C.E. Byrd 63, Bastrop 8
A week after opening the season with a 55-0 victory over Shreveport Huntington, the Bastrop Rams experienced the other side of the one-sided spectrum Friday night.
Seven different players combined to score nine touchdowns as Shreveport C.E. Byrd throttled Bastrop 63-8 in Game 2 of the Battle on the Border at Independence Stadium.
Byrd (2-0) missed an opportunity on its second series when Tyler Johnson's blocked punt gave the Jackets possession at the Bastrop 23.
It was only the beginning of a miserable evening for the Rams' punting unit. Four Bastrop punts were either blocked, struck an upback or partially deflected and another was never attempted due to a high snap.
"Everything rises and falls on leadership, and ultimately, it's at my feet and I'm responsible for these kids and the product that we put on the field," Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. "The four punts were obviously huge, we had multiple turnovers ... all the stuff that gets you beat, we did it all in 48 minutes."
Bastrop's defense was able to come up with a stop as Kintavious Cash recovered a fumble at the six. Otherwise, Byrd's offense was pretty much flawless.
Following the Rams' second straight three-play series, the Jackets took over after a partially blocked punt.
This time, the Jackets capitalized as Tysen Hardman barged into the end zone untouched from three yards out midway through the first period. Jake Wyss, who was a perfect 9-for-9 on PATs, added the convert.
Wyss then boomed the kickoff into the end zone for a touchback, before the Rams (1-1) put together a 15-play, 80-yard drive to grab the lead.
Christian Doaty and Jamari Payne teamed up twice to convert on third-and-long and Doaty scrambled for 17 yards on fourth-and-six from the 38.
Kevin Heard capped the march with an 11-yard TD jaunt up the middle, before Doaty's 2-point pass to Payne put Bastrop in front 8-7 with 2:02 to play in the opening period.
Bastrop then came up with a defensive stop. On fourth-and-three from the Byrd 48, Tyler Howard threw incomplete under duress from Q Caldwell on the Jackets' lone pass attempt of the game.
Bastrop netted only two yards on its next series, but Doaty's 38-yard punt pinned the Jackets back to the 7-yardline.
Unfazed by the long field, the Jackets needed just one play to find the end zone. Bouncing around the left edge, Louis Mills streaked 93 yards to paydirt, putting Byrd up 14-8 with 10:46 to play in the half.
The Byrd avalanche was just beginning.
A blocked punt on the Rams' ensuing series set up Dominic Haggerty's 10-yard run, bringing the score to 21-8.
Bastrop turned the ball over three plays into its next possession. Chandler Nance's fumble recovery led to Mills' 1-yard run.
Byrd's lead swelled to 35-8 at halftime as Tyler Johnson took a blocked punt to the house from 20 yards out.
Any hopes that Bastrop had of getting back into the game in the second half were instantly dashed by Ryan Downey on the second half kickoff. Byrd's starting center, Downey fielded the Rams' onside kickoff on the hop and galloped 50 yards untouched.
With the clocking running for the remainder of the half, the Jackets' onslaught continued. Haggerty rushed for his second touchdown from 10 yards out, Daniel Bacon punched it in from three yards away and Keven Starks added a 1-yard run.
Bastrop is back in action Friday night at Pearl (Miss.), while the Yellow Jackets are matched against Calvary Baptist on Thursday evening.
Notes: Byrd, which is in its 94th season of football, improved its all-time record to 529-367-23, including a 22-2 mark against Bastrop. Friday's game was the first meeting between the two schools since 1996. Bastrop's last victory over the Jackets came in 1963. … Byrd has won its first two games by a collective margin of 121-29. … Scheduled for 8:30 p.m., the game did not get under way until 9:36. … Lafayette St. Thomas More defeated Calvary Baptist in the early game, 44-19.