- Ben Mintz
After week 1 was marred by QB Justin Rogers knee injury, we have an amazing slate of week 2 games in the Shreveport/Bossier area highlighted by the 2017 Landers Dodge Battle on the Border at Independence Stadium. Last night, Captain Shreve defeated last year’s District 1-4A champions Woodlawn 19-18 in an exciting game at Lee Hedges Stadium to move to 2-0 on the season.
Airline travels to northeast Louisiana tonight to take on the Bastrop Rams after defeating Union 30-0 last week. Coach Bo Meeks called it one of the best defensive performances his team has had in his 7 years at Airline. Bastrop got walloped by Carver last week 45-13 but will present some challenges playing at home in a hostile environment and with their speed and athleticism at the skill positions.
Calvary travels to Union Parish tonight to take on the Fightin’ Farmers. Last year’s matchup was a wild 45-42 Union win in Shreveport. Calvary has a phenomenal offense led by QB Cade Hart, RB Kordavian Washington and WR Tank Davis but can the defense step up to give them some help? Last week, Byrd ran all over them in a 42-32 loss.
Evangel heads to Allen (TX) in one of the biggest high school football matchups in the nation this weekend. Evangel had a massive week 1 win 14-6 at East St. Louis (Ill), one of the top programs in the Midwest. Can the Eagles make it 2 in a row against the #4 ranked team in the country? Last year, Allen hammered Evangel 45-10 in week 1 and the Eagles should have revenge on their minds. LSU commit and star DT Davin Cotton left last week’s game in the 3rd quarter and is questionable tonight. Evangel’s elite defense will keep them in this game but can the young offense make enough plays to give them a chance? Allen has a $60 million stadium that seats 30,000 fans. A lot of eyes will be on this matchup of superpower programs.
Other matchups in this area tonight to follow are North Desoto at North Webster, West Ouachita at Loyola, BTW at Haughton and Minden at Haynesville.
The 2017 Battle on the Border kicks off tonight at 6pm at Independence Stadium. Here is a list of the matchups:
Booker T Washington (Tulsa) vs. West Monroe 6pm
Pearl (Miss.) vs. Parkway 8:30pm
Bishop Dunne (Dallas) vs. Brentwood Academy (Nashville) 11am
Grayson (Georgia) vs. John Curtis 3pm
Moss Point (Miss.) vs. Byrd 7pm
West Monroe defeated John Ehret 47-32 at home last week in a battle of top 5A programs. Head Coach Jerry Arledge is suspended the first 4 games of the season for impermissible contact with a player. The Rebels are led by Alabama commit QB Slade Bolden who can beat you with both his arms and legs. BTW is one of the best programs in Oklahoma. This should be a good game but I expect the Rebels to prevail.
Parkway was dealt a crippling blow to their season when superstar QB Justin Rogers dislocated his knee last week. Sophomore QB Armani Larry has massive shoes to fill for the Panthers as they take on one of the top programs in Mississippi, Pearl from the Jackson area. Larry will have the comfort of throwing to the #1 WR in the country, Terrace Marshall Jr. but can the Panthers defense make enough stops to win this game? And how will the team react to losing their leader in Rogers?
While there may not be a lot of local interest in the Bishop Dunne/Brentwood game, tons of top recruits will be on the field and it should be a great. Kudos to Landers Dodge for bringing in national powers for this great event. Both this matchup and Grayson/John Curtis will be two of the best games in the country this weekend. Curtis has the record for most State Titles in Louisiana but will actually be an underdog against Grayson who are ranked top 10 in the national polls.
Finally, Byrd closes the Battle on the Border against a Moss Point program that has a great history. However, Moss Point got wiped out by Hattiesburg last week and the program has seen better days. I expect Coach Mike Suggs and the Yellow Jackets to continue to put the 4-7 2016 behind them with a 2-0 start to this season.
Also on Saturday, Louisiana Tech hosts Mississippi State from the SEC in Ruston at 6:30pm on the CBS Sports Network and Northwestern St. travels to Grambling. LA Tech fans are hoping for the first sellout in school history. This is an incredible weekend for football in North Louisiana!