- Ben Mintz
Rivalry week is upon us already in week 5 of the high school football season. District play started last week and is heating up as teams start to make their push for the playoffs. It is time to break down this week’s matchups.
In District 1-5A, the Backyard Brawl kicks off this huge week tonight between Captain Shreve and Byrd at Lee Hedges Stadium at 7pm. Captain Shreve broke a long drought by beating the Yellow Jackets last season. Can they do it again? Shreve is off to a 3-1 start led by WR Steven Smith. The Gators did fall to Westgate last week 27-22 and are looking to bounce back in a big way against their archrivals. Byrd has lost 2 in a row including a 44-19 route by Haughton last week. This will be a hard fought game to the finish that could go either way. I am giving the edge to Coach Mike Suggs and the Yellow Jackets because of his experience and the Byrd rushing attack. Byrd 28, Shreve 24 (Radio 1130 AM The Tiger with Charlie Cavell)
Airline hosts archrival Parkway Friday night at 7pm at MD Raye Field in Bossier. Airline is off to a 3-1 start (1-0 in 1-5A) and look impressive. Junior QB Brad Fream continues to mature in Coach Bo Meeks high flying offense. The Viking have a nice set of Wide Recievers led by Coby McGee, Nate Fullilove and Jamal Johnson. The offensive line has been impressive as well led by Jacob Turberville and Braden Thibidaux. Parkway is in disarray due to season ending injuries to superstars QB Justin Rogers and WR Terrace Marshall Jr. Sophomore QB Armani Larry has been thrust into a tough position trying to fill Rogers’ huge shoes. The Panthers have allowed 165 points in their last 3 games and are 1-3. I will be broadcasting this game live on 100.7 FM The Ticket with Mac Ledbetter and will not make a pick.
Evangel is hosting Haughton in a battle of 1-0 teams in 1-5A. The Buccaneers are riding high after last week’s 44-19 win over Byrd. RB Lavonte Gipson had a massive game but it will be tough sledding against the top defense in the state in Evangel. Evangel destroyed Parkway 52-0 in Bossier last Friday. LSU Commit Safety Ar’Darius Washington continues to dazzle with 2 touchdowns last week (1 rushing, 1 return). Evangel outscored their district foes 330-20 last season and is on pace for a similar result this fall. This defense is one of the best I have ever seen in 25 years of high school football. Evangel 45, Haugton 0
In District 1-4A, Benton hosts Northwood in a potential shootout. The Tigers are 4-0 and ranked 3rd in the state 4A poll. Benton has scored at least 40 points in all 4 wins and have blown everyone out. Northwood has been one of the surprise teams in the area in 2017. They are coming off a 63-27 upset of North Desoto. This will be a litmus test for Northwood who is led by rising star sophomore QB Peyton Bogan. In the end, Benton just has too much firepower led by the big three of QB Garret Hable, RB Jermaine Newton and WR Doyle Adams Jr. Benton 49 Northwood 27
North Desoto is traveling to Independence Stadium to take on the Woodlawn Knights. North Desoto had a rough week with 5 players transferring to Evangel and getting blown out by Northwood. This game is a battle of two great running backs in Aubrey Scott of the Griffins and Truviskey Mosley of the Knights. Woodlawn opened 1-4A with a 43-8 win over BTW last Thursday. In the end, Woodlawn is too athletic. Woodlawn 35 North Desoto 21
In other 1-4A action, I am picking Bossier to squeak by Huntington in a lower scoring affair. Bossier 21 Huntington 16
The Calvary Cavs are coming off their first win of the season last week after blowing out Peabody 45-12. They face a brutally tough task in the defending 2A state champion Sterlington Panthers in Shreveport Friday night. Sterlington won at Loyola 43-13 last week and makes it two in a row over the Shreveport private schools Friday night due to their toughness on the offensive and defensive lines. Sterlington 42 Calvary 28
Other matchups to watch in the area are Loyola at North Caddo, North Webster at Southwood, Arcadia at Haynesville and Logansport at Montgomery.