- Ben Mintz
Today is one of my favorite days of the calendar year, the first Friday night of football season! Here is a list of games to follow around the area tonight with all games beginning at 7pm.
Southwood at Pineville
University at Plain Dealing
BTW at Parkway
North Caddo at Northwood
Natchitoches Central at North Desoto
Ruston at Neville
Minden at Haughton
Bossier at Madison
Logansport at Jonesboro-Hodge
Evangel at East St. Louis (Ill)
Loyola at Cedar Creek
Woodlawn at Carroll
Green Oaks at Captain Shreve
Wossman at Benton
Union at Airline
Huntington at Mansfield
North Webster at Haynesville (7:30)
The high school football season started off with a wild game at Lee Hedges Stadium last night. Byrd defeated Calvary 42-32 in a shootout after falling behind 17-7 early. This is a big statement win in week 1 for Coach Mike Suggs Yellow Jackets coming off a disappointing 4-7 season. Coach Rodney Guin falls in his debut as Calvary head coach but I expect great things out of the Cavs this year. They are led by a dynamic combo in sophomore QB Cade Hart and senior RB Kordavian Washington.
Tonight Evangel at East St. Louis (Ill) is the game of the week. East St. Louis is one of the top programs in 7A in Illinois. This is a matchup of national powers and I cannot wait to see how the Eagles fare on the road. Every year, Evangel starts off the season the first 2 weeks playing superpowers of high school football to get ready for the long grind of the fall. This Evangel defense is one of the top in the country but the big question is can there offense score enough points on the road against a great team to pull off a huge win? Next week the schedule gets no easier for the Eagles as they head to Allen (TX) another of the nation’s top teams yearly.
Airline opens up with 3A Union Parish in Bossier City. I will be on the call on 100.7 FM The Ticket for all Vikings games this season. The Vikings are lead by Junior QB Brad Fream and Senior WR Coby McGee whose coming back off a torn ACL. Coach Bo Meeks is excited about this 2017 team. Union is known for playing smashmouth power football. This should be a nice warmup test for Airline before they hit the road to Bastrop and Ruston the next 2 weeks.
Loyola opens on the road against a strong Cedar Creek squad in Ruston. Loyola had an incredible 9-2 season in 2016 but must replace star RB Ethan Standsill and WR Tony Dorsey along with 20 other seniors. Loyola should be a playoff team in 2017 but will they be able to match last season’s success?
Parkway opens with BTW in BTW’s first game since merging with Fair Park. Led by superstar seniors in QB Justin Rogers and WR Torrace Marshall Jr., the Panthers should roll in week 1 coming off a rough performance in the 23-14 jamboree loss to Benton. Captain Shreve opens with Green Oaks. Green Oaks struggled going 1-9 last season and is breaking in a new coach. I expect the Gators to roll with or without QB Lucas Grubb whose questionable with an injury.
I will be back tomorrow with a recap of tonight’s week 1 high school football action. Tonight is a beautiful night and I hope everyone enjoys getting out and supporting their local schools.