Benton opens at home, Shreve, Parkway travel

BENTON’S BEST BACK:  Greg Manning (3) has been the feature back for the Tigers and has piled up touchdowns and yardage in Benton’s versatile, high-scoring offense. (File photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)


The first Friday night of the LHSAA football playoffs is a busy one for District 1-5A. While district champ Airline tangles with 1-5A foe Haughton, three other league teams take the field. 

Non-Select Division I

25-Ponchatoula (5-5) at 8-Benton (7-3)  

Where: Mason-Newman Field at Tiger Stadium 

Series: First meeting 

Last week: Ponchatoula beat Hammond 28-18; Benton beat Parkway 28-24 

Rankings: Benton is No. 2 in Shreveport-Bossier Journal Top 10 poll 

Radio: Benton (The Light 92.1 FM, 

Notables: The Tigers earned the No. 8 seed in Non-Select Division I with an impressive six-game win streak to close the regular season … Benton won a first-round home playoff game last season, 38-31 vs. Hahnville … This year, they draw reigning state runner-up, No. 25 Ponchatoula. The Green Wave fell to Zachary, 28-20, in the 2021 Class 5A state title game … The Benton-Ponchatoula winner advances to play in the second round against the winner of No. 9 Denham Springs-No. 24 Covington … QB Gray Walters finished the regular season as the seventh leading passer in the state with 2,375 yards and his top target Pearce Russell was second in receiving yards with 1,328 and first in receptions with 78. 

19-Parkway (7-3) at 14-Dutchtown (6-3) 

Where: Geismer 

Series: First meeting 

Last week: Parkway lost to Benton 28-24; Dutchtown beat East Ascension 30-27 

Rankings: Parkway is No. 4 in SBJ poll 

Radio: none 

Notables: The No. 19-seeded Panthers lost three of their last four regular-season games … Parkway won its first two playoff games last year (at Alexandria, home vs. Captain Shreve) as the 18th seed … No. 14 Dutchtown posted three consecutive shutouts (Walker, Live Oak, St. Amant) in Weeks 6-8 this season … Dutchtown’s last playoff win came in 2020 vs. Terrebonne … Tonight’s winner advances to the second round to play No. 3 seed Destrehan (bye). 

Select Division I 

17-Captain Shreve (5-5) at 16-Tioga (7-3) 

Where: Ball 

Series: first meeting 

Last week: Captain Shreve beat Haughton 42-7; Tioga beat Grant 58-14 

Rankings: Captain Shreve is 7th in SBJ poll 

Radio: CS (KLKL 95.7 FM, 

Notables: After losing four straight, the Gators have won two of their last three games (which includes a one-point loss) going into the first round of the playoffs. “I think the good thing about our guys is that we never lost hope in the locker room,” said Shreve coach Adam Kirby. “We never worried about outside opinions or the perception. We just went to work every day and tried to do everything we could to win a football game. Because of this, we were able to weather the storms that this season brought and gain a playoff spot. This group is special and I’m excited to see what we do moving forward” … Despite playing a team it doesn’t know much about, Shreve’s preparation for Tioga is not much different than for a regular-season opponent. “You get the film, you watch what they do, try to find some common opponents and/or themes, and prepare your kids the best you can,” Kirby said. “If you’re going to make a playoff run, then you’re going to have to play some teams that you’re unfamiliar with and you can’t let that affect how you prepare” … A win would set up a second-round road game with top-seeded Warren Easton of New Orleans. “Our communication along the offensive line has to be great,” Kirby said, of what his team needs to do to beat Tioga. “They give you a lot of different defensive looks and send pressure from different spots so we have to be ready for that. (Quarterback) Kenyon Terrell needs to see his pre-snap reads quick and realize what he needs to do with the football before it is snapped. Defensively, we need to maintain our same energy we’ve been playing with the last 2-3 weeks and keep the confidence they’ve displayed. I think last week’s game vs. Haughton did a lot to help us heading into the playoffs confidence- wise.”