Ouachita at Bastrop (Jamboree), Friday, 7 p.m.
Closing out preseason play at home Friday night, the Bastrop Rams tangle with the Ouachita Lions in jamboree action.
Starting time is 6:30 for the junior varsity contest, which will consist of two eight-minute quarters. The varsity will then play two 15-minute halves.
Bastrop has two preseason scrimmages under its belt, losing to Ruston 14-0 Friday, Aug. 16 at Ouachita, and beating Alexandria 39-0 on Friday, Aug. 23 at Ram Stadium.
It's a given that the Rams will face an upgrade in the level of competition Friday night.
“This is our third straight 5A opponent,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “Ouachita will be a good test for us, no doubt.”
Ouachita enters the season with a new head coach as Jeff Fitzgerald was brought in over the summer to replace John Carr, who accepted an assistant coaching position at Southern Mississippi.
Fitzgerald, who spent last season as ASH's head coach, inherits a squad coming off of a 10-3 season and a state quarterfinal appearance.
Offensively, the Lions are loaded with playmakers.
Cameron Sims (6-4, 185, sr.), who verbally committed to Alabama last week, is the Lions' marquee player. Jalen Tolliver (5-11, 170, sr.) is also a threat at the receiver position.
Averaging 8.5 yards per carry, running back Nigel Dora (5-10, 170, sr.) earned first-team All-District 2-5A honors after rushing for 1,458 yards and 11 touchdowns on 172 carries.
Charles Wright (5-10, 160, jr.) won the starting quarterback job in the spring.
On the defensive side, the Lions are led by another All-District 2-5A honoree, end Eric Bowie (6-1, 215, sr.).
This marks the third straight season that the Lions and Rams have hooked up in the jamboree. Ouachita won the two previous meetings in the Bayou Jamb at ULM, 28-22 on a late touchdown in 2011 and 21-20 last year.
When the Bayou Jamb was discontinued under a new NCAA rule, the two schools agreed to continue the series.
The two teams also met in the spring, with Bastrop scoring on the final play of the game to secure an 18-18 tie.
“It's been a great matchup the last couple of years in the Bayou Jamb,” Bachman said. “Hopefully, we can get the Bayou Jamb back next year.”
Regrouping from a disappointing outing against Ruston, the Rams had their way with an overmatched ASH squad last week.
“I'm anxious to see how we play,” Bachman said. “I want to see 11 people playing hard on both sides of the ball.”
A week after managing only two first downs against Ruston, the Rams' offense exploded against ASH. Quarterback Christian Doaty completed 13-of-22 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Isaiah Graham caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Payne finished with four grabs for 85 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensively, the Rams are led by tackle Johnnie Marsaw, linebacker Kentreylus Hill-Pates and weakside safety Lester Lee.
Bastrop running back Antwone Green remains out with a sprained MCL. The Rams will also be without backup quarterback Jerry Powell, who was injured on the final play of last week's scrimmage.
Both teams open regular season play on the road next Friday. Bastrop battles Shreveport Byrd at Independence Stadium, while Ouachita takes on parish rival Richwood.