6-54. 

Southwood (21-6) – D. Williams 10- 34, C. Ross-Hall 1-4, C. Walters 4-(-5), C. Martin 4-(-8).


Byrd – Lambert 1-1-0, 15 yards. 

Southwood – C. Martin 7-14-1, 65 yards, C. Walters 1-7-1, 10yards. 


Byrd – Jackson Dufrene 1-15.

Southwood – Detonion Arkansas 3-18, D. Williams 2-30, J. Cawthorn 2-13, C. Ross-Hall 1-14.