North DeSoto coach/athletic director Scott Abernathy was involved in quasi-football related duties on Tuesday afternoon in preparation of his team’s visit by top-ranked and top-seeded Neville on Friday night.
The Tigers make the jaunt to Stonewall bringing a lot of talent and some potentially hungry mouths to feed. So Abernathy was on a concessions run to Sam’s Club to ensure the food and drink was in ample supply for the LHSAA Class 4A quarterfinal contest.
“We want to make sure our visitors are well taken care of. I’m headed to pay for concessions — that’s part of the job,” said Abernathy, whose Griffins are making a rare visit to the third round. “We have to split the gate with Neville and pay travel, but we get to keep 100 percent of the concessions. We’re making sure we have plenty of hot chocolate and nachos.
“Hopefully, we’ll play well on top of that.”
The Griffins (10-2) will need to play extremely well. The Tigers (11-0) have averaged 48 points over the last six games while giving up just 20 total points. They’ve posted four shutouts during that span.
“Just their sheer size will be a challenge for us. Their offensive and defensive lines are the strength of their team,” Abernathy said. “They are very big and very athletic. We play a tough brand of football out here, but the challenge will be if we can sustain for four quarters.”
The Griffins needed a little magic last Friday night in getting past Loranger with a late drive that devoured 10 minutes on the clock without a pass. Dennis Hall (124 yards, 2 TDs) capped the 19-play effort with a 2-yard scoring run. He was backed by Delmonte Hall, who rushed for 103 yards and quarterback Tyler Radford, who tossed a pair of TDs to McGuire Parker.
“That drive showed that the kids knew how to finish a game. We won’t lie down quietly for anyone,” Abernathy said.
The Griffins do have the underdog badge to hang their hats on. No one expects them to beat the Tigers who have an offensive line anchored by 6-foot-5, 292-pound Joctavis Phillips along with a defensive line built around 6-2, 298-pound Rashard Lawrence, who has offers from Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Ohio State.
“It’s cool being the underdogs and our senior group will give a maximum effort on Friday — that’s all you can ask for,” Abernathy said. “It’s been the easiest week of the season to motivate our guys. Neville is the No. 1 team in the state — they’re undefeated, and they’re coming to our place.
“We know nobody expects us to win. So, we’ll just go leave it all on the line.”
Logansport gets visit from 1A’s top seed
Logansport has also earned the right to host top-seeded Kentwood on Friday night in the LHSAA Class 1A state quarterfinals.
Talented running back Debell Crawford, who has rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, will lead the Tigers (8-4) against the Kangaroos (10-1). Crawford got into the scoring column late last Friday in Logansport’s 36-0 win over Elton.
Quarterback Dalton Shaw tossed scoring touchdowns to Travion Daughtry (33 yards), Kameron Chatman (23) and Tremaine Fletcher (9) before Crawford hit paydirt.
Kentwood has scored exactly 40 points in four of its last five games, and defeated Oberlin 40-16 last Friday. The Kangaroos are led by speedy athlete Shyheim Carter, a former Alabama commit, who has also been offered by Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.