Bastrop (1-0) vs. Shreveport Byrd (1-0), Friday, 8:30 p.m., Independence Stadium (Shreveport)
Perhaps Bastrop should have put some of its points from last week in the bank and saved them for this week's matchup against C.E. Byrd. For that matter, the Yellow Jackets could have stored up some points, as well.
Both teams broke the half-century mark in their regular season premiers, with the Rams shellacking Shreveport Huntington 55-12 and Byrd routing Zachary 58-21. Scoring at will, the Rams and Yellow Jackets were both in the 30s as the first quarter drew to a close.
In Game 2 of the Battle on the Border, Bastrop and Byrd collide on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Independence Stadium. St. Thomas More and Calvary Baptist meet in the curtain-raiser at 6.
Saturday's slate has Acadiana vs. Neville at 2 p.m., Marshall (Texas) vs. Parkway at 5 and Olive Branch (Miss.) vs. Longview at 7:30.
Advance tickets are on sale for $10 in the Bastrop High office during school hours. Tickets are $15 at the gate. Club level tickets are also available for $50 (includes covered seating and food). Tickets are good for admission to all five games.
This marks Bastrop's first appearance in the third annual event.
“It is certainly a big stage this weekend for high school football with all these teams coming together over a two-day period and we're excited to be a part of it,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “It's a great chance for the kids to showcase all of the hard work they have put in and to showcase their ability.
“It should be a lot of fun and a great atmosphere. Hopefully, we'll have a strong following from Morehouse Parish.”
Leading Huntington 48-0 at halftime, Bachman pulled the Rams' starters early in the third quarter. It is highly unlikely that the Rams will go deep into their bench this week.
“We'll have to be at the top of our game,” Bachman said. “They jumped on Zachary from the get-go. It was out of control early. In the two films I've seen, they've punted one time and that was against Huntington in the jamboree when they had all of their subs in. They're very efficient with their offense.
“They have quite a few seniors on defense and a whole bunch of kids in the program. Byrd is one of the largest schools in the state. They have a lot of tradition, a lot of history.”
Byrd added to its rich history last week as the 58 points were the most in a season opener in the 92-year history of the football program.
When Bachman says the Yellow Jackets have “a whole bunch of kids in the program,” he isn't exaggerating. Actually, it's more like an army as Byrd has approximately 130 players on its roster.
Quarterback Tyler Howard directs Byrd's Wing-T attack. Fullback Louis Mills and tailback Tyler Johnson lead a deep stable of backs.
“Their quarterback is a good operator of their offense and their backs run the ball hard,” Bachman said.
Defensively, the Jackets return seven starters from last season, including linebacker Andrew Crow and defensive backs Dayton Johnson and Hayden Ellison. Dayton Johnson had a pick-6 against Zachary.
Byrd is the first in a stretch of tough pre-district opponents for the Rams, who visit Pearl (Miss.) next week, before returning home against Parkway on Sept. 27.
“By the time Week 11 gets here, we should be battle-tested,” Bachman said. “Hopefully, the kids will learn how to win. When the game is in the balance and it's late, somebody has to make a play to turn the tide. I'm looking forward to watching our kids compete.”
Christian Doaty threw for 233 yards and six touchdowns against Huntington. Jamari Payne (7 receptions, 91 yards, 3 TDs) and Devin Brown (3-111-2) are Doaty's primary targets.
Bachman said that running back Antwone Green's return has been pushed back. Green (sprained MCL) was hoping to be back in time for the Byrd game. Kevin Heard, who rotated with Green last season, ran for 77 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts last week.
Among the Rams' key defenders are tackles Q Caldwell and Johnnie Marsaw and linebackers Kentreylus Hill-Pates and Chad Rawls.