Ruston 14, Bastrop 0
Preseason scrimmages aren't supposed to be a thing of beauty. That said, Bastrop High was looking to make a better showing in the Louisiana High School Officials Association's preseason outing.
For the record, Jawaun Wright rushed for a pair of touchdowns as the Ruston Bearcats handled Bastrop 14-0 in the middle contest of a five-game card at Ouachita.
Bottom line: The error-prone Rams were severely outplayed.
“Everybody came out of this scrimmage with something they need to improve on,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “Obviously, our list is long.”
No argument here.
* Ruston outgained the Rams 151-37 in total offense and held a 9-2 edge in first downs. Both first downs came on the final series.
* Bastrop was flagged five times for 25 yards in the 30-minute contest, including three encroachment penalties.
* Quarterback Christian Doaty was sacked three times for negative 24 yards. Factoring in the sack yardage, the Rams' net rushing total was minus-7 yards on nine carries.
* Wright gashed the Rams' defense for 108 yards on 14 carries, including a 51-yard TD jaunt on fourth-and-one.
Converting a pair of third-and-fives on the opening series, the Bearcats covered 70 yards on 13 plays to grab an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Ben LeBlanc, who was 5-of-5 for 37 yards on the day, completed four passes during the drive, leading to Wright's 1-yard touchdown.
Flagged for holding on their first offensive snap, the Rams went three and out.
Bastrop caught a break on the ensuing series as a holding penalty negated Wright's 6-yard touchdown run.
On the following play, Lester Lee recovered a fumble off of a botched reverse to give the Rams possession at their own 33.
Bastrop fumbled the ball away two plays later at the Ruston 24.
After a first down pass fell incomplete, Q Caldwell sacked LeBlanc for minus-13 yards and Wooley's 52-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the half fell short
Ruston ran 20 plays in the first half as compared to Bastrop's six.
Starting the second half from the 20 after Shelton Wooley's kickoff went for a touchback, the Rams lost eight yards on three plays.
Setting up at their own 40, the Bearcats soon faced fourth-and-one from the 49. Spinning away after being hit in the backfield, Wright found a seam up the middle and raced 51 yards to paydirt. Wooley's second PAT put the Bearcats up 14-0.
Bastrop moved the chains twice on its final series as Christian Doaty connected with Jamari Payne three times for 21 yards and Devin Brown once for nine stripes. Kevin Heard's nine-yard pickup was good for a first down at the Ruston 30, but Isaiah Buggs sacked Doaty for a loss of six on fourth-and-11 to seal the shutout.
Looking to make substantial improvement over the next week, the Rams host Alexandria Senior High in a preseason scrimmage on Friday.
“The kids will be here Sunday and we'll get back to work,” Bachman said.