The Airline-Haughton matchup in the Bossier City Lions Club Jamboree Friday night was as interesting a pairing as fans could want for the final tune-up as regular season high school football looms.
Airline won District 1-5A last year in a big surprise, and topped Haughton in the regular season. But the Bucs shocked the Vikes in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
That made Friday’s 35-0 Airline victory all the more eye-opening. But with all due respect to Haughton, Vikings coach Justin Scogin wasn’t terribly surprised because his team’s been razor sharp in practice.
“We played like we’ve been practicing. We’ve put together a bunch of good practices, to the point where it was a little concerning,” he said. “I’m not going to say I was totally surprised with how we played. I was more surprised with the physicality of our defense.”
“On offense it was a group effort – timing, reads, blocking, everything interwove together and created a good, steady, consistent night. A different person scored every time – all three of our running backs, two different receivers,” Scogin said. “On the other side of the ball, I haven’t seen that level of physicality from our defense. They’re faster, they do everything right – read, cover, listen, work.
“On both sides of the ball, it was pretty fantastic.”
Touchdowns came from Kenny Darby, Jarvis Davis Jr., Brandon Cooper, Evan Wendrock and Tre’ Jackson.
Junior Ben Taylor was nearly perfect passing the ball, with only a couple incompletions, and tossed two TDs.
Airline has a prime-time matchup to open the regular season, playing host to North DeSoto next Friday night. Haughton is also home, hosting Red River.
BOSSIER 33, PLAIN DEALING 14: The Bearkats got a confidence-building start under new coach Gary Smith, although it came at the expense of Class A Plain Dealing. The Lions found their way into the end zone twice, an encouraging sign for the start of Clint Walker’s second season in charge.
The Bearkats open the season hosting North Caddo next Friday night. Plain Dealing makes a long trip to Delta Charter.
PARKWAY 16, BENTON 0: In the finale of the Bossier Jam, the Panthers blanked the explosive Tigers in a District 1-5A appetizer. Parkway coach Coy Brotherton was obviously pleased with his defense, which has eight returning starters, but saw plenty of room to improve, including better conditioning for his linemen. But he noted the oppressive heat has presented challenges in that area for all teams.
The Panthers’ defense was all he hoped it would be.
“With the eight starters back, we have a foundation on defense and I’m proud of the way they’re playing right now. In the first half, Benton didn’t get many positive yards. They did move it better afterwards, but Carter Wells got a big interception and we got the shutout,” said Brotheron.
The Panthers opened with a C.J. Dudley 1-yard plunge, then added a 37-yard Aeron Burrell field goal. The last TD came when on a fumbled punt snap, Parkway’s Grandon Young recovered the loose ball in the end zone.
Parkway opens the regular season going to Minden, while Benton is heading to play at Northwood next Friday.