When it comes to a clash of titans in District 1-5A, it doesn’t get much better than Friday’s Evangel showdown with Airline in Bossier City.
Both teams are undefeated in league play, both have solid defenses and both have offenses that can erupt at any time. The winner doesn’t have a lock on the district title, but they certainly become the odds-on favorite.
“Airline has one of the nastiest defenses in the state and they do a good job of taking away the other team’s strengths,” said Evangel coach Byron Dawson, who has a nasty defense of his own. “We’re getting ready for a very good Airline team playing them on the road in a hostile environment.”
The Vikings (6-1, 3-0 District 1-5A) shut out Southwood, Captain Shreve and Mansfield in consecutive weeks before allowing Haughton to score 17 points last week in a 35-17 win. After allowing prolific Parkway just eight points in Week 4, the Eagles (5-2, 3-0) have shut out University Academy, Southwood and Shreve in successive outings.
“We know Evangel is a very good football team, but we feel like we are too,” Airline coach Bo Meeks said. “This is a big ballgame between two good teams. We’re trying to get our players to be focused, but to remain relaxed. Sometimes, if you get too tight, it can cause problems.”
Fortunately for the Vikings, they got speedy running back Brian Fielding back two weeks ago and wide out Coby McGee back this past week against Haughton.
“We are about as healthy as we can be for this time of the season,” Meeks said.
Dawson said his defense is just a bunch of guys working hard to get better weekly.
“Ar’Darius Washington has been strong for us on the backside, while Davin Cotton has done a good job up front,” Dawson said. “But we will have a great challenge this week.”
Benton visits Woodlawn
This contest at Independence Stadium has been building all season and will be yet another test for the new and improved Woodlawn club.
Few in District 1-4A expected the Knights (6-1, 4-0) to be undefeated in league play this far into the campaign. The win over North DeSoto was a signature victory for coach Jerwin Wilson’s team in 2016.
“They have a different mindset over there after beating North DeSoto and that is that losing a game they should win is not acceptable,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “The real change is getting the kids to expect to win.”
Benton (6-1, 3-1) will be guided offensively by quarterback Garrett Hable, running back Jermaine Newton and wideouts Doyle Adams Jr. and John Westmoreland. Woodlawn counters with Josh Mosley, Trivenskey Mosley and Larry Moton, a trio that has been nearly unstoppable at times.
“Woodlawn has been scoring around 30 points every game – they’ve been consistent,” Moore said. “We’ll have to get some stops and try to create some pressure to see how they respond. They have definitely turned heads so far this fall.”