LaSalle at Beekman, Friday, 7 p.m.
Joey Lee has seen improvement from the Beekman Tigers over the summer. Now he's ready to see some tangible results.
Opening the season on campus for the first time in school history, Beekman hosts the LaSalle Tigers Friday night. Starting time is 7 p.m. from Keith Huntsman Field.
This marks the third straight year the Tigers have met in the season opener with LaSalle winning a pair of games which went down to the wire.
In 2016 at Delta's Mustang Corral (Beekman's former "home" field), LaSalle escaped with a 19-14 victory. Beekman had the ball inside the 5-yardline when time expired.
Last year's game in Olla was another barnburner as LaSalle squeaked out a 7-6 win.
LaSalle went on to go 5-6 before losing to Homer in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs. Beekman, meanwhile, finished the campaign 0-9, and brings an 11-game losing streak into the contest.
But this is a new year.
"You always want to start off 1-0," Lee said. "To get our first win in this stadium would be a great way to start off."
In all likelihood, the game will come down to which team runs the ball most effectively and has the fewest turnovers.
"Whoever controls the trenches will win this one," Lee said. "We both like to run between the tackles."
Beekman will run the veer under Lee while LaSalle operates from the spread formation.
"They use the spread running game," Lee said. "They run a lot of power. They are very big up front with two 300-pounders."
Beekman will need a solid showing from its front four of ends Pierce Hayman and Ethan White and tackles Xavier Lewis and Ethan Nelson.
Offensively, BCS is counting on Aiden Cherry, Carson Middlebrooks, Cam Harrell, Josh Nelson and Mitchell McKinney to control the line of scrimmage.
LaSalle split its jamboree games, blanking Tensas Parish 14-0 and bowing to Vidalia 14-6.
Beekman also went 1-1 in jamboree play, shutting out D'Arbonne Woods 12-0 and dropping a 13-0 decision to Crossett.
"We played a great game against D'Arbonne Woods," Lee said.
After yielding a touchdown on its first series against Crossett, the BCS Tigers drove to the plus-20 before fumbling the ball away with 1:30 remaining.
"We held our own against Crossett," Lee said. "We were driving it down their throats before the turnover, and they ended up scoring late on us."
For Lee, the scrimmage confirmed what he already suspected.
"We've gotten a lot better," he said.
Friday's game will provide the answer to the next question. Has Beekman improved enough to get back into the win column for the first time since Week 9 of the 2016 season?
To say Beekman is in a must-win situation in Week 1 may be a bit of an overstatement, but it's clearly a game it needs to win.
"I'm not saying LaSalle's not good, but our schedule only gets tougher from here on out," Lee said.
Next Friday, Beekman wraps up a two-game homestand against Homer.