Taylor’s progression evident as Vikings dominate Falcons

ANOTHER LEVEL:  Airline quarterback Ben Taylor, who now has 15 TD passes in three games, is expanding his skill set, says Vikings coach Justin Scogin. (Journal photo by GAVEN HAMMOND, landgphoto.com)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

The education of Airline quarterback Ben Taylor graduated to a Master level course Friday night at M.D. Ray Field as the junior quarterback led the Vikings to a dominating 48-14 over Northwood. 

The No. 1 team in the Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s Top 10 poll continued stacking up scores with an offense that’s been in gear since Taylor and his receivers began to synch up about this time last season. The Vikings (3-0) soared into a commanding lead by halftime.

At one point in that stretch, Airline head coach Justin Scogin called a play and as soon as he called it, realized it was not what he wanted. Taylor instinctively realized his mentor’s mistake and was able to get the Vikings into a good play.

“It’s always nice when the quarterback starts making you right,” Scogin said. “For the last year and three games, I’ve been trying to call plays to get him in good situations and make him feel comfortable. Tonight, there was a point where I called a play and thought, ‘this is a bad call.’ He waited. He was patient and threw it to the next guy.

“It’s a process because you work so hard with these guys to take the next step. I think that’s 15 touchdowns in three games, so I think it’s safe to say he has taken the next step.”

Taylor was perfect on his first 11 passes of the night. His first incomplete pass of the game came with 9:00 to go in the first half, and wasn’t a bad throw. Taylor rolled right looking for a wide receiver in the end zone. After not finding an open receiver, he threw the ball away.

On the next play, with the ball at the Northwood six, Taylor completed his fourth touchdown pass of the first half,  locating Tre’ Jackson.

Taylor’s first TD throw was to Bryson Broom from 17 yards out on a post route.

Northwood answered with an 11-play, 81-yard drive which ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Hutson Hearon to Tucker McCabe. 

There was some strange connection between Taylor and Broom. The pair combined for a touchdown on every odd numbered drive in the first half as Airline built an overwhelming 41-7 lead.

On the third series, Taylor found Broom all alone in the south end zone on a second and goal from the Northwood 13. 

Airline’s fifth drive of the night ended with a Taylor-Broom touchdown pass for 13 yards which capped a 15- play, 99-yard drive. 

Taylor finished the night with 20 completions on 23 attempts for 259 yards — including five touchdowns. 

“It’s the same thing,” Taylor said. “Last year, they came out and beat us. This year, we are more advanced with our offense. We know what we are doing. We are able to execute what we do on offense. The defense played a great game too.”

“We lost one of our good players and he is out, so we have to move some guys around, (playing) positions they aren’t comfortable with, and the kids step up,” Scogin said. “Jarvis Davis did a great job. Bryson Broom did a great job. Tre’ as always. Bob Patterson. Peyton Cooper. Evan Wendrock. They all did a great job.”

Airline’s only score in the second half came on a 29-yard pick six by corner Jeremiah Boudreaux. 

“I was just watching,” Boudreaux said. “I knew they were going to test us. They hadn’t really done too much over the course of the game. Our coach said be ready for anything. As soon as I saw he threw my way, I knew it.”

It was Airline’s second pick six. On the first play of the second quarter, Braylon Jackson swiped a Northwood pass and took it in 30 yards for a touchdown. 

Airline kicker Preston Doerner was good on six of seven extra points. 

The Vikings will host Benton in a District 1-5A opener next Thursday night, as Airline begins defense of its 2022 league title.

Northwood, 0-3, will visit Independence Stadium facing Huntington to begin District 1-4A play on Friday night.

Contact Jerry at sbjjerrybyrd@gmail.com