Raiders take shot at Griffins in 1-4A battle for first

NEARLY THERE:  Huntington running back Marcus Willis tries to break loose last week in a win over Woodlawn, when he had 117 yards rushing. (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS)


It’s a quote made famously used by Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, but has been used many times since, that sums up what all football teams should realize – “You are what your record says you are.”

In order words, you can claim that you should be (and would be) 6-0 if only for a few bad bounces, but in reality, you are 3-3. So that’s what/who you are. No matter what.

It’s about this time of year in which high school football coaches are coming to the reality of their teams are.

“Sure, we’d like to be 7-0,” Huntington coach Stephen Dennis said. “But we are 5-2. But I think we have benefitted from those losses and learned from that because we have found out who we are.”

The Raiders will find out a little more tonight at Independence Stadium when they take on No.-4 ranked North DeSoto. With a win, the Raiders would move into a first-place tie in District 1-4A.

A year ago was the first time the Raiders and Griffins had played in a number of years and the fast-paced tempo of North DeSoto was a bit of a shock to the system for Huntington.

“Their tempo forces you to execute quickly on defense, but you don’t have time to think about the call or what you want to show them,” Dennis said. “We didn’t play well last year and we have to own that. I feel like we have a better feel for what they are trying to do. Now we have to go out and execute.”

Huntington will come into the game on the heels of a 44-0 win over Woodlawn.

“I think we are playing better every week,” Dennis said. “And I think our performance last week was the best four-quarter performance of the year.”

Airline coach Justin Scogin also thinks he has an idea of how his team shapes up at this point of the season, but then again, the Vikings are about to face something they haven’t seen all year – Byrd’s wing-T offense.

“It’s not the offense,” Scogin said. “It’s how good they run the offense. They have a bunch of stuff they do well. They don’t try to hide who they are. They do an extraordinary job of running their offense.”

After getting to a 6-0 start, the Vikings had their hats handed to them by Captain Shreve, 60-35. But Airline came back last week with a 56-21 win over Haughton.

Scogin feels as though the Shreve loss was pivotal for more reasons than just the district standings.

“We just laid an egg,” Scogin said. “But the second part to that is whether you can you come back from it. Last week we did a good job of executing and getting back to what we do.”

Also in Bossier Parish, Haughton and Benton will face off at Tiger Stadium in a battle of 3-4 teams in District 1-5A.

In other 1-4A games, Woodlawn is headed to Memorial Stadium to play Bossier and Evangel will play host to Minden.

There’s a big game in District 1-2A as unbeaten teams No.10-ranked D’Arbonne Woods (6-0) meets No. 1-ranked Calvary. The Timberwolves feature a power running game and will go up against the wide-open offense of the Cavaliers. D’Arbonne Woods has allowed only 27 points in its last four games while Calvary has scored 128 points in its first two district games.

Also in the district, Loyola (2-4, 1-1) will be play its final home game of the year at Messmer Stadium against Lakeside (3-4, 0-2).

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NORTH DESOTO (6-1, 4-0) at HUNTINGTON (5-2, 3-1)  

Where: Independence Stadium  

Series: North DeSoto 7-2  

Last year: North DeSoto 48-6  

Last week: Huntington beat Woodlawn 44-0; North DeSoto beat Evangel 38-28  

Rankings: Huntington #9 in SBJ Top 10 poll, North DeSoto #4 in LSWA 4A poll  

LHSAA Power Ratings: Huntington #13 Select Div. I; North DeSoto #3 Non-Select Div. II  

Radio: none   

Notables: Huntington shut out Woodlawn for its first goose egg of the season and first time it blanked the Knights since 1998 … offensively the Raiders ran for 341 yards and averaged 11.4 yards per carry … Four different Raiders scored a rushing touchdown, while Marcus Willis’ 117 yards was the leader … Joemiah Robinson led the defense with eight tackles … Huntington’s defense forced four fumbles and recovered them all … Nehemiah Barrett had two tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and recovered one.   

BYRD (2-5, 2-2) at AIRLINE (6-1, 3-1)   

Where: M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium  

Series: Byrd 29-18  

Last year: Airline 48-28  

Last week: Airline beat Haughton 56-21; Byrd lost to Parkway 21-3    

Rankings: Airline is #3 in SBJ Top 10 poll, receiving votes in LSWA 5A poll; Byrd is #8 in SBJ poll  

LHSAA Power Ratings: Airline #4 in Non-Select Div. I; Byrd #15 Select Div. I  

Radio: Byrd (The Tiger, 1130 AM, 103.3 FM)  

Notables: Byrd failed to score a touchdown last week for the first time since the second week of the 2019 season … After scoring a season low 35 points two weeks ago against Captain Shreve, Airline scored 49 in the first half of a 56-21 win over Haughton … QB Ben Taylor had his third highest passing yardage total of 364 yards in the win over the Bucs … Tight end Bob Patterson scored four touchdowns – two rushing and two receiving … Jarvis Davis Jr. had a season high 203 yards on nine receptions and two touchdowns. It was his fourth game of more than 100 yards receiving. He now leads the area in catches with 52 and yards with 857. 

HAUGHTON (3-4, 1-3) at BENTON (3-4, 223)  

 Where: Newman-Mason Field at Tiger Stadium  

Series: Haughton 20-9  

Last year: Benton 78-71  

Last week: Benton beat Southwood 49-8; Haughton lost to Airline 56-21  

Rankings: Benton received votes in SBJ Top 10 poll; Haughton #9 in SBJ poll  

LHSAA Power Ratings: Benton #32 Non-Select Div. I; Haughton #38 Non-Select Div. I  

Radio: Benton (streamed on The Benton Tigers Sports Network)  

Notables: Haughton senior running back Chris Mayes led the rushing game with 96 yards on 10 carries in the loss to Airline … Quarterback Christian Turner passed for 94 yards and two scores and ran for 67 yards. Freshman backup QB Taylor Weathersby ran for a second-half touchdown … The Bucs lead the series but have lost the last two after winning eight straight and 10 of 11 … Benton freshman quarterback Malachi Zeigler got his first=ever start last week and accounted for four touchdowns …. RB Greg Manning’s three touchdowns gives him 15 on the ground to take over the area lead … Cole Austin leads the defense with 77 tackles, nine for a loss … Miller Malley is next with 65 total stops.