Calvary’s lines, defense to be tested in quarters at Dunham

LOOKING FOR SPACE:  Calvary’s talented skill position players will be relying on the Cavaliers’ offensive line to neutralize Dunham’s impressive defensive front in the state quarterfinals tonight in Baton Rouge. (File photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Calvary head coach Rodney Guin schedules Class 5A schools such as Byrd and Captain Shreve for a reason – to give his Cavaliers an idea of the competition when it’s time for the playoffs.

The Cavaliers have reeled off eight straight victories, but Guin says Friday’s Select Division III quarterfinal playoff matchup will provide the biggest test, especially up front, his team has seen since Week 2.

“They’re a lot like us – they haven’t played a lot of tough games since early in the year. Their defensive line is as good as we’ve played all year –- very comparable to Shreve in terms of the defensive line. The best we’ve played up front other than Shreve. It’s going to be a challenge.”

Calvary has scored at least 50 points in seven of its past eight games (beat Loyola 45-0 in regular-season finale).

On paper, Dunham and Calvary appear to be mirror images. Dunham has won 10 straight games since its season-opening loss to Parkview Baptist and has scored at least 40 points in every game since Week 6. That run began with a 72-14 victory against Northeast.

Dunham’s offense runs through quarterback Jackson House, who has compiled more than 1,000 passing yards and close to 800 rushing yards. The son of LSU defensive coordinator Matt House, he led his team in Kansas to a state title last year.

“We have to control (House),” Guin said. “He’s their key guy. He can throw and he can run. They spread out and try to create space for him to run.”

The Tigers had a bye in the opening round of the playoffs and then defeated M.L. King Charter, 56-21, last week.

If you’re going to clip the Cavaliers, the quarterfinal round is the place. Calvary had five consecutive losses in the quarterfinals from 2015-19. The Cavaliers won the Division IV state crown in 2020 and were bumped by Ouachita Christian in last year’s semifinals.

Contact Roy at

Division III – Select Quarterfinals

5-Calvary (9-2) at 4-Dunham (10-1) 

Where: Dunham School Stadium, Baton Rouge 

Series: Calvary 3-0 

Last week: Calvary beat Northlake Christian 52-0; Dunham beat M.L. King Charter 56-21 

Rankings: Calvary No. 5, Dunham No. 2 in LSWA 2A poll 

All-time playoff record: Calvary 34-14; Dunham 19-23 

Last semifinal appearance: Calvary 2021; Dunham 2019 

Radio: Calvary – The Promise 90.7 FM, 

Notables: Calvary quarterback Abram Wardell has completed 80 percent of his passes this season (128 of 160 attempts) for 31 touchdowns and three interceptions … running back James Simon has 20 rushing touchdowns … Dunham DL/TE Jake Rizzo is a National Merit Scholar being recruited by Ivy League schools. RB/S Colin Boldt committed to SLU … Dunham head coach Neil Weiner is son of legendary Catholic coach Dale Weiner, who retired with over 300 wins.

Today’s Big South Shootout features two of the nation’s best high school girls

WILLIAMS DUO: Parkway star Mikaylah Williams (left) and Lady Panthers’ coach Gloria Williams will welcome the Sierra Canyon Lady Trailblazers to Shreveport for today’s Big South Shootout. (Photo by HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports)

Local sports fans have the opportunity to watch two of the best girls’ high school basketball players in the country this afternoon at Centenary’s Gold Dome.

“Talk about an honor for northern Louisiana,” Parkway head coach Gloria Williams says of the Big South Shootout: One Night Only, Vol. One event that pits the Lady Panthers against the Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) Trailblazers, No. 2 in the nation in the SBLive Power preseason rankings.

The 4 o’clock matchup will give area fans a rare opportunity to see two of the top-rated girls in the U.S. go head-to-head when Parkway’s Mikaylah Williams and Sierra Canyon’s Judea “Juju” Watkins take the court for the early-season matchup.

Williams, considered the consensus No. 1 women’s basketball recruit in the Class of 2023, has signed to play for LSU. After leading the Lady Panthers to the 2022 Class 5A state championship game, she was named Miss Basketball by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year and one of five finalists for the Naismith National High School Girls Players of the Year while boasting a 4.0 GPA.

Williams — who averaged 22.8 points, 8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals as a junior at Parkway last season — won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2022 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup, where she was also named MVP. In addition, Williams was named one of 12 players on the 2022 USA Basketball Women’s U17 National Team, which took home a gold medal after competing in the FIBA U17 World Cup in Hungary over the summer.

Watkins — who recently signed with USC over finalists South Carolina and Stanford — is a two-time gold medalist with USA Basketball and the state’s reigning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She averaged 24.8 points and 10.3 rebounds to lead the Trailblazers to a 30-2 record and the California state championship.

“She’s a generational talent,” Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Kamaki told ESPN. “I don’t think we’re going to see somebody else like her.”

Both Williams and Watkins have been named to the 2022-23 Preseason MaxPreps All-America Girls’ Basketball team – along with Breya Cunningham of La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day, Milaysia Fulwiley of Keenan (Columbia, SC), and Jadyn Donovan of Sidwell Friends (Washington, DC). Cunningham has signed with Arizona, Fulwiley with South Carolina, and Donavan with Duke.

The Lady Panthers — who bring a 3-2 record into today’s game — are coming off a road trip to Arkansas this week that included a 78-68 loss to Conway (Ark.), ranked No. 11 in the nation by SBLive. The Trailblazers are 2-0.

Today’s game is the first in a five-city stop by the Big Hoops Shootout organization, which matches top high school teams from around the nation. Other games will take place in Fayetteville (N.C.), Tyrone (Ga.), Glean Head (N.Y.), and Cayce (S.C.).

“I received a phone call (from Big Hoops Shootout) after the season ended,” Parkway coach Gloria Williams says when asked how today’s event came about. “We talked back and forth and, once we found a common date, it was finalized in July.”

Going up against top-notch competition early in the season is part of the Parkway coaching staff’s plan to prepare the Lady Panthers for a run at a state title.

“In order to be the best, you’ve got to play the best,” says Williams.

The Lady Panthers return four of their five starters from last season’s state runner-up team but will be without sophomore Savannah Wilson, who has been lost for the season with an ACL tear. In addition to Williams, Parkway will have junior Chloe Larry (who had a game-high 34 points in the 2022 state championship game) and Ty’lissa Henderson, who has recently returned after an injury.

General admission tickets for today’s game are $20 and can be purchased at Children 5-and-under will be admitted free. 

Contact Harriet at

Quarterfinal Preview: C.E. Byrd at John Curtis

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

I am very excited to see the outcome of tonight’s matchup between Byrd and John Curtis in a collision of two tradition-rich programs.

This is an evenly-matched game with talent, depth and experience about the same for both clubs.  I have to give the edge to Byrd because of the Yellow Jackets’ four-year starting QB, Lake Lambert, who has state title game experience, and many playoff games under his belt.

Both teams run the ball 95 percent of the time. This game might not last much longer than a couple hours. The only advantage I see John Curtis has is the playoff site – they have won a lot of games, and championships, at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie. I also have to say it’s hard to discount the great coach of the Patriots, J.T. Curtis, who next season will become the winningest prep football coach ever in the USA. But Stacey Ballew and the Byrd staff are not outfoxed, either.

I have seen both teams play in 2022. Let’s go over how close these two programs are in talent and depth.

The QB spot is a strength for Byrd with Lambert. He could be the difference in this game with his feet and if he throws the ball he’s pretty efficient.  John Curtis has a new starter at QB  in senior Jordan Smith, who does a good job running the offense but he is not really strong in the passing game. You might also see at Dagan Bruno play some for the Patriots.

In the trenches, usually John Curtis has the edge here, but not this year. The Pats  are smaller than usual and where they are big, they are young. Curtis is led on the offensive and defensive lines by Zachary Drake (6-3, 190), DE/OLB John David Morter (6-0, 245), DT Logan Barnes (5-10, 270), OL Richard Newby (6-0, 255), Andrew Martinez (6-3, 275), OL/TE Bryce Godfrey (6-3, 270), and Joshua Teague (6-2, 245). Most are seniors with good size but they’re not deep as a team in the trenches.

Byrd will counter up front with All District OLB/DE Isaiah Ford (6-4, 210) and DE/OLB Wyatt Watkins (6-3, 210), two guys who could be a problem for Curtis to block. The Yellow Jackets also have a veteran offensive line led by Jackson Rust (6-4, 205), Kailen Moore (6-4, 230), Noah Slaughter (5-11, 240), and veteran DT Brennan Belanger (5-10, 230). I give the edge to Byrd in the trenches.

In the ball-handling spots, I think it’s almost even. Byrd has a great WR in senior  Jackson Dufrene (6-4, 185), a deep group of RB’s in Josh Allen (5-9,180), Devon Strickland (5-10, 198), and all-purpose player Tyler Nichols (5-7, 180). John Curtis will bring about the same amount of talent to the field in RB Marlon Prout (5-8, 170), RB Jason Gabriel (5-10, 185), WR Tyler Mitchell and RB Liam Cohen.

Both teams have big-time leaders on defense. For the Yellow Jackets, it’s four-year starting LB Brooks Brossette, who plays much bigger than 6-0, 200 and is almost like a coach on the field. Other Byrd defensive standouts are CB Lamichael Taylor (5-9, 165), and Christian Jones (6-0, 180).

John Curtis has a bell cow in OLB Justin Horne (6-2, 220), a well-regarded senior prospect. Other Patriots to watch are DE Austin Ackel (6-3, 220), and SS Blake Wibel (5-10, 175), who is a big-time hitter.

In special teams, it’s even, which for Byrd fans is hard to swallow. The Jackets have one of the best kickers in the United States in Abram Murray (6-0, 205), with range to 60 yards and extreme accuracy. The Patriots boast All American long snapper Jason Dudenhoeffer (5-10, 165), and punter Josh Eames (6-0,185) will punt for some FCS program next year.

I am picking Byrd to advance in a contest that will go down to the wire, a “who has the ball last” type of game. It won’t be high scoring because both teams run a lot and the clock will not stop much. The Jackets and Patriots will be limited to how many times they get the ball in a clean game.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving, and if you’re headed south, try some oyster dressing while down in the Crescent City. 

HOLIDAY REMINDER: You still can go to our website,, if you’re a parent or fan and order your 2022 Football Preview Magazine, either the North or South issue, or both. It will be interesting to read preseason outlooks and compare them to the playoff realities. Our magazine covers all the high schools and colleges in Louisiana. 

Contact Lee at

Northwood’s Welch is never ‘down’ on the farm or the football field

GIDDYE UP:  Northwood quarterback Mason Welch has thrown some beauties this fall for the Falcons, when he’s not helping with the family farm. (File photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports)


There are times when Northwood quarterback Mason Welch just wants to be outdoors and doing what he loves. Video games or texting is fine for everybody else.

When you are 18 years old, the pressures of the teenaged world can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Finding peace often isn’t the easiest thing to do.

He knows what he needs and where to find it.

“One of the most comforting things is coming in after practice and my dad telling me to put out three bales of hay in that field and two in this pasture,” Welch says. “A lot of people can’t believe I do that. But there’s nothing more comforting than the outdoors. You’re doing something that you realize your parents worked really hard to get and you are appreciating that you are doing things for them. I love those moments. That’s who my parents raised me to be.”

The hay better be in the barn later this week because Welch won’t be around much. He and the Falcons (9-2) will be in New Orleans Friday night to take on Brother Martin (7-5) in the Select-Division I state quarterfinals. Northwood, the No. 5 seed, will meet the 13th-seeded Crusaders at 6 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Welch lives on a cattle farm with about 100 acres and another 150 acres leased nearby. There’s also about 500 acres in Beauregard Parish that his family works every other week or so.

Everything you might think he would need to do on a cattle farm, Welch does. He’s even branded a few bovines. In the least shocking news you’ll ever hear, he has spent time showing pigs and was in the 4-H club from fourth grade up to high school.

“Raising animals is difficult,” he says. “Getting them to where they listen to you and you listen to them is something you learn to appreciate. That respect for each other is a difficult process.”

If you don’t believe Welch is a country boy, consider this: He could drive a John Deere tractor before he could ride a bicycle.

“And that’s not an exaggeration,” he says.

There are other things about Welch that aren’t an exaggeration.

“Mason truly is 100 percent all in,” Northwood coach Austin Brown says. “This is his true passion. The consistency and accountability of who he is isn’t normal for a kid his age. To have that for your high school quarterback and everybody look up to, it sets the bar for everybody else to live up to.”

Welch says he hasn’t missed a Northwood football game since he was in the fourth grade. When he was in junior high, he dreamed of being the Falcons’ quarterback.

“I remember thinking about how one day I wanted to be the quarterback at Northwood and the guy who is leading them to the district championship and playoffs,” he says. “It’s been everything I’ve thought it was going to be. It just means the world to me that I’m getting to experience this.”

Northwood also experienced this – a quarterfinal appearance – a year ago and Welch believes it was the 34-32 loss to Westgate that was the springboard to this year’s success.

“What was instilled in us during the offseason was that every day matters,” Welch says. “Everything you do every day matters. It might not seem important to come to a workout during Christmas break. But everything we do and have done is with an intent and a purpose. All that work we’ve put it since that Monday after losing to Westgate last year is paying off.”

Welch, who is the school’s No. 2 career passing leader, threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns in the game in which Northwood battled back from 28-7 only to fall on a failed two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

“Being part of a district championship and being this far (in the playoffs) isn’t easy, and I think that’s why this team is so tight,” Welch says. “That’s my favorite part of high school football – the team aspect. We’ve all been through it together. It’s something special. Honestly, I think this team has something in them to push farther than any Northwood team ever has.”

Contact JJ at

Quarterfinal Preview: Calvary Baptist at Dunham School

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

It’s been an exciting ride to watch the 2022 LHSAA football playoffs and now we enjoy the cream of the crop lining up against each other in the quarterfinal round.

That’s certainly true as we break down the Division III Select matchup sending Calvary Baptist into Baton Rouge Friday night to the Dunham School Stadium for a clash with the 10-1 Tigers.

The best two teams left in this division are playing in this game. Yes, I did say that. Neither is seeded No. 1, but I think No. 5 Calvary (9-2) and fourth-seeded Dunham  School (10-1) are the two best teams and it’s a shame one will have to lose this week.

I saw Dunham play twice this fall. I have seen Calvary last year and once this year. Both teams are very well-coached, and can score a lot of points. They have the defensive players down scoring.

Newman QB Arch Manning deservedly gets all the national attention as a sure-fire college prospect. But you will not find two better high school quarterbacks for their programs in the state than Calvary’s first-year starter Abram Wardell and another newcomer, Jackson House from Dunham.

House is the son of Matt House, LSU’s first-year defensive coordinator and will be the focus for Calvary’s very strong defense. He reminds me of a smaller version of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow when the future Florida Gators great was playing high school ball.

He’s only 5-11, 196 to 200 pounds, but if you don’t contain him look out. House can house it. He runs better than most RB’s in the state and he doesn’t go down very easy – House is very tough to tackle in the open field.

Calvary will surely need a spy at LB to stop this kid from picking up third downs on key drives. House makes a living doing that with big plays.

The Cavaliers will also need to avoid Dunham dominating the Calvary offensive line. One of the best defensive fronts in all of Louisiana I’ve seen in 2022 is at Dunham. The Tigers are led by DE Jake Rizzo (6-4, 245), DE Laramie Guidry (6-6, 225), DT/DE Malachi Jackson (6-2, 245), and DT Braden Augustus (6-1, 290). This is a very athletic group, not just big kids. Even considering their matchups against Byrd and Captain Shreve, this will be the best defensive line Calvary Baptist will have seen all year.

What’s the answer? The Cavs will counter with one of the best skill groups in Louisiana. This will be the best Dunham has seen, steered by Wardell, who has thrown for 1,858 yards, with 27 passing TDS while completing an amazing 110 of 137 attempts. Coach Rodney Guin has an arsenal with RB James Simon, WR Aubrey Hermes, WR Julius Moss, CB/WR Xavier McGlothan and WR/RB John Simon. Everybody in this group runs under a 4.5 in the 40 all day long.

Dunham does have some skill players to go with House. The Tigers also have a 4.5 WR with great hands in Jac Comeaux, and dangerous weapons like TE Collin Franta (6-6 225), FS/WR Colin Boldt (6-1, 201) and FB/LB Sione Albert — he has multiple games with two interceptions.

I don’t believe people around the state understand what an excellent defense Guin’s Cavaliers field. If the Cavs can hold their own against the Tigers’ D-line, the matchup of the Calvary defense against House and company could give the visitors the edge.

This will be one heck of a game. This should go down to the wire and to use another cliché’, because it fits, whoever has the ball last could control the outcome.

I give Dunham the edge only because it’s a home game for the Tigers, but both these teams have the talent to win a state title, and both have plenty of playoff experience. As I said at the top, the winner of this game will walk off with the championship in Division III Select.

Contact Lee at

Checking local history of reaching football’s semifinals; Lang’s Lines

(File photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Staff)


Byrd, Northwood and Calvary are the only Shreveport-Bossier Journal teams remaining in the 2022 LHSAA state football playoffs and all three are playing for a berth in the state semifinals this week.

For Northwood it would be a dream come true and a first-ever trip to the semis with a win over Brother Martin.

Byrd would advance to play in the semifinals for the 18th time by defeating the state’s most successful postseason participant, John Curtis.

Calvary would play in its eighth state semifinal if it beats Dunham.

Here is a list of the SBJ schools who have reached the state semifinals, with the number of appearances and years each has reached that milestone.  State championship years are indicated in bold type.

Evangel (21) – 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001; 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010; 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 

Byrd (17) – 1926, 1928, 19301931, 1933, 193419351937, 1943, 1949, 1953, 1956, 1962, 1964, 2011, 2013, 2020

Fair Park (9) – 1939, 1945, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1965, 1974 

Bossier (7) – 1942, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1959. 1960, 1972 

Calvary (7) – 2007 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2020, 2021

Jesuit/Loyola (7) – 19651966, 19671976, 1978, 1994, 1998

Benton (5) – 1968, 1990, 1999, 2005, 2007 

Haughton (5) – 1977, 1978, 2981, 1990, 2019

Woodlawn (5) – 1965, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1979 

Plain Dealing (4) – 1938, 1947, 1960, 1961 

Captain Shreve (3) – 1971, 1973, 1983

Airline (2) – 1967, 1972

Parkway (2) – 2013, 2015

Southwood (1) – 1973


Our final three, all on the road, aiming for the semifinals.


Brother Martin -19.5 vs. Northwood

John Curtis -11.5 vs. Byrd

Calvary -1.5 at Dunham

By the numbers

Favorites: 6-3 straight up in Second Round (128-23 on season), 3-6 vs. spread in Second Round (79-73 on season)

Final regular-season local standings vs. SBJ spread

Airline 7-3, Calvary 7-3, Evangel 7-3, Benton 6-4, Magnolia Charter 6-4, North Caddo 6-4, Parkway 5-5, Huntington 5-5, Southwood 5-5, Northwood 5-5, Green Oaks 4-6, Woodlawn 4-6, Haughton 4-6, Captain Shreve 4-6, Byrd 4-6, Loyola 3-6, BTW 3-7, Bossier 2-8, Plain Dealing 2-8.

Contact Roy at or via twitter @Roylangiii.

Tuesday’s basketball scoreboard

MVP: Doyline’s Juicy Clark was named the MVP of the high school game played Tuesday at the Decari Markray Classic hosted by BPCC. Clark is flanked by BPCC coach John Anthony Anglin and Markray’s mother, Lakechia Markray. (Photo courtesy of BPCC)




Arizona State 80, Grambling State 49
Florida College 68, LSUS 67
LSU 73, Akron 58

Decari Markray Classic

BPCC 106, SUSLA 89
Navarro 75, Delgado 54


Central Florida 78, ULM 54
SMU 63, Louisiana Tech 59



BTW 49, Green Oaks 14
Calvary 47, Choudrant 39
Dutchtown 55, Airline 54
Haughton 59, Lakeside 19
North Little Rock 56, Parkway 53
Northwood 52, Cecilia 13
Springfield 51, Byrd 45


Bossier 36, Zachary 34
Carroll 59, Woodlawn 51
Green Oaks 41, BTW 40
Haughton 66, Lakeside 33
Huntington 60, Franklin Parish 60
Peabody 68, Southwood 40
Pineville 64, Byrd 34
Sterlington 47, Loyola 44

Decari Markray Classic at BPCC

Doyline 62, Metairie Park Country Day 55

Prep soccer: High-caliber rematches, potential state finals battle

BEARKAT ATTACK:  Bossier’s Bearkats drive to the goal in a closely contested Week 1 match against The Willow School. (Photo courtesy Coach Orando Medelin, Bossier High School)

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports 

The first week of high school soccer featured rematches of state finals and semifinals contests from last season, along with a potential state championship preview.

In Loyola’s Flyers Invitational, the Lady Flyers had a rematch of their DIII finals win over Archbishop Hannan, with the result being a little different. The teams played a physical and very evenly-matched game. Both teams had opportunities to score, but both defenses stood tall, resulting in a 0-0 tie. Loyola dropped a division so this rematch will not be seen this year.

Caddo Magnet girls faced Lakeshore in a rematch of the Lady Mustangs’ 6-0 semifinal loss. While missing three starting offensive players, the Lady Mustangs were forced to play a more defensive game. Lakeshore won 4-0, but the match played much closer then their state semis did. This match could easily be replayed next February.

The Bossier boys’ soccer team got out of its comfort zone in a big way by traveling to south Louisiana for a couple early games. They played DII Ben Franklin to a 2-2 tie last Friday. Saturday they matched up with fellow DIII contender The Willow School. It was a fast-paced, up-and-down physical game that answered only one question with the 0-0 tie. It showed both teams are very good and evenly matched, perhaps destined for a finals rematch.

Byrd’s Lady Jackets faced preseason state title favorite St. Scholastica Friday. Byrd was able to prove it fits in the conversation as a DI state contender by playing to a 0-0 tie with the Lady Doves.

The week for Parkway’s Lady Panthers was highlighted by a 2-0 victory over Baton Rouge High School. Both goals were scored by Cammie Dunn. Keeper Aubri Dupri had 51 saves in four games.

Captain Shreve’s girls travelled to Mississippi to play two games. Friday they beat Sumrall High School 4-0, but on Saturday morning losing to perennial power Biloxi High School 2-1. These games do not go into the LHSAA rankings but were very encouraging for the Lady Gators.

Benton’s girls started their season by winning Haughton’s Cranberry Classic, going 3-0.

The Loyola and Evangel boys hosted Episcopal of Acadiana, both losing by six to the Lafayette area school.

The Byrd boys traveled to Monroe to face Ouachita Parish (L 1-0) and West Monroe (L 3-0). Earlier in the week they topped Parkway 6-1. Parkway later beat Evangel 1-0.

Benton’s boys faced two strong teams, tying Alexandria 0-0 and falling 2-0 to Lafayette.

The Shreve boys beat Lafayette 2-1.

The local soccer scoreboard for Week 1:

Monday 11/14 Girls 

Loyola 4, Airline 2
Bossier 8, Huntington 3
Haughton 6, Northwood 0
Shreve 8, Ouachita Parish 0


Loyola 2, Northwood 1
Benton 0, Alexandria 0

Tuesday 11/15 Girls

Calvary 2, West Ouachita 1
North Caddo 3, Southwood 0
Airline 0, North Desoto 0


Magnet 3, Evangel 1
West Monroe 2, Bossier 1
Haughton 9, Southwood 1
Byrd 6, Parkway 1

Wednesday 11/16 Girls

Bossier 0, Northwood 0
Magnet 8, Evangel 2
West Monroe 1, Benton 0
Shreve 4, Alexandria 0


Parkway 1, Evangel 0
Ouachita Parish 4, Northwood 0

Thursday 11/17 Girls

Loyola 4, Parkway 0
Huntington 3, Wossman 1
Airline 2, Calvary 2
Benton 4, Minden 0
Haughton 2, Ruston 1


Haughton 4, Minden 0
Benton 8, Southwood 0
Byrd 5, Natchitoches Central 1
Shreve 7, North Desoto 1

Friday 11/18 Girls

Loyola 0, Hannan 0
Parkway 2, Baton Rouge 0
Lakeshore 4, Magnet 0
Byrd 0, St. Scholastica 0
Shreve 4, Sumrall Miss. 0


Episcopal-Acadiana 7, Loyola 1
Bossier 2, Ben Franklin 2
Shreve 2, Lafayette 1

Saturday 11/19 Girls

Benton 2, Calvary 0
Calvary 2, Northwood 0
Loyola 2, Baton Rouge 1
St. Scholastica 2, Loyola 1
Ruston 7, Bossier 1
Minden 4, Bossier 1
Hannan 5, Magnet 2
Airline 4, Minden 0
Haughton 2, Northwood 0
Northshore 6, Parkway 1
Lakeshore 3, Parkway 0
Benton 2, Haughton 0
Byrd 1, Hannan 0
Byrd 2, Northshore 0
Biloxi Miss. 2, Shreve 1
St. Thomas More 5, Magnet 1


Episcopal-Acadiana 6, Evangel 0
Bossier 0, The Willow School 0
Ouachita 1, Byrd 0
Lafayette 2, Benton 0
West Monroe 3, Byrd 0

Calvary ready for another deep run in the playoffs


(NOTE – Each Tuesday this season, the SBJ spotlights the staff’s selection as the local “Team of the Week.”)

Even though school was out for the week for Thanksgiving break, Rodney Guin was busy working Monday morning.

And he was very glad to be doing so.

“Yeah, that’s always the mark of success,” the Calvary Baptist head coach said about high school football coaches working during the break.

It’s a mark to which the Cavaliers have become accustomed. Going into this year’s playoffs, Calvary had made 17 playoff appearances with an overall record of 33 wins and 14 losses – including three state championships (Division III titles in 2013 and 2014 and Division IV title in 2020).

Last season, the Cavaliers made it to the semifinals of the Division IV playoffs before falling 40-37 to eventual state runner-up Ouachita Christian.

This week, No. 5-seeded Calvary is preparing for its quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 seed Dunham in the Select Division III playoffs. The Cavs (9-2) will meet the Tigers (10-1) at Dunham Stadium in Baton Rouge Friday night at 7.

After a first-round bye, Calvary faced No. 12-seeded Northlake Christian in last week’s second round. For a team that had outscored its opponents 443-134 prior to last Friday’s game, the Cavs got off to an uncharacteristic slow start.

At the end of the first quarter, the Cavs and Wolverines were tied 0-0. Not the typical start for a Calvary team that had scored 40 or more points in nine of 11 games and 50+ in seven of those matchups.

“We were moving the ball, but turnovers made it a slow start,” Guin said of last week’s game. “We fumbled twice in the red zone and had a guy wide open in the end zone but he dropped it.”

In most cases, turnovers and dropped balls could be a concern for a playoff team. But not this Cavs’ team.

“We haven’t turned the ball over all year long,” said Guin. “I think we may have had one fumble. And dropped balls is not a problem we have. We catch hundreds of balls.”

Guin was right not to worry. Running back James Simon caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Abram Wardell and ran for a 3-yard score. With Wardell’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Aubrey Hermes, Calvary had a 22-0 lead by halftime.

The Cavs added four more touchdowns and a safety in the second half, and the defense held the Wolverines scoreless as Calvary defeated Northlake Christian 52-0.

Simon, who finished the night with two rushing TDs and two receiving TDs, is close to 1,000 rushing this season with 20 TDs and no fumbles. On the season, Wardell has completed 128 of 160 passes for 2,181 yards and 31 TDs. Against Northlake Christian, the sophomore quarterback threw to seven different receivers and four different ones for TDs. Hermes has 9 TD receptions so far with 741 yards on 44 catches.

While Calvary is taking a prolific offense down to Baton Rouge, the Cavs will face a big challenge with an exceptional Tigers’ defense.

“They’re very good,” Guin said of the Wolverines. “They have the best defensive line we’ve faced since Week 2 against Captain Shreve (a 27-14 loss). That’ll be a challenge. The key is for us is being able to block up front. We’ve got to have good line blocking.”

Another challenge for Calvary will be a Dunham offense that has put up 50+ points in each of its last two games (including last week’s 56-21 victory over King Charter in the second round).

“You don’t win deep in the playoffs if you can’t play good defense,” said Guin. “Everybody can score. We’ve got to be able to stop their offense.”

With a defense that has shut out its last three opponents, Calvary is primed for another deep run in the playoffs.

Contact Harriet at 

Quarterfinal Preview: Northwood at Brother Martin

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

If I am a college recruiter, I’m camping out at ancient Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans Friday night. There will be talent all over the place on both sides of the football in the state quarterfinal matchup between Northwood and Brother Martin in Division I-Select.

I have seen both teams play this year and last year. They are very talented but different in terms of strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know much about Brother Martin High School, just know that if it wasn’t for Catholic High of Baton Rouge and the Bears’ recent dominance, the Crusaders would probably have three state titles in the past five years. During that time, Brother Martin has lost to Catholic in the playoffs, either in the quarterfinals or deeper.

Brother Martin has been part of the fabled Catholic League district in New Orleans for almost a century, and it’s one of the most successful programs.

Both teams have great quarterbacks. Both are seniors who played in many big games in the past three years.

Brother Martin’s triggerman is Clayton Lonardo, who at 6-3, 210 with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash was an all-district tight end last season. This kid is a D-I prospect all day but doesn’t get talked about much. Trust me: I’ve seen him several times in the past two seasons and he’s a big-time player.

Northwood counters with Mason Welch, who in my eyes is definitely a D-I QB, standing 6-4, weighing 220 pounds, but more mobile this fall than before. He also has been the QB for the Falcons so has an edge in experience at the position, and it shows week after week. He is a great leader for coach Austin Brown’s team.

The Falcons and Crusaders are very athletic on offense.

Brother Martin is led by WR Jordan West (5-8, 180, 4.5 speed with great agility), WR/TE Ray Lotten (6-5, 230, 4.6), WR Chase Dephillips (4.5 speed) and RB Sidney Harris (5-9, 205). Brother Martin star RB Torey Lambert, a prime recruit, has been hurt most of this year and it’s uncertain if he will play in this game or not; Lambert is 6-0, 210 with 4.5 speed if healthy.

Northwood counters in skill players with sure-handed WR Marc Denison, who has 4.55 speed at 6-0, 180. The Falcons have the best two-way player in Louisiana in Mar’Jayvious Moss (5-11, 180, 4.40 speed), and two running backs who both are tough to tackle and play some defense in Fabian Sanders and Quintavion White.

Both teams have great players on defense.

Brother Martin’s top hand is four-year starting DT Brendan Leblanc (6-1, 245, 4.9 speed).

The Crusaders’ MLB, Rylon Johnson (5-11, 220), has over 100 stops – he’s a tackling machine. Other standouts are LB Jadon Weber (6-0, 210), DT Dakota Berns (6-2, 255), LB Blake Ranlett (6-2, 190), and two great cornerbacks — Troy Santa Marina (5-11, 175, 4.5 speed) and Greg Jackson (5-10, 182, 4.5 speed).

Northwood has superstars on defense who include LB Jeremiah Reed, DT Ted Jamison (5-11, 303), DE Taderius Collins (a real playmaker at 6-4, 250), and DT Jamarion Kennedy (6-4, 300) who is among the best players on the team, I think. And of course, the Falcons are anchored by one of the best defensive backs in the country, Mr. Moss.

What will be the keys to this game? Northwood must score points with big plays and get turnovers to put the offense in the red zone — like they have been doing all year.

Brother Martin needs to put together long drives and wear down Northwood on defense. The Crusaders do have more depth and players, but the Falcons can win this game if they don’t turn the ball over, pick up some turnovers and don’t let the talented QB from Brother Martin beat them with his legs on third down. This kid can run and is a tough player to prepare for.

Brother Martin overall has more talent and more depth but as far as starting talent? It’s the best 22 in Louisiana at Northwood as far as college prospects, rivaled only by Catholic-BR, Edna Karr and Ruston.

I will take Northwood in an upset – not according to the seedings, but the eyeballs.

Although the Falcons are seeded No. 5 and Brother Martin, at 7-5, is seeded 13th, most prep pickers will expect the Crusaders to move on.

Even though the seedings favor Northwood, few will join me in picking the Falcons. 

Contact Lee at

Monday’s basketball scoreboard

(Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)




Faulkner 100, LSUS 88
LSU 77, Illinois State 61
Louisiana Tech 79, ULM 58

Decari Markray Classic at BPCC

BPCC 95, Delgado 94, OT
Navarro 120, SUSLA 90


Hendrix 77, Centenary 47



Airline 56, Mansfield 12
Camden, Ark. 56, BTW 43
Captain Shreve 59, Winnfield 57
Conway, Ark. 78, Parkway 68
Glenbrook 40, Calvary 32
Haughton 59, Minden 39
Southwood 39, Ellender 36
Sterlington 41, Loyola 6
Woodlawn 40, Green Oaks 12


Bossier 67, Barbe 54
BTW 75, Magnolia Charter 32
Captain Shreve 58, Menard 40
Captain Shreve 54, Simsboro 36
Carroll 54, Bossier 52
Franklin Parish 66, Woodlawn 61
Green Oaks 60, Camden, Ark. 48
Lakeview 75, Airline 67
Loyola 57, West Ouachita 53
Red River 51, Byrd 40

The Lake, Lake, Lake, Lake, Lake Show powers Byrd

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Lake Lambert ripped off a 97-yard touchdown run 3 minutes into Byrd’s second-round playoff game against Alexandria on Friday night at Lee Hedges Stadium. 

And that was just the beginning. 

Subsequent scoring runs of 56, 19, 34 and 50 yards highlighted one incredible evening for the Yellow Jackets’ senior and his team, who eliminated the Trojans, 49-10.

“I don’t think (ASH) knew what he could do, obviously,” Byrd head coach Stacy Ballew said. “He was running up and down the field. I’m trying to talk to linebackers, then all of the sudden, it’s time for kickoff again. I don’t know what all he did, I didn’t see it all, but he was running up and down the field.”      

Lambert compiled 267 rushing yards on just eight carries.

“The job is not finished. I’d like a ring on my finger whenever we are talking about records,” Lambert said after posting the sixth-most rushing yards in a game in Byrd history.    

Pearce Russell, Benton

Was locked in one heck of a receiver duel with Denham Springs’ Camron Eirick (six catches, 158 yards, three TDs) on Friday night. Russell completed an incredible season with five catches for 154 yards – all receptions of at least 15 yards — and a touchdown.

On the year, Russell finished with 91 receptions for 1,691 yards. He scored 19 touchdowns. 

Abram Wardell, Calvary

The Cavaliers quarterback completed 18 of 23 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 52-0 whitewashing of Northlake Christian on Friday.

Wardell found seven different receivers in the second-round playoff game and four different players for the touchdowns. 

Mason Welch, Northwood

The Falcons’ foray into the Select playoffs started with a bang. Welch set the tone with a 70-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and, when Northwood needed to finish the job, added a 6-yard touchdown pass to Marc Dennison and another scoring run (4 yards) in the fourth quarter. 

Greg Manning, Benton

An absolute workhorse in Friday’s second-round game against Dunham Springs. Manning had 37 touches – 33 carries for 104 yards and three catches for 19 yards.

His 1-yard touchdown run marked his 33rd trip to the end zone of the season – 26 rushing, seven receiving. The junior completed his 2022 season with 1,445 rushing yards.

Contact Roy at

LHSAA quarterfinal football playoff pairings

 (File photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Thanksgiving week is the time of year many schools aspire to be practicing for its next game. Three of the Shreveport-Bossier Journal teams advanced to the quarterfinals of the LHSAA football playoffs.

All three schools will be making the trip to south Louisiana. In Select Division I No. 5 Northwood (9-2) will be in New Orleans to play Brother Martin (7-5). Sixth ranked Byrd (8-3) will also be in New Orleans to battle John Curtis (9-2), the No. 3 seed.

In Select Division III No. 5 Calvary (9-2) will be in Baton Rouge to play No. 4 Dunham (10-1).


Division I

8-Carencro (8-2) at 1-Warren Easton (10-1)

5-Northwood (9-2) at 13-Brother Martin (7-5)

6-Byrd (8-3) at 3-John Curtis (9-2)

7-Karr (7-3) at 2-Catholic-BR (10-1)

Division II

8-Madison Prep (8-3) at 1-St. Thomas More (10-1)

5-John F. Kennedy (10-1) at 4-E.D. White (10-1)

6-Lafayette Christian (8-3) at 3-De La Salle (11-0)

7-Shaw (9-2) at 2-Tuerlings (10-1)

Division III

8-University (8-3) at 1-Newman (8-2)

5-Calvary (9-2) at 4-Dunham (10-1)

6-Episcopal (10-1) at 3-Notre Dame (9-2)

2-St. Charles (8-3) at 10-Parkview Baptist (10-2) 

Division IV

1-Vermilion Catholic (11-0) at 9-Southern Lab (8-3)

5-St. Mary’s (9-1) at 4-St. Martin’s Episcopal (10-1)

6-Glenbrook (11-0) at 3-Ouachita Christian (10-1)

15-Opelousas Catholic (9-3) at 10-Ascension Catholic (10-2)


Division I

1-Ruston (10-1) at 9-Denham Springs (10-2)

5-Zachary (8-2) at 4-Southside (10-1)

3-Destrehan (11-0) at 11-East St. John (10-2)

2-Neville (8-2) at 10-Westgate (9-3)

Division II

1-Iowa (10-1) at 9-Leesville (10-2)

4-North DeSoto (10-1) at 28-Breaux Bridge (6-6)

6-Lutcher (11-1) at 14-Lakeshore (10-2)

2-West Feliciana (11-0) at 23-North Vermilion (6-6)

Division III

1-Many (10-0) at 9-Rosepine (10-2)

4-St. James (9-2) at 5-Avoyelles (9-3)

3-Union Parish (10-1) at 11-Patterson (8-4)

7-Amite (9-3) at 18-Berwick (8-4)

Division IV

8-Oak Grove (9-3) at 1-Kentwood (10-1)

5-Haynesville (10-2) at 4-Basile (10-1)

3-Mangham (9-1) at 11-Arcadia (9-3)

7-Logansport (9-3) at 2-Homer (8-3)

Bad timing: Denham Springs stuns Benton at buzzer

RIDE OF HIS LIFE:  Friday’s hero, kicker Caleb LeBlanc (48) lifted his Denham Springs Yellow Jackets to an improbable victory at Benton. (Image courtesy Denham Springs TV)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports 

In the final minute of Benton’s Division I Non-Select second-round playoff game against Denham Springs, fireworks lit up Tiger Stadium to celebrate a victory by the home team and a spot in the quarterfinals.

One problem.

Benton didn’t win.

Denham did, 29-28, thanks to an ending that will be bitterly remembered by the Tigers and treasured by the Yellow Jackets.

With a two-point edge and the ball at Denham Springs’ 49, the Tigers looked to be in good position. However, Benton got a little too cute and then, in its mind, gypped by the referees.

On fourth down with a running clock, Benton knelt on its 13-yard line and thought it punched a ticket to the quarters. However, after the play, the scoreboard still displayed 0.6 seconds. Denham Springs’ Caleb LeBlanc, who struggled all season, subsequently kicked a 30-yard field goal to put a cap on one of the most stunning finishes you’ll see at a sporting event.

“We just got cheated out of a football game,” said Benton coach Reynolds Moore, who bolted toward the officiating crew and unleashed a tirade after the ball went through the uprights. “They told me to snap it at 1 (second left), we snapped it at 1. I didn’t call time out because both officials said, ‘Coach you’re good, snap it at 1,’ and so we did and then (the LHSAA clock operator) up in the freaking press box stops it and cheats my guys out of a game.”

A field goal should have never been in play. On third down, Benton’s Pearce Russell attempted to run around and waste time before taking a knee. However, a handful of penalty flags were thrown for multiple holding violations.

Suddenly, the Tigers were backed up and still had to kneel twice in the final 42 seconds. They did, but didn’t completely erase the clock.

“That was a wild sequence of events,” Yellow Jackets head coach Brett Beard said. “I knew there was going to be a shot with some time and we did a good job to try to make it happen. The game is never over until the clock strikes zero – that’s something you teach these kids and these coaches. Everyone has to know this game must be played for 48 minutes.”

Getting the opportunity to kick was a miracle. Making it may have been, too.

“(Our kicking game) — it’s been bad,” Beard said. “(Caleb) has made some good kicks, but he hasn’t had a chance to make any big kicks. At that point, that’s all you have. You say, ‘Kid, everything can be deleted from the year when you make this kick,’ and he came through.”

LeBlanc is a Louisiana Christian University commit who put his struggles behind him and couldn’t have picked a better time to nail his longest field goal of the season.

“When I heard Coach scream for the field goal unit I kind of just froze in the moment and realized I’ve been waiting on this moment my entire high school career,” LeBlanc said. “I walked out confident and remembered everything I’ve been taught.

“All you have to do is believe in yourself. I won’t forget this night any time soon. This is the best night ever.”

Denham Springs (10-2) moves on to play host to Ruston in the quarterfinals.

“(If the refs don’t tell me we’re good), we call timeout and we get things settled,” Moore said. “We do what we did (on the first third down) and have Pearce run around for a minute and fall down. They told me, ‘Coach, don’t worry about it,’ and then pulled that crap.

“It’s the worst officiating I’ve seen. They cheated my guys out of a game. They can do whatever they want. My guys just got hosed and that’s bull crap.”

The loss spoiled what had been a stellar effort from Benton’s defense, at least for the first 41 minutes.

“The defense played phenomenal all night,” Moore said. “This is the best ever we’ve seen from them and the offense just didn’t get it done. We just couldn’t get a first down, couldn’t do anything.”

A 1-yard touchdown run by Greg Manning gave Benton (8-4) a 28-14 lead with 5:16 left in the game. Denham Springs needed just two plays to answer as Camron Eirick hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass — his second of three on the night — from Reese Mooney, but the Yellow Jackets missed the extra point.

Denham Springs recovered an onside kick and scored again four plays later – a 46-yard connection between Mooney and Eirick. The 2-point conversion failed with 3:59 left.

After forcing Benton into a three-and-out, Denham Springs’ hopes appeared to be extinguished when it failed on fourth down near midfield. However, the Tigers failed to close the door. Instead they let the Yellow Jackets get into field goal position and were foiled by a final-minute calamity and a trigger finger.

“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Beard said.

Eirick had six catches for 158 yards, while Mooney completed 16 of 34 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns.

Manning finished with 103 yards on 34 carries. His team didn’t trail until the final gun and led for more than 40 minutes.

Friday’s controversy signaled a not-so-fitting end for Tigers seniors, like quarterback Gray Walters (9-of-21 passing for 184 yards and a touchdown) and Russell (five catches for 154 yards).

“I’m trying to tell the officials, ‘You’re taking this away from (the seniors) and they don’t get another shot.’ This is a playoff football game, this is not Week 8 or Week 9,” Moore said. “You can’t blow this, and they blew it.”

 Contact Roy at

Denham Springs 29, Benton 28

D. Springs | 0 | 7 | 7 | 15 | – 29

Benton | 14 | 7 | 0 | 7 | – 28

Scoring summary

B-Gray Walters 14 run (Peyton May kick)

B-Pearce Russell 38 pass from Walters (May kick)

D-Camron Eirick 15 pass from Reese Mooney (Caleb LeBlanc kick)

B-Andy Lim 5 pass from Walters (May kick)

D-Eirick 33 pass from Mooney (LeBlanc kick)

B-Greg Manning 1 run (May kick)

D-Micah Harrison 49 pass from Mooney (kick blocked)

D-Eirick 46 pass from Mooney (pass failed)

D-LeBlanc 30 field goal

Individual statistics 


Denham Springs – Ray McKneely 13-34, Cam Kelly 9-34, Micah Harrison 3-27, Jerry Horne 1-1, , Mooney 2-1. 

Benton – Greg Manning 33-104, Gray Walters 6-36, Landon Duggan 1-0, Team 1-(-31). 


Denham Springs – Reese Mooney 16-34-0-326; Horne 4-7-0-(minus-4). 

Benton – Walters 9-21-0-184.  


Denham Springs – Camron Eirick 6-158, Harrison 6-77, McNeely 3-36, Andrew Goodwin 1-1, Rylan Hyatt 1-15, Seth Bishop 1-8, Maison Vorise 1-8. 

Benton – Pearce Russell 5-154, Manning 3-19, Andy Lim 2-11.

Comeback comes up short, Bucs stopped by East St. John

WILDCAT PROWLING: Haughton quarterback Colin Rains (15) looks for a receiver as he is pursued by East St. John’s Ky’Van Fobb (24) Friday night. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


It looked like the Haughton Buccaneers would take the lead into halftime against East St. John in the second round of the Non-Select Division I playoffs at Harold E. Harlan Stadium.

After falling behind 14-0 after the first quarter and fighting back to tie it at 14-14 in the second quarter, Haughton quarterback Colin Rains’ 35-yard Hail Mary with no time left on the clock was signaled a touchdown. That would give the Bucs the lead going into the locker room.

That’s what it looked like when one referee signaled “touchdown.” After a discussion between the officials, however, the pass was ruled incomplete.

The Bucs put up a fight in the second half, but came up short and ended their season with a 35-21 loss to the Wildcats.

“I thought we were up at the half,” said Haughton head coach Jason Brotherton. “It was kind of deflating. But our guys fought to the very end.”

The beginning was a little deflating, too. On the first play from scrimmage, Haughton senior running back Tyler Rhodes went up the middle for a 25-yard gain but fumbled and the Wildcats recovered on their own 35. On ESJ’s first play, Yashua Mitchell found Cortez Fisher for a 62-yard completion to the Haughton 3-yard line and the senior quarterback ran it in on the next play.

Mitchell’s 15-yard touchdown run – and Joe Henderson’s second PAT — with two minutes left in the first quarter gave the Wildcats the 14-0 lead.

The Bucs got on the board on their first play of the second quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run from Rhodes and PAT by Carter Ebarb and tied it at 14-14 with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Rains to Rashard Douglas and Ebarb PAT.

It looked like the Wildcats would take the lead at the half when they drove to the Bucs’ 13-yard line with 58 seconds to go in the second quarter but Haughton senior Jakob Handy came up with an interception to stall the drive. The Bucs got to the Wildcats’ 35 and, with a free play after the clock sounded due to a defensive penalty, the Hail Mary That Wasn’t occurred.

Two touchdown passes from Mitchell (33 yards to Koyal Gray Jr. and 6 yards to Dkhai Joseph) gave ESJ a 27-14 lead at the end of the third quarter. Rhodes’ 1-yard run and Ebarb PAT got the Bucs within six points (27-21) with just under nine minutes to go in the game.

After recovering an ESJ fumble with 5:38 to go, Haughton went three-and-out on their next possession and the Wildcats sealed the victory on their next possession with a 41-yard scoring run by George Martin III.

“They played hard and they played well,” Brotherton said of the Wildcats. “Their guys were big up front. I’m proud of the way our kids played. They (the Wildcats) made some big catches. There were times I thought we had good coverage and they still caught them.”

Mitchell completed 13-of-24 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns to go with his two rushing TDs.

“He’s good,” Brotherton said of Mitchell. “He’s a four-year starter and he’s really talented.”

Rhodes and Rains accounted for all of Haughton’s rushing yards. Rhodes finished with 115 yards on 17 carries and Rains added 69 yards on 21 carries. Rains was 12-of-28 passing for 160 yards.

Jalen Lewis had four catches for 63 yards for Haughton, followed by Jamarion Montgomery with two receptions for 51 yards.

“To be playing a second-round playoff game at home is a big deal for us,” Brotherton said of the 27th-seeded Bucs, who finished the season 6-6. 

Contact Harriet at

East St. John 35, Haughton 21 

Score by quarters

ESJ | 14 | 0 | 13 | 8 | – 35

Haughton | 0 | 14 | 0 | 7 | – 21

Scoring summary

ESJ – Yashua Mitchell 3 run (Joe Henderson kick)

ESJ – Mitchell 15 run (Henderson kick)

H – Tyler Rhodes 11 run (Carter Ebarb kick)

H – Rashard Douglas 35 pass from Colin Rains (Ebarb kick)

ESJ – Koyal Gray Jr. 33 pass from Mitchell (kick failed)

ESJ – Dkhai Joseph 6 pass from Mitchell (Henderson kick)

H – Rhodes 1 run (Ebarb kick)

ESJ – George Martin III 41 run (Joseph pass from Mitchell) 

Individual leaders 


ESJ (34-215) – Martin 20-142 1 TD, Mitchell 9-48 2 TDs, Cortez Fisher 5-25. 

Haughton (39-184) – Rhodes 17-115 2 TDs, Rains 21-69, Douglas 1-0. 


ESJ (13-24-2-247) – Mitchell 13-24-2-247 2 TDs. 

Haughton (12-28-0-160) – Rains 12-26-0-160 1TD, Jalen Lewis 0-2-0. 


ESJ – Fisher 5-106, Gray Jr. 4-71 1 TD, Joseph 4-68 1 TD, Ashton Williams 1-2. 

Haughton – Lewis 4-63, Jamarion Montgomery 2-51, John Ecot 2-8, Douglas 1-35 1 TD, Trent McGowen 1-3.

Byrd puts exclamation point on question mark, smokes ASH

NIGHT AT THE RACES:  Byrd quarterback Lake Lambert found room to run Friday night, and covered plenty of ground. (Photo by APRIL JOHNSON, Journal Sports)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

The Big Question heading into C.E. Byrd’s regional playoff game against visiting Alexandria Senior High was whether or not the Yellow Jackets would be able to move the football against the Trojans’ big defensive front. 

Byrd quarterback Lake Lambert answered the question in the game’s first three minutes when he raced 97 yards for the second-longest touchdown run in school history, on Byrd’s first possession of the game.      

It was only the beginning for Lambert, who finished with one of the most prolific nights in school history. He finished with 267 yards on eight carries and scored five touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets, 8-3 and seeded sixth in Select Division I, to a 49-10 win over No. 22-seeded ASH, which finished its season 5-7.    

“It was our great offensive line,” Lambert said of his performance running the football. “Great blocking by our wingbacks and receivers. That’s on them. I didn’t get touched on a couple of those because we had great blocking down the field. Great blocking at the second level. I think that was a difference maker in this game.”        

The Lake Show at Lee Hedges Stadium ranks No. 6 all-time in single-game rushing in Byrd football history, the best-ever by a quarterback.       

Lambert wouldn’t entertain any questions about his name in the school record books.

“We can talk about records when the season is over,” Lambert said. “The job is not finished. I’d like a ring on my finger whenever we are talking about records.”       

Byrd head coach Stacy Ballew thinks his quarterback caught the Trojans off guard.     

“I don’t think they knew what he could do, obviously,” Ballew said. “He was running up and down the field. I’m trying to talk to linebackers, then all of the sudden, it’s time for kickoff again. I don’t know what all he did, I didn’t see it all, but he was running up and down the field.”      

As a whole, Byrd’s offense finished with 475 yards rushing. It’s the fourth-highest rushing total in school history.       

The game was not as close as the score indicated.       

Byrd led 35-0 at halftime.    

After his first touchdown run of the night, Lambert added three touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 56, 19, and 34 yards.       

Byrd’s other score in the first half came in the second quarter on Tyler Nichols’ 10-yard touchdown run.      

Alexandria’s first points, a 25-yard field goal by Bodie Van Dyke, came early in the third quarter after Byrd’s only miscue of the night, a fumble on a pitch play from Lambert to Malachi Johnson on the first offensive play of the second half.      

Lambert answered ASH’s field goal with his fifth and final touchdown run of the night, a 50-yarder. 

Byrd fullback Devon Strickland got in the act with a 68-yard run — Byrd’s final score of the night — with 3:37 left in the third quarter. 

Byrd kicker Abram Murray was a perfect 7-for-7 on all of his point-after attempts.      

ASH’s J.T. Lindsey scored the Trojans’ only touchdown on a 42-yard run with 2:49 left in the game.       

“The kids came out and I think they missed not playing last week,” Ballew said. “They want to play. They’re competitors. They were ready to go, and we did everything right tonight. We didn’t get a bunch of penalties. We had one turnover. We got fourth-down stops. Two interceptions. Our kids played their butts off, and our coaches did a good job getting them in position. I’m proud of our kids, they deserve it.”      

Defensively, Byrd was led by All-City linebacker Brooks Brossette, who had eight tackles. Three Purple Swarm defenders – Isaiha Ford, Christian Jones, and Ben Martinson – had seven tackles each. Jones had an interception, as did cornerback LaMichael Taylor.

Taylor returned his interception for a touchdown, but it was called back on an illegal block, which had no influence on the play.   

“Good teams are going to go out there and punch the other team in the mouth and the other team is not going to respond,” Brossette said. “I think that’s what happened tonight. We got them from the get-go and they never wanted to get back in. Every game we play in, we expect to win by a reasonable amount. This game, we just came together. That’s what we can do.”         

What the Jackets will do next is prepare to go on the road for the quarterfinals and play John Curtis in River Ridge on Black Friday. The Patriots defeated Jesuit Friday, 35-7.   

“I’ve said from day one, we want to be practicing during Thanksgiving,” Ballew said. “When you get to practice during Thanksgiving, that’s something special. You’re always going to remember that as a player. As coaches, we love having that week where we do more football than we usually do. It’s always a special week.”     

Contact Jerry at  

Byrd 49, ASH 10 

Score by quarters

Byrd | 14 | 21 | 14 | 0 | – 49

ASH | 0 | 0 | 3 | 7 | – 10

Scoring summary

B – Lake Lambert 97 run (Abram Murray kick)

B – Tyler Nichols 10 run (Murray kick)

B – Lambert 56 run (Murray kick)

B – Lambert 19 run (Murray kick)

B – Lambert 34 run (Murray kick)

A – Brodie Van Dyke 25 FG

B – Lambert 50 run (Murray kick)

B – Devon Strickland 68 run (Murray kick)

A – J.T. Lindsey 42 run (Channing Meche kick)

Individual leaders 


ASH (32-216) – Cunningham 24-149, Lindsey 4-60, Mingo 1-6, Bordelon 1-4. 

Byrd (41-475)– Lambert 8-267, Strickland 4-87, Simmons 5-61, Nichols 4-44.


ASH – Bordelon 12-21-2-131.

Byrd – Lambert 0-2-0.


ASH – Mingo 7-46, Johnson 3-60, Cunningham 2-25.

Frustrated Flyers fall on late Episcopal field goal

FLYER TAKEAWAY:  Patrick Gosslee’s 15-yard fumble return set up Loyola’s only touchdown. (Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports)


BATON ROUGE – What it came down to was Episcopal driving almost the length of the field in a tie game to win it with a 25-yard field goal with 1:01 to play.

That was the difference in a 10-7 win over Loyola in a Select-Division III second round playoff game at Memorial Stadium.

But to the Flyers, the difference might have come in other forms – mainly ball spotting by the officials.

On the game-winning drive, the Knights went for it on fourth-and-one at midfield with four minutes left to play. Though the mark indicated that any yardage gained on the quarterback sneak was minimal – at best – the officials moved the chains without a measurement.

Seven plays later, Aiden Romero’s field goal barely snuck in the left upright.

Earlier in the game, the Flyers had appeared to score a touchdown on the fifth play of the second quarter. Reagan Coyle was clearly in the end zone after a “Bush Push” play. But he was ruled down at the half-yard line.

Two plays later, the Flyers went for it on fourth down and didn’t make it – even though Episcopal had a 12th man running off the field as the ball was snapped.

“We played hard and we had our chances,” Loyola coach Mike Greene said. “In the second round of the playoffs, you have to take advantage of those chances.”

The Flyer offense was limited in the second half, never getting past the Episcopal 41. Loyola had only one first down in the entire second half, which Greene said was a direct result of the Knights going on two long scoring drives.

“It wasn’t like we were driving up and down the field,” Greene said. “We needed to pick up some first downs so we could get some guys on defense a rest. But we couldn’t do that.”

Loyola scored just before half after sophomore Patrick Gosslee picked up a fumble and his 15-yard return put the Flyers at the Episcopal 43 with 3:37 to go. A 14-yard pass from Cooper DeFatta to Robert Pavlick on third down set up the Flyers for a 1-yard sneak by DeFatta to put the Flyers on the board with 50 seconds left before halftime.

The Flyers looked to get another break on the first play of the second half with another fumble, but forward progress was ruled on running back Braeden George and the Knights kept the ball.

Episcopal tied it on a 13-play drive – converting two fourth downs – and scored on a 7-yard run by Reid Chauvin with 10:48 left in the game.

The next Loyola possession resulted in a punt to the Knights 14 to set the stage for the winning field-goal drive.

“We knew coming in they would be a disciplined, well-coached ball club,” said Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois. “Coach Greene’s an outstanding coach. Credit to him and his staff. Those guys came out ready to play. They gave us everything and more than we wanted. We had to fight for everything we got tonight.”

The Flyers finish at 6-5 while sixth-seeded Episcopal (10-1) will move on to play No. 3-seed Notre Dame.

“If you had told me after the third week of the season that we’d be here right now I would have told you you’re crazy,” Greene said. “With the injuries we had and the things these guys went through, I was proud to be here. It’s just that when you get to this point, you get greedy and you want more.”

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Episcopal 10, Loyola 7 

Score by quarters

Episcopal | 0 | 0 | 0 | 10 | – 10

Loyola  | 0 | 7 | 0 | 0 | – 7 

Scoring summary

L – Cooper DeFatta 1 run (Evan Lirette kick)

U – Reid Chauvin 7 run (Aldon Romano kick)

U – Romano 25 FG

Individual leaders 


Loyola (30-60) – Reagan Coyle 7-32, Trace Wall 9 -21, DeFatta 10-13, Grayson Hutchins 1-3, Jon Ebarb 2-minus-4, Team 1-minus-6. 

Episcopal (46-202) – Braeden George 22-154, Chauvin 13-52, Lewis Ward 10-minus-3.


Loyola – DeFatta 8-20-0, 103 yards 

Episcopal – Ward 7-12-0, 62 yards, Cooper Braud 0-1-0.


Loyola – John Carmody 3-18, Robert Pavlick 1-14, Coyle 1-33, Ebarb 2-27, Hutchins 1-14. 

Episcopal – C.J. Washington 3-14, David Olinde 2-29, David Cresson 1-17, Walker Dauzat 1-3.

Calvary pushes past slow start, rolls again; North Caddo ousted in slugfest

THREADING THE DEFENSE: Calvary running back James Simon threaded the Northlake Christian defense for four total touchdowns in a 52-0 second-round playoff win Friday. (Photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN, Journal Sports)


Calvary Baptist’s defense held the door shut on Northlake Christian while the Cavs’ offense sputtered early, but the Cavaliers hit on all cylinders in the last three quarters of a 52-0 second-round win  in the Division III Select playoff bracket Friday night.

Running back James Simon scored four times, including two touchdown catches from quarterback Abram Wardell, who tossed four touchdowns himself. 

The No. 5 seed Cavs (9-2) won their seventh straight game and will take their winning streak to Baton Rouge to face No. 4-seed Dunham, who surged past No. 13 M.L. King Charter 56-21. 

After a scoreless first quarter, Simon jumpstarted Calvary with the first two touchdowns of the second quarter —  a 15-yard touchdown pass from Wardell and a 3-yard run. 

“Jay ran great routes and caught every ball,” said Calvary coach Rodney Guin. “It was a great night by a greater young man. (In the first quarter), we fumbled twice and dropped a touchdown pass, but then we started making plays.” 

Wardell added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Aubrey Hermes to build a 22-0 lead into halftime. 

Simon busted a 46-yard touchdown run then completed his scoring night with a 20-yard scoring catch as Calvary led 45-0 late in the third quarter. 

Julius Moss tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run for the final score. 

The defense never stopped making plays as the Cavs pitched their third straight shutout dating back to Week 9. 

That unit also outscored Northlake Christian, registering a third-quarter safety. 

“Our defense has been great all year, and to go deep in the playoffs, defense is the key.” 

No. 10 Parkview Baptist 28, No. 7 North Caddo 24: In a game in which Parkview Baptist and North Caddo traded blows, the Eagles landed the final punch in Vivian in the Division III Select playoffs. 

Parkview Baptist prevented the Titans from making their second straight quarterfinals appearance by getting the road win. 

The Eagles led 21-16 at halftime and fended off the Titans late. 

Parkview advances to host No. 2 seed St. Charles in the quarterfinals. 

With its seven wins this season, North Caddo has won at least seven games for the past three seasons (not including the shortened 2020 campaign). 

Eagles tumble from getting a late go-ahead TD, to a last-play loss


THIBODAUX — Evangel running back Dashawn Johnson skirted inside the pylon with about a minute remaining, and the Eagles appeared to have pulled off the road upset in the Division II Select playoffs. 

But how things turned, for the worse. Evangel’s season ended with a last-play 32-29 loss to No. 4-seed E.D. White Friday night.

A holding penalty wiped out Johnson’s score, which would have snapped a 29-all tie, and then two more holding penalties pushed 13th-seeded Evangel out of field goal range. 

E.D. White return man Matt Melancon then made Evangel pay, taking a punt into Evangel territory on a long return that set up the winning field goal as time expired. The kick barely made it over the crossbar.

“It was the greatest feeling to watch Dashawn get into the end zone because we thought we had won the game, but then the holding penalty wiped it out and we got two more holding penalties,” said Evangel’s coach, Pastor Denny Duron. “And then we punted it to the best returner in the state, probably ill-advised there. But it was a really athletic return down the left side. 

“Hat’s off to (Melancon) and the kicker, who had ice water in his veins. Even though the ending wasn’t what we wanted, this was a very important night for us because our kids understood that we could have won this game – it was as much ours as it was theirs.” 

The ending wasn’t what Evangel was seeking, and neither was the beginning. 

Evangel fell into a 21-6 hole in the first quarter before rallying to take a 29-21 lead early in the fourth quarter. 

“We made some mistakes early offensively, but our quarterback (Peyton Fulgham) overcame that, and he kept throwing,” Duron said. “We played well defensively, but E.D. White hit some long passes early, which is uncharacteristic of a team who has a formidable option attack. 

“But I’m so proud of these kids. Our team isn’t about wins and losses, we’re about each other. We’ve established a culture where we love God, love each other and love playing this game. They are already telling stories on the bus, and they are full of joy.” 

Evangel (7-5) had its four-game winning streak snapped as E.D. White (10-1) avenged a 2019 playoff loss (84-20). 

Northwood overpowers St. Paul’s to advance to quarterfinals 

ROLLING: Northwood receiver Marc Dennison added a late 6-yard touchdown as the Falcons pushed past St. Paul’s in a Division I Select playoff win. (Photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN, Journal Sports)

BY SCOTT ANDERSON, Journal Sports  

BLANCHARD — Northwood dominated all aspects of the game Friday and rolled to a 35-9 victory against St. Paul’s of Covington in the second round of the LHSAA Division I Select playoffs at Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium.  

“I was very impressed by the defense and their tackling,” Northwood head coach Austin Brown said. “I can’t say enough about the defense. Offensively, we played smart. We had a couple of turnovers, but we were able to make enough plays to win the game.”  

Senior quarterback Mason Welch made the first of those plays right out of the chute, charging past the No. 12 seed Wolves’ defense en route to a 70-yard touchdown run on the No. 5 seed Falcons’ first play from scrimmage.  

“That felt good,” Welch said. “Coming out of the gate, I knew part of the game plan was I was going to have to run the ball. I took my preparation this week to get mentally right to run the ball. From the get-go, I had a crease, the receivers blocked well down the field, and you just have to make something happen.”  

Senior Taderius Collins led the Falcon (9-2) defense that stuffed the Wolves’ (7-5) running game in the backfield much of the night.  

“Something that doesn’t stand out on the stat sheet is that he was physically dominant,” Brown said of Collins. “Being double-teamed and triple-teamed all night, he was still in the backfield. Any time they tried to chip on him with a running back or a fullback, they wound up on their butt. It’s those types of things that don’t show up in the stat sheet, but when you’ve got to add an extra player to try to contain him, it takes away from your total offense.”  

Collins also added a spark on special teams. When the Wolves faced fourth-and-4 on the Falcons’ 48-yard line, Collins blocked the punt, then scooped up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.   

Northwood led 21-6 with 8:53 left in the third quarter.  

“It was awesome,” Collins said. “I haven’t been in the end zone since freshman year. It was great to get that and capitalize for my team. I was determined to make that play and just went in from there.”  

Brown praised seniors after the game for their leadership.  

“(Collins) is the literal definition of a game-changer,” he said. “He’s going to change what an offense does. This is like (Welch’s) sixth or seventh playoff game. That isn’t anything new for him. He’s a consummate professional, a consummate leader. He set the tone and had a tough 124 yards rushing tonight.”  

It’s a trend he has seen in his players as the season has progressed. 

 “All offseason people patted us on the back and told us how great we were,” Brown said. “In Week 1, we got humbled. Then nobody told us we were great. We had to keep believing. The heart and character of the team has shown out these last few weeks.” 

Northwood advances to play Brother Martin next Friday in the quarterfinal round.  

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Northwood 35, St. Paul’s 9 

Score by quarters

Northwood  | 7 | 7 | 7 | 14 | — 35 

St. Paul’s  | 3 | 3 | 3 | 0 | — 9 

Scoring summary 

N — Mason Welch 70 run (PAT good) 

SP — Drew Talley 38 FG 

N — Mar’Javious Moss 14 run (PAT good) 

SP — Talley 21 FG 

N — Taderious Collins 20 blocked punt return (PAT good) 

SP — Talley 23 FG 

N — Marc Dennison 6 pass from Welch (PAT good) 

N — Welch 4 run (PAT good) 

Individual leaders 


St. Paul’s — Jacob Davies 2-96. 

Northwood — Mason Welch 10-124, Mar’Javious Moss 8-69. 


St. Paul’s — Brennan Keim 9-24-0, 116 yards. 

Northwood — Mason Welch 9-14-0, 121 yards, TD. 


St. Paul’s – Roman Cumberland 4-50. 

Northwood – Marc Dennison 4-30, TD.

Error-prone Captain Shreve falls big at Warren Easton

GETTING READY: Captain Shreve goes through warmups before its regional playoff game game in New Orleans against Warren Easton.  (Photo by TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports)  


NEW ORLEANS – Perennial power Warren Easton took advantage of first-half Captain Shreve miscues and eliminated the Gators with a convincing 48-7 win Friday night in the regionals of the Select Division I football playoffs at Pan American Stadium.

The Eagles took advantage of a Gators mistake with an interception that resulted in points and got a blocked field goal for a score with a little over a minute left in the first half, taking a 28-0 lead at the break.

“Offensively we had a lot of opportunities to make plays and we didn’t make them,” said Shreve’s first-year coach Adam Kirby.

“Defensively we knew we had to stop number 7 (Fred Robertson) and I feel like for the most part we did and bottled him up,” said Kirby. “He broke a couple long runs but we just put the defense in some bad spots and it obviously hurt us.”

Robertson finished the night with a game-high 180 yards and scored the game’s first points on a 3-yard run.

Quarterback Keddrick Connelly made it a 14-0 ballgame in the first quarter with a 15-yard run. Connelly added another score on a 4-yard scamper early in the second quarter to up the lead to 21-0.

Captain Shreve seemed to get a bit of a spark after Marquez Stevenson blocked a field goal attempt. The Gators put together a drive that ended with a field goal attempt of their own. The Eagles’ Greg Donaldson got the block and returned it 55 yards for a score to give his team a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Gators kept the ball moving most of the game thanks in large part by some key pass receptions.

“They made some plays that gave us some opportunities to get into the red zone but when you have a blocked punt, a blocked field goal, an interception and fumble it’s just tough to win a football game, especially against really good teams,” said Kirby. 

Shreve’s only points came on a 30-yard pass reception from Kenyon Terrell to Jordan Wiggins. Terrell finished with 227 passing yards on 13-of-21 accuracy. Keaton Flowers led the receivers with six catches for 104 yards. Wiggins had two catches for 39 yards and Cam Wilson snagged two for 43 yards.

Senior running back Jayden Edwards added 92 yards on the ground on 14 carries.

Warren Easton 48, Captain Shreve 7 

Score by quarters

Warren Easton | 14 | 14 | 7 | 6 | – 48

Shreve | 0 | 0 | 7 | 0 | – 7

Scoring summary

WE – Robertson 3 run (Iker Gutierrez kick), 9:06

WE – Keddrick Connelly 15 run (Gutierrez kick), 7:20

WE – Connelly 4 run (Gutierrez kick), 10:19

WE – Greg Donaldson 55 blocked FG return (Gutierrez kick), 1:13

WE – #14 25 pass from Connelly (Gutierrez kick), 5:19

CS – Jordan Wiggins 30 pass from Kenyon Terrell (John Chance kick) 2:22

WE – Robertson 61 run (Gutierrez kick), 1:59

WE – Terrell Surtain 8 run (kick failed)

Individual leaders 


Captain Shreve (39-139) – Jayden Edwards 14-92, Terrell 11-20, Jamarlon Otis 9-10, Javen Thomas 5-17. 

Warren Easton (35-271) – Robertson 10-180, Connelly 10-80, Surtain 5-36. 


Captain Shreve – Terrell 13-21-1-227. 

Warren Easton – Connelly 6-11-0-119.


Captain Shreve – Keaton Flowers 6-104, Cam Wilson 2-43, Wiggins 2-39, Marquez Stevenson 3-6. 

Warren Easton – Torin Duronslet 2-50, Jashawn Johnson 1-31.

LHSAA second-round football playoff scores



Division I

Warren Easton 48, Captain Shreve 7
Carencro 27, Acadiana 17
Northwood 35, St. Paul’s 9
Brother Martin 27, St. Augustine 24
John Curtis 35, Jesuit 7
Byrd 49, Alexandria 10
Karr 34, Scotlandville 26
Catholic-BR 24, Rummel 0

Division II

St. Thomas More 55, Helen Cox 0
Madison Prep 6, St. Louis Catholic 0
Hannan – John F. Kennedy, no score reported Friday night
E.D. White 32, Evangel 29
De La Salle 53, Vandebilt Catholic 7
Lafayette Christian 46, McDonogh #35 8
Shaw 42, Livingston Collegiate 6
Tuerlings 51, Carver 27

Division III

Newman 57, Sophie Wright 19
University 43, Country Day 0
Calvary 52, Northlake Christian 0
Dunham 56, M.L. King Charter 21
Notre Dame 41, Lake Charles Prep 40, OT
Episcopal 10, Loyola 7
Parkview 28, North Caddo 24
St. Charles 49, Ascension Episcopal 17

Division IV

Vermilion Catholic 31, Cedar Creek 7
Southern Lab 12, St. Frederick 6
St. Mary’s 45, Hanson 0
St. Martin’s Episcopal 48, Delhi Charter 12
Ouachita Christian 49, Sacred Heart 0
Glenbrook 42, Catholic-PC 14
Ascension Catholic 38, Riverside 31
Opelousas Catholic 52, Central Catholic 12


Division I

Ruston 37, Ouachita 16
Denham Springs 29, Benton 28
Zachary 20, West Monroe 10
Southside 35, Northshore 14
East St. John 35, Haughton 21
Westgate 28, Slidell 7
Neville 31, East Ascension 9

Division II

Iowa 17, Abbeville 14
Leesville 21, Jennings 7
Breaux Bridge 33, Iota 18
North DeSoto 33, Cecilia 14
Lakeshore 35, Opelousas 34
Lutcher 49, St. Martinville 33
North Vermilion 41, Church Point 30
West Feliciana 55, Erath 21

Division III

Many 21, Richwood 0
Rosepine 20, Westlake 13
Avoyelles 52, St. Helena 8
St. James 41, Loreauville 14
Union Parish 34, Sterlington 14
Patterson 36, Winnfield 12
Amite 46, Jena 12
Berwick 33, Bogalusa 30

Division IV

Kentwood 53, General Trass 8
Oak Grove 35, Welsh 14
Haynesville 36, Oakdale 16
Basile 19, Oberlin 8
Mangham 60, Grand Lake 12
Arcadia 18, White Castle 12
Logansport 46, East Feliciana 16
Homer 52, Delhi 6

Brossette, Byrd tackle Alexandria in playoffs, Round 2

BYRD BRAINS:  Dynamic senior linebacker Brooks Brossette confers with Yellow Jackets coach Stacy Ballew in the season opener. (Photo by APRIL JOHNSON, Journal Sports)

By TEDDY ALLEN, Journal Sports 

Most football folk will tell you it’s a simple game, really: block and tackle.

Brooks Brossette, a senior linebacker who’ll finish his career in the Top 4 on the all-time career tackles list at C.E. Byrd, talks as if he believes that.

The secret to tackling people?

“Hit ’em hard as you can,” he said. “Wrap up.”

And there you go. Not rocket science. Just basic football science.

Brossette and his buddies will have plenty of chances to practice tackling tonight at 7 at Lee Hedges Stadium when the No. 6-seed Yellow Jackets, 7-3, face No.22-seed Alexandria Senior High, 5-6, in the regional round of LHSAA’s Select Division I Playoffs.

“They’ll try to run off-tackle against us, gut plays, try to establish that early,” Brossette said. “If we can shut that down and get our offense on the field, we’ll be good.”

Brossette knows something about good, as his 204 career tackles illustrate. This season, he leads Byrd with 16 tackles for loss, six more than he got last year when the Yellow Jackets went 9-2 and he became not only a starter, but an All City and All District selection.

“Salt-of-the-earth kid,” Jerry Byrd, former Byrd and Louisiana Tech lineman and current Byrd High assistant principal, said. “A leader. All his teammates love him. And not just in football, but baseball too.”

Byrd’s football linebacker is also Byrd’s baseball centerfielder.

“He makes plays that coming off the bat you think, ‘That’s in the gap and will be extra bases,’” said “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” Charlie Cavell. “Then the next thing you know, there’s Brooks, running it down and making some spectacular diving catch and you just shake your head, smile and say, ‘I’m sure glad he’s on our team.’”

And that’s the secret, besides hitting hard and wrapping up: speed. Brossette has it.

“Speed, his instincts and the intense competitive edge he plays with,” Cavell said. “That’s what separates him from being a good high school player to being a great one. He has that intangible drive that all great linebackers have.”

While on the subject of intangibles, don’t let the 5-6 ASH record deceive: three of ASH’s six losses came to two No. 1 seeds (Ruston and St. Thomas More) and a No. 8 seed (Carencro). ASH’s playoff win against No. 11-seed McKinley was a taking-candy-from-a-baby 42-0.

Tonight’s challenge for Byrd includes being successful running against a stout Trojan defensive front and containing an ASH team that has a formidable passing game led by quarterback Joe Bordelon. Byrd faltered against high-powered passing attacks in the regular season. See losses to Benton (68-28) and Airline (48-28).

And keep in mind that ASH’s head coach is Thomas Bachman, who coached pass-happy Evangel to a state championship. Brossette and his teammates would do well to keep Bordelon uncomfortable if Byrd head coach and Yellow Jacket lifer Stacy Ballew, in his second year as head coach and his 26th at the school, is to get his first playoff win as head man.

If things get really dicey, Ballew could always put his All-City linebacker in at the only other position Brossette would like to play.

“Running back, scoring touchdowns,” Brossette said. “I should have asked (Ballew) a couple of games ago. But he wouldn’t let me now. I think he likes me at linebacker too much.” 

Contact Teddy at

22-Alexandria (5-6) at 6-Byrd (7-3) 

Where: Lee Hedges Stadium

Series: First meeting 

Last week: Alexandria beat McKinley 42-0; Byrd had a bye 

Rankings: none 

All-time playoff record: Alexandria 13-30; Byrd 33-31-2 

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

Notables: This is the first-ever meeting between C.E. Byrd and ASH … Both Byrd and ASH played in the 2020 LHSAA State Championships in Natchitoches. Byrd lost to Catholic before the Jackets ended up with the trophy when the Bears were forced to forfeit several games including their 35-12 win against the Jackets. Acadiana beat ASH 35-34 in an overtime thriller … After losing 45-14 in their second-round playoff game to Brother Martin in 2021, Byrd head coach Stacy Ballew is looking for his first playoff win since taking over the program. 

Round 2 Playoff Preview: Evangel, Captain Shreve, Northwood, Byrd

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

Today wraps up the Round 2 previews of Shreveport-Bossier teams hoping to advance to the quarterfinals of the LHSAA football playoffs as they kick off tonight.

We start in Division II Select with Evangel Christian facing E.D White on the road in Thibodaux.

Evangel is coming off an impressive 60-0 win over Istrouma, and E.D. White comes off a bye.

I might be the only one in the statewide media who thinks Evangel has a chance, but my reasoning is that Evangel keeps getting better with talented players, both at the skill positions and in the trenches. The Eagles boast players like WR/DB Kody Jackson (6-2, 185), WR Parker Fulghum (6-1, 190), QB Peyton Fulghum, and “athlete” Tyreek Robinson, who has 4.4 speed.

I saw E.D. White play in 2021 and they will not on paper be a bigger team or faster team. Actually, Evangel will be the faster team overall, and has the advantage skill-wise. What E.D. White does do well is control the ball, mount long drives and eat clock with their big offensive line lead by Luke Gauthreaux (6-4, 310), Jacob Ginn (6-0, 280), and Matthew Broussard (6-4, 280).

Evangel can counter with a great linebacker core led by Drake Damari (6-0, 210), and DE/RB/OLB Gabriel Reliford (6-3, 230), who is as talented as anyone locally on the DL. E.D. White’s best athlete might be Matthew Melancon (6-0, 185), who runs a legit 4.5 40 and was All-State in 2021 as a DB.

If Evangel doesn’t turn the ball over, the Eagles have a chance to shock the Louisiana High School Football world — but not me — on Friday night.

Division I Select Captain Shreve goes south to New Orleans to meet powerhouse Warren Easton. Captain Shreve is coming off a 36-27 win against Tioga in the first round; Warren Easton had a bye.

This will be a game of “can you keep up” for Captain Shreve; Warren Easton does give up points but for the Gators to win this one, scoring at least 31 to 35 points might be needed. Warren Easton is again one of the fastest teams in Louisiana, led by a host of players with God-given talent, including QB Keddrick Connely (6-1, 205, 4.5 speed), CB Wallace Foster (5-11, 175, 4.4), DB/QB Mathis Lee (5-11, 175, 4.5), and All-State RB Fred Robertson (5-9, 180, 4.4).

Captain Shreve will need huge games from QB Kenyon Terrell (5-11, 175), WR Marquez Stevenson (6-2, 180, easy 4.5 speed), center Chris Allen (6-3, 275), Jayden Edwards (5-10, 185, 4.5 speed), and OT Devin Harper (6-5, 285).

The Gators will have to contend with two of the best players in Louisiana. Warren Easton’s defense is led by LB All State Jirrea Johnson (6-0, 215, 4.5 speed) with over 300 tackles in his career, and DT Jameian Buxton (6-1, 290. with 4.9 speed as a DE/DT), a transfer from Thibodaux in 2021.

Northwood takes on St. Paul’s from Covington. This is a good matchup for Northwood. St. Paul’s is balanced but doesn’t have a strong run game or passing game; the Wolves just do both pretty well.

St. Paul’s has depth and rotates a lot of personnel. When I saw the Wolves play this year, their strength was their offensive line, led by Gage Guzan (6-0, 265), Andrew Viener (6-3, 270)  Dylan Buckel (6-1, 250), Cayden Arnold (6-4, 270), Dominic Livaccari (6-0, 250) and three tight ends, each at least 6-2, 215.

This could be another huge game for Northwood’s interception king, CB MarJayvious Moss, who has two five-interception games in his career. But I think the Northwood trenches will be where this game is won; the leaders on the line are DE Ta’Derius Collins (6-4, 250), DT Jamarion Kennedy (6-4, 295) and DT Ted Jamison (6-0, 255). I also like Northwood’s run game to have a chance to control the clock.

St. Paul’s is coming off a win over Holy Cross, 24-21.

Alexandria Senior High taking on Byrd at Lee Hedges Stadium tonight at 7 will be one of the best games in North Louisiana. Everyone who’s “in the know” realizes Alexandria is not a true No.-22 seed, talent-wise. Byrd will try to win another game with QB Lake Lambert (6-3, 194), a senior who is approaching 30 career wins as a starter.

The key to this game is whether or not Byrd can run the ball on ASH, which has a great defensive unit led by DT/DE Jeremiah Wright (6-1, 260), DB Josh Marie (6-1, 190, 4.45 speed), CB Chris Clark (4.4 speed) and DT Wyatt Dauzart (5-11, 295). Defensively, Byrd is led by four-year starter LB Brooks Brossette (6-0, 205), who’s managed more than 200 tackles since the 2021 season.

ASH is coming off a huge win over McKinley, 42-0, and Byrd had a bye. But no one gets the night off tonight, especially in the trenches, where this one will be won. Or lost.

Contact Lee at