By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
Benton expects its non-district football slate of games to get the Tigers ready for a tough District 1-5A and hopes this year’s slate will help lead them to a perfect 7-0 run through this year’s district games after posting a school-best 6-1 since joining 1-5A in 2019.
The Tigers’ three non-district opponents all made the playoffs last year as did six of the eight teams in 1-5A.
Northwood, the District 1-4A runner-up, is the season opener for the third consecutive year and Benton won both of those and six of the last seven. Benton has won seven of its last nine season openers.
Then the Tigers will make a trip to Texarkana, Texas, to face Texas High for the second time. TH defeated Benton 46-35 last year at Benton and finished its season 8-3. It has had one losing season since 1997.
Newman will make the trip north from New Orleans in week three. This year’s game won’t have the buildup of last year after the graduation of each team’s star quarterback. The Greenies were eliminated in the quarterfinals last year and were 8-3.
District games fill out the rest of the schedule and the first one is at rival Airline. Last year’s game decided the league championship won by the Vikings.
Benton will travel across the river to play Byrd in the mid-season game of the regular season. Last year the Tigers got their first win over the Jackets in four meetings.
Three straight home games follow with Natchitoches Central, Southwood and Haughton all making the trek to Tiger Stadium. A journey back across the river to play Captain Shreve in week nine precedes the regular season finale against Parkway at home.
Benton 2023 football schedule
Sep. 1 at Northwood
Sep. 8 at Texas High
Sep. 14 Newman
Sep. 22 at Airline
Sep. 28 at Byrd
Oct. 6 Natchitoches Central
Oct. 12 Southwood
Oct. 20 Haughton
Oct. 26 at Captain Shreve
Nov. 3 Parkway