Dusty McGehee: What is a shooter buck?

by Dusty McGehee

Rifle season is finally here and many of us have one thing in common – we all want to kill the biggest buck available.

Unfortunately, my camera surveys in Lincoln Parish are lacking in big bucks; aka shooter bucks.  But that’s okay, there are plenty of available targets to keep my kids entertained and keep food on the table. 

What defines a “shooter buck”?  

Well, that depends. For my 7-year-old, it will be the first buck that walks by.  For me, that means a 3.5-plus-year-old buck.  For you, that may mean something totally different. How did I come to the conclusion that a 3.5-year-old buck is a shooter?  Over the years, I’ve determined that’s realistically as old as they get on our land in Lincoln Parish.  Sure, there are a few outliers that have lived longer, but I can probably count on one hand how many bucks, 4.5-years-or-older that I’ve killed here.  It’s also no coincidence that most of those are hanging on my wall.

If you want to grow big bucks in Lincoln Parish, there is only one realistic way to do it. You must work with your neighbors and have the same common goal.  Most of my neighbors have been lifelong friends so it makes it easy.  We share trail cam pics of bucks and discuss what bucks we will target and what bucks we should pass up. Over the years, this partnership has worked, and we have all been lucky enough to take some really nice deer.

One thing I’ve heard a lot in my lifetime is the thought process that “If I don’t shoot him my neighbor will.”  That saying has always made me cringe a little.  For one, I don’t think you should make an excuse for a buck you shot, no matter what the size.  Just be proud of him, and I will be proud for you.

Also, while it may be true that the neighbor would shoot him, you just 100 percent guaranteed that he would not make it another year when you decided to pull the trigger.  So if you truly do want to kill a big buck, the shooting-before-my-neighbor-does strategy probably won’t work for you in the long run.

What age bucks do I think you should shoot?  Whatever makes YOU happy.  If you get excited and overcome with buck fever, then shoot whatever is in your crosshairs and I will be the first to congratulate you.  I will manage my property how I want to. It’s not my place to tell you what you should do on yours.  

There was a time in my younger years where I would truly get worked up over a neighbor killing a young buck that I had passed up.  I was having moments where hunting was not fun.  One day I finally had an “aha moment,” and knew I was going about it all wrong.  So, I changed my mindset and haven’t looked back.  I can promise you; hunting is a lot more enjoyable now!

So, as we start off this year’s deer season, I urge you to not have the mindset I had in my teenage years.  Go out and enjoy the woods and don’t worry about what others shoot.  We, as hunters, need to stick together and not fight amongst ourselves.

I hope everyone has a successful start to the rifle season.  Big bucks, small bucks, or does: be proud of what you take.  As for me, I just hope ANY buck comes in front of Ridge this weekend!

How Jack-o-lanterns originated

Pumpkins with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating jack-o’-lanterns originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as early canvasses. In fact, the name, jack-o’-lantern, comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. 

Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o’-lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Source: http://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins

Creek moves into playoff range in latest power ratings

Heading into this weekend’s game against Delta Charter, Cedar Creek was on the outside looking in when it came to the Division IV playoff picture.

However, after an impressive 57-0 win over the Storm and some other results around the state, the Cougars wake up this morning sitting at No. 15 in the state power rankings. The top 16 teams in Division IV earn a spot in the playoffs.

“It’s a big win for us,” said head coach Matt Middleton following last night’s win. “We need some things to happen with some other teams in front of us in the power rankings. But I am proud of the kids. We get 16 points for the win so that will help us.”

It did.

The Cougars end the regular season next Friday night against Tensas knowing they must win. And even then, Creek will most likely need some help.

Example: St. Frederick’s would not make the playoffs if they started this week. The Warriors (7-2) are No. 17 after Friday night’s action and a 31-14 loss to Oak Grove. However, the Warriors face Delta Charter next week and will get 16 points with a win over the Storm, moving them back into the Top 16.

At the end of the day, more than 16 teams should qualify for the playoffs in the Division IV side.

“The system is broken,” said Middleton prior to last night’s game. “The (public side) has 30 teams, and they put 24 into the playoffs. There are 29 private schools (in Division IV), and we only put 16 teams into the playoffs. The system is broken and needs to be fixed.”

To put this into perspective, the Delta Charter team that the Cougars white-washed last night is currently rated as the No. 8 team in Class A on the public side. Number 8! Creek also beat the No. 3 rated team on the public side in Oak Grove. So how big of a travesty would it be if the Cougars don’t end up in the Division IV playoffs?

A big one.

If the playoff started today, the Cougars would be matched up against the current No. 2 rated team in Sacred Heart (7-2). With one more regular season game, we will see how it all shakes out after Friday night against Tensas.

With Tensas sitting at 1-8 on the year, the Cougars will only get 11 points for the victory most likely meaning Creek will need at least one team currently sitting below them to lose.

Other Lincoln Parish teams are also sitting in playoff position. Ruston High is No. 4 in this week’s 5A ratings, trailing only Captain Shreve, Zachary and Ponchatoula. The Bearcats end their regular season against West Monroe Friday night at James Stadium with the district title on the line.

Lincoln Prep (5-4) sits at No. 12 in the Class A rankings and ends its regular season against Plain Dealing Friday night. The Panthers are sitting in good shape for the playoffs with one week remaining.

Here are the most current power ratings for Division IV on Geauxpreps.com.

1 Calvary Baptist 8 1 15.030 5.890
2 Sacred Heart 7 2 14.770 6.670
3 Ouachita Christian 9 0 14.670 4.670
4 Central Catholic 6 2 14.480 6.130
5 Opelousas Catholic 8 1 14.170 5.220
6 Southern Lab 6 2 14.090 5.750
7 Vermilion Catholic 6 3 14.050 6.890
8 St. Mary’s 7 2 13.530 5.560
9 Metairie Park Country Day 4 2 13.440 5.170
10 St. Edmund 6 3 13.330 6.110
11 Ascension Catholic 6 1 13.170 4.290
12 Riverside Academy 3 4 12.380 6.000
13 Hamilton Christian 6 2 12.330 5.250
14 Catholic – P.C. 5 4 12.320 6.330
15 Cedar Creek 5 3 12.060 6.000
16 Hanson Memorial 6 3 11.860 5.220
17 St. Frederick 6 2 11.620 4.500
18 Westminster Christian 6 3 11.010 4.670
19 Covenant Christian 3 4 9.850 5.140
20 Thrive Academy 2 5 9.660 5.710
21 Highland Baptist 4 5 9.650 5.330
22 River Oaks 3 6 8.570 5.560
23 St. Martin’s Episcopal 2 4 8.570 5.000
24 St. John 3 6 8.220 4.560
25 Central Private 2 5 7.580 4.430
26 Ascension Christian 2 6 7.130 4.380
27 Glenbrook 7 2 0.000 4.560

Astros or Braves? What does history say?

George Stone

By Wesley Harris

Who should we be pulling for in this week’s World Series? The Atlanta Braves or the Houston Astros?

We can turn to history and geography to help answer the question.

In the Houston team’s early days, the Astros collected many Louisiana fans because no other MLB team called the South home until the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966. Before that, the closest team was the St. Louis Cardinals, a team with loyal fans in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana because of geography. 

Local product James Rodney Richard pitched for the Astros from 1971 to 1980. Former Tech Bulldog pitcher Phil Maton joined the Houston team this summer. 

Later, the newest team in the region, the Texas Rangers, developed a following around Shreveport and north Louisiana. Proximity plays a role in fandom.

Several Braves players grew up in north Louisiana, dating back to the days when the team called Boston, Massachusetts, home. Mule Watson of Claiborne Parish and Bill Bagwell of Choudrant played for the Braves in the 1920s. Hal Lee, who lived in Ruston for years, had some good seasons with the Braves the next decade. 

When I was in the sixth grade at Ruston Elementary in 1968, the principal stunned me with news several local guys were playing for the Atlanta Braves. It was the only year George Stone, Ralph Garr, Cecil Upshaw, and Wayne Causey played together in Atlanta, and that early hometown pride made me a Braves fan for life. I treasure my yearbook for that year—the first ever produced by the school—dedicated to former student George Stone, a pitcher for the Braves.

Was it an amazing coincidence four players who grew up within a few miles of one another ended up on the same team for just a single year? A few years earlier, Joe Adcock had played for the Braves when the team called Milwaukee home, completing a stellar 10-year career. No other team of that era, or before or after for that matter, had as many players from north Louisiana simultaneously.

With no money for baseball magazines or trading cards and virtually no televised games on the three fuzzy channels we could pick up, my dad and I relied on newspapers to keep up with the Braves. Then cable TV and the TBS Superstation came along, televising every Braves game for over 20 years. Baseball fans across the nation embraced the Braves simply because they were accessible like few other major league teams. 

Google “America’s Team” and the Braves logo pops up first.

I moved the family to Atlanta in 1989 and attended numerous Braves games in Fulton County Stadium. My son became a serious Braves fan, taking his wife to Atlanta for their honeymoon. They return to Atlanta when they can to see the Braves and attend games of the closer Mississippi Braves farm team in Jackson.

According to one online betting site, fans in 47 states are pulling for the Braves. Only Texas, Louisiana, and Delaware want the Astros to win. The Louisiana support comes from the larger population centers in the southern part of the state. Astros games were televised and carried on radio routinely in New Orleans and Lafayette starting in the team’s early days. More Astros players have come from Cajun country than north Louisiana. 

We may have to settle for designating the Braves as northeast Louisiana’s team and southwest Louisiana leaning toward the Astros.

But for me, simply by sheer numbers of north Louisiana players, the Braves win the crown as our region’s team. And it’s my team because of the fine men from our area who played for them. 

As I write this, my son and daughter-in-law are in Atlanta for the Series, a result of nothing but Braves baseball in our home, continuing a tradition from my childhood.

Now, if they can only win the Series.

Monarchs top Bulldogs on gridiron

NORFOLK, Va. — A last second field goal propelled Old Dominion (2-6; 1-3 C-USA) to its first conference win in 1,085 days, beating the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2-6; 1-3 C-USA) on Saturday by a final score of 23-20 in S.S. Ballard Stadium.

“This is a locker room that has had its fourth last-play loss, and it’s hard to deal with,” Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. “We have to pick ourselves up and play four more games. We have to put our game plan together and go execute.”

Tied at 20 late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs elected to go for it on a 4th and 3 scenario with back up quarterback J.D. Head, who was in for an injured senior quarterback Austin Kendall. Head attempted a long pass to Bub Means up the sideline, but missed his receiver out of bounds.

“My thought process was we had a young quarterback on the road, and rather than playing for overtime, we would try it,” Holtz said. “We wanted to give our outside receivers an opportunity. And that’s what we tried to execute and we couldn’t do it.”

The Monarchs took over on downs and drove the football to the 29-yard line. With time expiring, the 46-yard field goal by senior Nick Rice went through.

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams scored 10 points in the last four minutes of the second quarter. Tech’s first half touchdown was set up in part thanks to a fake punt direct snap to freshman Joseph Mason for a 27-yard gain. Kendall connected with senior Isaiah Graham for a 32-yard touchdown.

Senior running back Marcus Williams, Jr., scored Tech’s second half touchdown. Freshman kicker Jacob Barnes tacked on two fields goals on the night.

Even in the loss, Holtz commended his defense for a valiant effort on the night.

“We did play extremely well (on defense),” Holtz added. “We gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half, but I thought defensively, we did some really good things. We had some big stops and two turnovers. I thought they did some really good things tonight.”

Things get no easier for the Bulldogs as they travel to UAB next week for a morning kick off at 11 a.m. The game can be heard on KXKZ 107.5 FM or on the CBS Sports Network.

GSU falls behind early and falls at FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Grambling State University football team fell behind early and could not recover as Florida A&M celebrated Homecoming and Senior Day with a 26-3 victory over the Tigers in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) on Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium
Florida A&M (6-2 overall, 4-1 SWAC) got the ball to opening the game and marched 82 yards in 10 plays as Rasean McKay found a streaking Jah’Marae Sheread for 15 yards for the score as the Rattlers took a quick 7-0 lead with 10:27 remaining in the opening quarter.
After a Grambling State punt, FAMU, which went 3-for-3 on third downs on the drive, nearly went the length of the field, as the Rattlers marched 90 yards in 16 plays as McKay tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone to Jeremaine Hawkins to extend the advantage to 14-0 with 14:55 left in the second quarter.
Florida A&M continued to put pressure on the GSU defense as the Rattlers started their drive on the 39 and captitalized on an unsportsmanlike penalty. FAMU went 61 yards in 12 plays as Jaylen McCloud scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to push the margin to 21-0 with 4:55 remaining in the first half.
Grambling State (3-5, 2-3) cut the deficit to 21-3 after a 35-yard field goal by Garrett Urban with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter.
The Rattlers added a safety when Tigers quarterback Elijah Walker was sacked in the endzone by Savion Williams with 1:40 left in the third.
Florida A&M got a 44-yard field goal by Jose Romo-Martinez with 10:55 remaining to extend the advantage to 26-3.

Golden Tornado storms past Panthers

By T. Scott Boatright

HAYNESVILLE — The Golden Tornado stormed away in the second quarter and never looked back Thursday night as Haynesville bested Lincoln Preparatory School  43-14 at Caldwell-Peacock Stadium in a game that lasted a little more than three quarters. 

One thing Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall was concerned about going in was seeing his team fall behind big in the game’s early going as the Panthers had done in the previous three games they lost.

But that’s not the way Lincoln Prep lost this time, with the Golden Tornado leading only 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

“They opened it up in the second quarter and at halftime Haynesville led 26-12,” Hall said. “We felt we were still in it going into the third quarter, but we didn’t score anymore in the second half.”

The Panthers didn’t score in the second half, but that wasn’t due to lack of opportunities.

“We got into the red zone five more times in the second half,” Hall said. “I’m talking about down to the two-yard line, to the five-yard line … but we couldn’t get it in. 

Dmitry Payne did all of the scoring for the Panthers, with his first touchdown coming on a 90-yard kickoff return.

“We did a kind of flea flicker where Ta’Rell Simmons took the kickoff and I had him throw it back to Dmitry on the other side of the field and he ran it all the way back,” Hall said. “On the second one, I put Dmitry in the backfield and had him run a route up the sideline and Ta’Rell hit him for a 30-yard touchdown.”

In a game that featured significant chipiness between the team, an incident with around 10 minutes remaining ended the contest for good.

“They sacked my quarterback and got a penalty,” Hall said about how it all started. “My quarterback was trying to get up and the guy who tackled him got up and took my quarterback up in the air. He had him by his head and his neck. Then things erupted. Nobody threw any blows but we just had to get everybody back off the field. Then the refs talked and decided to end the game.”

Haynesville coach David Franklin was ejected from the game during the fracas.

“I don’t know what he did,” Hall said. “But I know they did eject him. I just wish they took control of the game earlier and stopped a lot of what was going on.”

Lincoln Prep now stands at 5-4 overall and 4-4 in District 1-1A and Hall has already turned his attention to next week’s regular-season finale at Plain Dealing on Thursday before beginning postseason play.

“I think we can get a home playoff game if we win next week,” Hall said. “Haynesville came in at No. 7 (in unofficial power rankings) and we were No. 10. So I really don’t expect us to drop with the loss to them. If we drop it will only be a spot or two.

“At the end of the season playing a district game and both teams are in the Top 10, the losing teams don’t usually fall in the ratings. So we’re just going to put this one behind us, focus on Plain Dealing and then the playoffs.”

Photo: Tony Valentino

Origins of Halloween

Halloween has its roots in the ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on the night of October 31. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain. On the sacred night, people gathered to light bonfires, offer sacrifices and pay homage to the dead.

Did you know? Although it is unknown precisely where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined, the custom had been firmly established in American popular culture by 1951, when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip. In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called “Trick or Treat” featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

During some Celtic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and food was left out to placate unwelcome spirits. 

In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating.

By the ninth century, Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older pagan rites. In 1000 A.D. the church designated November 2 as All Souls’ Day, a time for honoring the dead. Celebrations in England resembled Celtic commemorations of Samhain, complete with bonfires and masquerades. 

Poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. Known as “souling,” the practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money and ale.

In Scotland and Ireland, young people took part in a tradition called guising, dressing up in costume and accepting offerings from various households. Rather than pledging to pray for the dead, they would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform another sort of “trick” before collecting their treat, which typically consisted of fruit, nuts or coins.

Modern-day trick-or-treating also has elements akin to annual celebrations of Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night). On this night, which commemorates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, British children wore masks and carry effigies while begging for pennies. On November 5, 1606, Fawkes was executed for his role in the Catholic-led conspiracy to blow up England’s parliament building and remove King James I, a Protestant, from power. 

On the original Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated immediately after the famous plotter’s execution, communal bonfires, or “bone fires,” were lit to burn effigies and the symbolic “bones” of the Catholic pope. By the early 19th century, children bearing effigies of Fawkes were roaming the streets on the evening of November 5, asking for “a penny for the Guy.”

Some American colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Day, and in the mid-19th century, large numbers of new immigrants, especially those fleeing the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s, helped popularize Halloween. 

In the early 20th century, Irish and Scottish communities revived the Old World traditions of souling and guising in the United States. By the 1920s, however, pranks had become the Halloween activity of choice for rowdy young people. 

The Great Depression exacerbated the problem, with Halloween mischief often devolving into vandalism, physical assaults and sporadic acts of violence. One theory suggests that excessive pranks on Halloween led to the widespread adoption of an organized, community-based trick-or-treating tradition in the 1930s. This trend was abruptly curtailed, however, with the outbreak of World War II, when sugar rationing meant there were few treats to hand out. 

At the height of the postwar baby boom, trick-or-treating reclaimed its place among other Halloween customs. It quickly became standard practice for millions of children in America’s cities and newly built suburbs. No longer constrained by sugar rationing, candy companies capitalized on the lucrative ritual, launching national advertising campaigns specifically aimed at Halloween. 

Today, Americans spend an estimated $2.6 billion on candy on Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation, and the day, itself, has become the nation’s second-largest commercial holiday.

Source: http://www.history.com/news/halloween-trick-or-treating-origins

Creek dominates Storm in key win

Cedar Creek dominated for four quarters Friday night as the Cougars defeated Delta Charter 57-0 for homecoming at Cougar Stadium.

Caden Middleton threw four touchdown passes, including a school record long 92-yarder to Ladd Thompson, and the Creek defense registered another dominating performance in posting their first shutout of the season.

Austin Webb, Lawson Lillo and Jed Worthey each registered interceptions while Seth Smith blocked a punt and Lane Thomas returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter for an 85-yard touchdown.

It was a complete effort by the Cougars (5-3) against the Storm (6-3). Creek is still chasing a playoff spot with one week remaining in the regular season.

“It’s a big win for us,” said head coach Matt Middleton. “We need some things to happen with some other teams in front of us in the power rankings. But I am proud of the kids. We get 16 points for the win so that will help us.

“I think we are playing really well right now. Tonight we had limited offensive plays with the running clock. People say this all the time, but it’s true. If I can run it 50 times, I will run it 50 times. If I can throw it 50 times, then that’s what we will do. Tonight they loaded the box against the run, and we just threw it and made plays through the air.”

Thomas got the Cougars on the board with a 34-yard TD reception from Middleton on the Cougars first possession of the game, capping a two-play, 44-yard drive.

After Webb recorded the first of three interceptions on the night by the Cougars defense, Middleton found Bryce Rushing for a 12-yard TD pass and then converted the two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead. It capped an 8-play, 54-yard scoring drive.

 Worthey scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night on a 9-yard run with 1:48 to play in the first quarter. Davis Long’s extra point made it 21-0 in favor of the Cougars.

Smith came up big on the Cougars special teams unit on Delta Charter’s next possession, blocking a punt and giving Creek the ball on the 11-yard line. After an offside penalty moved the ball to the six yards line, Middleton found Rushing for a second time and another score. Rushing converted the two-point conversion again for a 29-0 lead.

History was made next.

On a third down and 10 play from the Cougars own 8-yard line, Caden Middleton found Ladd Thompson on a 92-yard touchdown pass. It is the longest pass play in Creek history and gave the Cougars a 36-0 lead.

“They were playing man coverage,” said Middleton. “And we threw a bang post into the boundary. Ladd won on inside leverage with no safety over the top.”

Lillo recorded an interception on the next Delta Charter possession and Worthey capitalized two plays later with a 36-yard TD run. Creek led 43-0 at halftime as Worthey intercepted a pass on the final play of the second quarter to end the first half.

Cedar Creek waisted little time in adding to its lead in the third quarter. Thomas took the opening kickoff and raced 85 yards to paydirt and a 50-0 lead. Thomas had a 70-yard TD reception later in the third quarter called back due to a penalty on the Cougars.

With a running clock shortening the final two quarters, Webb added the final score of the night on a 65-yard run with 10:49 to play in the game.

“The kids played well,” said Middleton. “We are 5-3 right now, and we will see how things shake out with some other games tonight. But I’m proud of our guys tonight.”

Creek’s defense held Delta Charter to just 121 yards of total offense in the game.

“We played great defensively,” said Middleton. “Delta Charter went to the air to try to get some positive plays because we stopped the run all night.”

Middleton completed 9-of-18 passes for 187 yards and four scores while Cedar Creek rushed the ball eight times for another 121 yards. Worthey recorded four carries for 54 yards and two scores while Webb added two carries for 69 yards and a score.

Thomas recorded four receptions for 59 yards while Thompson tallied two catches for 100 yards.

Creek will close out its regular season schedule next Friday against Tensas.

Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)

Engagements, weddings published in LPJ

The Lincoln Parish Journal is now publishing engagement and wedding announcements for couples who reside in the parish, who have relatives in the parish or who are getting married in the parish. Students who are enrolled at Louisiana Tech or Grambling State but who do not live in the parish will also be able to submit. These announcements will be published each Friday morning. 

This move by the Journal allows couples to showcase their announcement on social media outlets. 

“This is a fabulous way for couples to have a traditional engagement and wedding announcement and reap the benefits of the digital age by posting it on social media,” said Judith Roberts, publisher of the Journal. “As the Journal continues to expand and increase its reach in the community, this will allow more people to see your happy announcement.”

Information for engagement announcements include: 

  • Digital photograph of the couple 

  • The couple’s names 

  • The couple’s hometowns 

  • High school and/or college of the couple 

  • Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

  • Ties to the parish 

  • Wedding time, date, and place 

  • An interesting fact about the couple 

Information for the wedding announcements include: 

  • Digital photograph of the couple 

  • The couple’s names 

  • The couple’s hometowns 

  • High school and/or college of the couple 

  • Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

  • Officiant  

  • Attendants 

  • Ties to the parish 

  • Wedding time, date, and place 

“We all love the happy news of an engagement and a wedding, and this is a great outlet for that positive information,” Roberts said. “I still have copies of my own engagement announcement and wedding announcement, and my husband Kyle and I will celebrate our 16-year anniversary Sept. 3. I’m so glad we’re able to offer this service to couples today.” 

To submit information for publication, please email lpjnewsla@gmail.com

Notice of death — Oct. 31, 2021

Barbara Brasuell 
July 28, 1941 – October 28, 2021 
Service: Kilpatrick’s Memorial Garden in Ruston, Monday, November 1, 2021, 11:00 am 
Cemetery: Kilpatrick’s Memorial Garden in Ruston, Monday, November 1, 2021, 11:00 am 

Renee Anderson 
March 21, 1967 – October 28, 2021 
Arrangements to be announced 

Tigers, Rattlers set for Saturday action

After a bye week last weekend, the Grambling State Tigers travel to Florida to face Florida A&M Saturday at 3 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers (3-4, 2-2 SWAC) will be looking for back-to-back wins after pulling away from Texas Southern to celebrate a 34-20 Homecoming victory on Oct. 16.

“It was good to relax a bit last week and get some rest,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “We were able to get away from this thing for a little bit and try to get ready for the long haul. I thought we did a really good job of trying to get everybody healthy and remain healthy, but also continue to get better at the same time. We’re excited about what we are doing and was very, very pleased with practice last week. The team had a lot of energy and everybody was ready to go.
Florida A&M (5-2, 3-1) have won four straight after a 38-17 non-conference road loss to South Florida on Sept. 18. The Rattlers jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter at Mississippi Valley State last weekend and survived a last rally attempt by the Delta Devils to earn a 31-28 win.

“We are playing against a Florida A&M team, who was one point away from perhaps winning their division,” said Fobbs. They are a very tough opponent at home, and extremely talented on all three phases. Coach Willie Simmons does a really good job and the staff does a really good of putting together a really good football team. We’re excited about the opportunity to play in this game and we’ll be on Florida soil, which has been good to us recruiting wise.”

The will mark the 16th time the two programs have met on the gridiron, but the first as members of the SWAC. It’s been more than two decades since GSU and FAMU played with the Tigers winning 12-10 in 2000.

Saturday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN+ as Butch Alsandor and Jorge Vargas will have the call. In addition, Grambling State will broadcast and stream the game on the Grambling State Sports Radio Network. The game can be heard in Ruston (KRUS – Hitz 96.3) and in Monroe (KNNW – 103.1 FM). The Tigers’ broadcast crew of Ossie Clark and Nick Harrison will call all of the action.

James, McCarthy pace Creek XC

Seven Cedar Creek cross country runners recorded PRs as the Lady Cougars finished first Tuesday at the Ouachita Christian Invitational.

Head coach Craig Moss’ ladies finished ahead of rival St. Frederick’s who they will meet again at the state meet at Northwestern State in Natchitoches on Nov. 15.

“I was really proud of the way our team competed,” said Moss. “They ran hard and we had seven ladies PR. It was exciting to see.”

The Lady Cougars finished second, third, fourth, 10th, 11th and 12th in the individual competition at the meet while Caroline James, Madison Morris, Taylor Ramsey, Marley Jinks, Anna Grace Lee, Leah Sutherland, and Mada Kneeland all registered PRs.

On the boys side, the Cougars finished third at the meet.

“Our boys exceeded expectations at this meet,” said Moss. “They ran smart and finished the race the way we have been practicing with negative splits. Our boys ran with heart, determination, and ran intelligently today.”

Nine Cougars recorded PRs at the meet, including Ethan McCarthy (who finished 2nd over), Hayes Bridges, Connor Johnson, Anderson Maxwell, Tate Farrar, Eli Black, Waylon Taylor, Cole Morganthall, and Gabe Garcia.

“That makes a coach proud, but I am more excited about their drive, effort, and perseverance,” said Moss. “They are wonderful young men and deserve the credit.”

Moss said overall he is pleased with where both of his teams are heading into the stretch run.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly this year and what they are accomplishing has been rewarding but what I love is seeing their bond, support, and love for one another,” said Moss. “Their empathy, integrity, and love for others and each other is what makes me proud. Sports will end but what these runners have … well that will last a life time.  It’s an honor to be a part of their life.”

Hayes, Hill lead Bearcats in romp

Trap game.

With a match-up against West Monroe and a chance to claim the outright district title looming one week from today, 7th ranked Ruston High (8-1) overcame a sluggish start and rolled to a 38-7 win over West Ouachita on the road last night.

With its top two play-makers Dyson Fields and Devian Wilson watching from the sideline, a host of young Bearcats showcased the future of Ruston High football in the win over the Chiefs (2-7).

Freshmen Jordan Hayes and Zheric Hill each scored TDs and junior Lajavean Ellis added another as the Bearcats rolled up more than 300 yards on the ground in winning their eighth straight game.

Ruston coach Jarrod Baugh said he was pleased with what he saw from a number of young players in significant playing time on Thursday night.

“That’s what I wanted to see,” said Baugh. “We talked about it at halftime. The guys understood what we needed to come out and do in the second half and that’s what we saw.

“It was pleasing to come out and have those guys do a job. They knew they were going to play, they got themselves ready to play and they did some really good things. We had quite a few freshmen in there at the end that did some really good things.

“Anytime those guys as young as they are … you like to see them come out and execute. We had two freshmen score tonight – Zheric and Jordan got TDs – and Josh (Brantley) got out there and ran our offense and that was really good to see.”

After a scoreless first quarter that saw the two teams combine for five turnovers, Ruston High settled down in the second quarter. The Bearcats scored 24 points while dominating West Ouachita defensively.

Hayes gave RHS the lead on a 1-yard TD run following a West Ouachita muffed punt return. Brady Beason’s extra point – the first of five on the night along with a 24-yard field goal – gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead with 11:31 to play in the stanza. Hayes led Ruston with 140 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Just three minutes later, Ellis scored on a 41-yard TD run as the lead increased to 14-0. Ellis rushed for 87 yards and the one score on nine carries.

Beason’s field goal with 5:07 to play in the second quarter gave RHS a 17-0 lead and then a 22-yard TD pass from Jayden Osborne to Dawson Willis right before halftime capped the first half scoring.  Willis led the Bearcat receivers with two catches for 45 yards.

Hayes struck against early in the third quarter, this time scoring on a 63-yard TD run and upping the Bearcats advantage to 31-0. Hill capped the Bearcats big-play night with a 55-yard TD run with 3:34 to play in the third quarter. Hill ended with 64 yards rushing on three carries.

“We wanted to run the football in the second half and take care of the football and run out the clock and finish the game and that’s what we did,” said Baugh.

West Ouachita added a late touchdown to round out the scoring.

BJ Green and Jacoryian Crowe each recorded interceptions in the game for the Bearcats defense which held West Ouachita to less than 200 total yards in the game. Jadon Mayfield recorded six tackles while D’Angelo Harper added four.

With the win, Ruston High can win the outright district title for the first time in three decades with a win over West Monroe when the two square off at James Stadium next Friday night.

“Everybody else has been talking about the (West Monroe) game, and it was hard for our kids to stay focused on what they needed to take care of this week, but they did,” said Baugh. “We will go to work on the Rebels now. People call this a trap game. We needed to use it as an opportunity to get better and I think we got better in a lot of ways. I think we were productive in a lot of things we did.”

GSU student dies in I-20 crash

A Wednesday afternoon traffic crash on Interstate 20 in Bienville Parish claimed the life of a 22-year-old Grambling State University student.

Just before 2 p.m., Louisiana State Police troopers investigated a two-vehicle crash on I-20 just east of the Ada/Taylor exit.

The initial investigation revealed a 2020 International tractor-trailer, driven by 48-year-old Shannon Carson, of Prosperity, South Carolina was traveling east on I-20. A 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Jamarcea Washington, was traveling behind the International. An unrelated crash previously occurred just ahead of the vehicles, which caused traffic to slow. The tractor-trailer rig slowed as it approached the accident. For reasons still under investigation, Washington lost control of the Chevrolet and struck the rear of the trailer. After the impact, the Chevrolet exited the roadway into the ditch.

Sources told the Lincoln Parish Journal that Washington was a GSU student and member of famed Tiger Marching Band. Due to the loss of one of its members, the band will not be performing at the football game against Florida A&M this weekend.

At this time, Washington’s restraint use is unknown. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Carson was restrained and was not injured.

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Troopers remind motorists to be extra cautious when traveling during periods of heavy rainfall or other inclement weather. Motorists should ensure they have proper tire tread and drive at speeds below the posted speed limits to prevent “hydroplaning.” Always allow a greater following distance when driving on wet roads.

Friday Night Lights: Meet Creek’s Sarah Adams

Meet Cedar Creek’s Sarah Elizabeth Adams

Parents:  Emily & Jody Adams

Siblings: Nicholas & Bailey Anne

School: Cedar Creek School

Grade: 12th

Spirit Squad: Water Girl for the Football Team (I tried cheer one year but it really wasn’t for me)

Honors: National Honor Society, Honors Classes, Dual Enrollment Classes, Member of the 2017 & 2018 State Championship Softball teams, selected 1A All-State Softball Team and the 1A All-State Basketball Team my junior year.

Favorite Subject in School: PE of course 🙂

Favorite Show on Netflix? NCIS

What is on your play list? A little bit of everything! 

Early bird or night owl? I guess an early bird – I don’t really “sleep-in” all day – I have too much to do!

If a doctor said you only had a year to live what would you do? Get a second opinion!!!

What do you love about your school?  I love having all ages on campus! We are a pre-K –12 school so we get to see the little kids on the playground and walking around school during the day.  It’s a constant reminder that to them we are the “big kids” and they look up to us so we should try to be good role models.

How long have you been a water girl and what is it about it that you enjoy? I have been a water girl since junior high.  I love football! I begged my parents to let me play as a child! As a water girl, I am close to the action!  I get to encourage the players and celebrate with them when something awesome happens!

What is your favorite high school moment?  This Friday night is our Homecoming game and I am honored to have been chosen as our Homecoming Queen this year.  I’m sure this weekend will be memorable!

What are your plans after high school? I haven’t made definite plans for next year yet!  I would love to continue my athletic career in college so I’m exploring my options right now.

What person from history would you like to sit down and eat dinner with and why?  Jesus – because there would be plenty of food, room at the table, and I’d let Him fill out the guest list!

Louisiana Legends Fest slated for Saturday

Just a short drive away from Lincoln Parish, Downtown Homer will be alive with the sound of music Saturday as the Louisiana Legends Festival is expected to attract thousands to the Claiborne Parish town.

The unique festival focuses on celebrating the beauty, history, people, and resources of Claiborne Parish. Spread over a five-block area around the historic 1860 Claiborne Parish Courthouse, the walk-about festival will feature two stages of live music, including jazz, blues, gospel and more.

In addition to a great regional food court, five distinct areas around the courthouse square will celebrate History, Outdoor Recreation, Arts, Kids, & a Farmer’s Market. The local history museum and several antique stores will be open. District Judge Walter May will be giving guided tours of the antebellum courthouse. The Homer Art Center will also be open for tours.

This year’s honoree, two-time Grammy winning bluesman Bobby Rush will perform at 3:00 p.m. on the main stage. Rush, who has been touted as one of the last of the genuine old school blues and R&B legends grew up in Claiborne Parish. 

In addition to the featured musicians, a harmonica contest will be held. 

Admission is free.  Numerous vendors, artists, and charities will be sponsoring booths. All proceeds from the food court will go to local non-profit organizations.  

The fun starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, visit facebook.com/lalegendfest/ or www.legendsfest.us/

Creek eyes Delta Charter for homecoming

Despite recording one of its biggest wins in program history last week and inching closer to entering the Class A Top 10 poll this week, the Cedar Creek Cougars are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the upcoming Division IV playoffs.

Creek (4-3) is in a must-win scenario Friday night when they host Delta Charter (6-2) at 7 p.m. at Cougar Stadium for Homecoming.

“We are sitting at 18 right now,” said Cougar head coach Matt Middleton referring to the Power Ratings that decide the playoff picture. “To be honest we have to win out, and we need a few of the teams ahead of us to lose. So we can win tomorrow night, and we still won’t know for sure until after next weekend is over.”

There is little doubt that the Cougars are one of the top private schools in Division IV with heartbreaking losses to OCS, St. Frederick and Class 2A Jonesboro Hodge and a 13-9 win over Oak Grove. However, with only 16 teams

“I think coach Steven Fitzhugh (at Ouachita Christian) said it best; the system is broken,” said Middleton. “The (public side) has 30 teams, and they put 24 into the playoffs. There are 29 private schools (in Division IV), and we only put 16 teams into the playoffs.

“At the end of the day we should have won more games, but I do think the system is broken. And we still have a chance. We just need to control what we can control and win the next two weeks.”

Creek is coming off the 13-9 win over Oak Grove last Friday night. The Cougars have been trending in the right direction for the last month and Middleton has been pleased with their response in practice this week following the big win.

“We have had a good week,” said Middleton. “I think our team is pretty mature. I think we have had a good week of preparation. I think they know we have to win out. It’s homecoming so as a coach you always are a little worried about (their focus) but again I think they know how important this week is.”

Delta Charter enters the contest with a 6-2 record. The two losses are blowouts defeats at the hands of Ouachita Christian (56-8) and Oak Grove (42-8) but have averaged almost 40 points per game in their six victories.

“They are coming in with a good record,” said Middleton. “They are going to run the ball a good bit. They are a counter type team. They will throw it enough to keep you honest, but they really want to run the football.”

The Cougars defense has been stellar all season long, allowing only two teams (OCS, Jonesboro Hodge) to score multiple TDs this year. In its other five games, Creek has allowed a total of just 35 points.

Offensively, Cedar Creek has run the ball consistently all season with the likes of Jed Worthey, AJ Thomas and Lawson Lillo, but has seen its passing game improve over the past few weeks led by quarterback Caden Middleton.

After tonight’s game against Delta Charter, Creek will finish its regular season against Tensas.

Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)

Weekend events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list, please email us at lpjnewsla@gmail.com

Friday, Oct. 29
5 p.m.: Grambling State Soccer vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff 
6 p.m.: Downtown Ruston Wine Walk (Railroad Park)
7 p.m.: Cedar Creek Football v. Delta Charter 
7 p.m. Lincoln Preparatory School Football v. Haynesville
7-10 p.m.: Screaming Woods Haunted Trails (285 Jed Road, Ruston)
7-10 p.m.: Haunted Car Wash (RocketFast Car Wash)

Saturday, Oct. 30
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Dog Dip (Reese Hall at Tech, 1501 Reese Drive, Ruston)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
4-6 p.m.: Fall Fest at 4PAWS (290 Rodeo Rd., Ruston)
5-8 p.m.: MedCamps Annual Fall Bash (2090 LA-145, Choudrant)
11a.m.: Grambling State Volleyball vs. Florida A&M
7-10 p.m.: Screaming Woods Haunted Trails (285 Jed Road, Ruston)
7-10 p.m.: Haunted Car Wash (RocketFast Car Wash)

Sunday, Oct. 31
1 p.m.: Grambling State Volleyball vs. Alabama State
7 p.m.: Guest artist Dieter Hennings on guitar (F. Jay Visual Arts Center at Tech)
7-10 p.m.: Screaming Woods Haunted Trails (285 Jed Road, Ruston)

Monday, Nov. 1
7 p.m.: Percussion ensemble (Howard Auditorium at Tech)
5:30 p.m. Ruston City Council Meeting at Ruston City Hall

Emanuel Bryant: All over the field for Panthers

By T. Scott Boatright

Emmanuel Bryant spent the previous three years hooping it up for the Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers.

But this season Bryant finally decided to finally follow a suggestion to join the Lincoln Prep football team, where he’s now living out his gridiron goals.

“I’m a center on the basketball team and I just thought playing football might make me more physical and help me on the court,” Bryant said. “It’s been a great experience. Now I wish I would have been playing football the whole way through high school like Coach Hall wanted me to. He also kept asking me and I finally gave in and am glad I did. It’s been one of the 

best experiences of my high school career.”

In fact, football has become Bryant’s primary passion when it comes to sports.

“I actually like football more, now,” Bryant said of playing on both the gridiron and basketball court. “It’s more fun because it’s more physical, and that’s the part of athletics I like.”

The New Orleans Saints’ Taysom Hill has shown how helpful for a team it can be to have a  football player serving as a “Swiss Army knife” of sorts. Lincoln Prep already had players like quarterback/receiver Ta’Rell Simmons and receiver/defensive back/return specialist Dmitry Payne who can serve that kind of role, and Bryant fits right into the same equation.

“Emmanuel does whatever I need,” Hall said. He plays tight end and H-back, he kicks and punts, he plays defense. I’ve put him in the backfield because we need an extra running back.  He’s a good kicker and punter until he gets tired, and he only gets tired because he doesn’t get off the field. That’s how much we use him because that’s how important he is. So we’re trying to take some of those duties like kicking off his plate to give him a little chance to catch his breath at times.”

Bryant played a big role in the Panthers’ 45-12 win at Magnolia School of Excellence, making two touchdown receptions while also running for another score and totaling 10 tackles on the other side of the ball.

Hall said Bryant’s size — 6-2 and 215 — is part of what has made him crucial to the Panthers’ football team.

“We’ve been using him more and more at receiver because other teams have been doubling (Panthers receiver) Dmitry Payne. When they do that Bryant gets left with single coverage, and with Bryant being so big all we need to do is get the ball close to him. He makes a lot of plays.”

Hall said Bryant could play a crucial role for the Panthers tonight as they play Haynesville at the Jonesboro-Hodge football stadium.

“During practices this week we’ve been using Bryant, who has been playing H-back and tight end, some at tailback. We actually have practiced with Ta’Rell Simmons moving from quarterback to the receiver opposite Dmitry Payne to maybe try and keep the defense from doubling on Payne so much. Or if they do still double Payne, Ta’Rell is a natural receiver and such a big target that he can really help us that way. We’ve moved Braylen Mayfield to quarterback and he’s been looking pretty good doing that and has made some good throws.

“The main thing is that Emmanuel, and those other guys, are all really good kids. They get along and have fun. Seeing them get out there and have fun playing football is what it’s all about for me.”

Bryant said he’s willing to do whatever the Lincoln Prep coaching staff needs him to take care of.

But while proud to serve as “Swiss Army knife’ for the Panthers, Bryant admits there is one position he finds most comfortable.

“Defense is my favorite part of playing football,” Bryant said “Defense — playing linebacker — is who I am.”

Surprisingly, Bryant said he had never played organized football before. Yet he’s a solid tackler with a nose for the ball and the technique to wrap up a ball carrier.

Bryant said that’s because his love of football has always been there.

“Growing up I’d play tackle football a lot with friends, so I understand the basics and the coaching staff here (at Lincoln Prep) has helped me get better at it, too.”

He also said that he believes playing basketball has helped make him a better football player.

“I think my jumping skills helped me in football in the ability to go up and make catches, and sometimes in pass coverage,” Bryant said. “Against Calvary we had to find a way to stop their passing, so I did a lot more pass coverage against them and I think my jumping skills helped with that, too.”

And as far as his future is concerned, Bryant said his own personal gridiron goals will be at the forefront of his wishes.

“I’m just trying to get an offer to play football now,” Bryant said. “It doesn’t matter where, I’m just working hard to hopefully get an offer.

A lifelong Grambling resident, Bryant knows what it would mean for the Panthers to pull off a win over Haynesville.

“That would be very big,” Bryant said of possibly shocking the Golden Tornado. “I don’t think we’ve ever beat them. We have a lot of goals ahead and want to make a good run in the playoffs. But it all starts this week against Haynesville.”


Troopers remind everyone to keep safety in mind for Halloween 

As Halloween approaches, Louisiana state troopers want everyone to make sure safety is a top priority.  As children in costumes walk and ride through neighborhoods across the parish, parents and guardians should be aware of possible hazards and dangerous situations.  

To ensure that trick-or-treating is a safe and memorable event for everyone, Louisiana State Police recommends by following these common safety tips: 

  • Ensure that your child remains as visible as possible by carrying a flashlight or glow stick, and/or wearing reflective clothing or costumes to alert drivers of the child’s location. 
  • Remember that masks can restrict vision and breathing, restricting sight of oncoming vehicles.  Face painting is a safer option. 
  • Avoid potential tripping hazards, such as costumes that drag on the ground.
  • Accompany children so they do not enter homes or vehicles without permission. 
  • Plan your trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets. 
  • Remember to walk on sidewalks when available. If walking on the street is necessary, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. 
  • Children should also know their address, phone number, and how to dial 911for emergencies. Young children should have this information attached somewhere on their costumes in the event they get separated or lost.  
  • Parents are urged to inspect all candy for safety after returning home. 

Motorists should also use caution and drive slowly through residential areas and intersections leading to neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters may run across the street without looking for vehicles or their vision could be obscured by masks.  Also, Troopers ask that you drive with your headlights on, even during daylight and dusk hours, so that other vehicles and pedestrians can see you from farther distances. 

Under current State Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween trick-or-treat activities.  Parents can find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods by visiting the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry online at: http://www.lsp.org/socpr/default.html.  If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties or giving out candy where children are present, notify your local law enforcement immediately. 

Halloween has also been a deadly night due to impaired drivers.  Adults that take part in Halloween parties and trick-or-treating while consuming alcoholic beverages are strongly encouraged to have a plan for a safe ride home. Your plan can include utilizing a ridesharing service, taxi or having a designated driver.  Troopers ask that sober party-goers also help out by keeping impaired friends from getting behind the wheel. 

Bulldogs look to bounce back on road

Bulldog Football vs UTSA, Joe Aillet Stadium, Photo by Donny J Crowe

Who: Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion

Where: Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium (Norfolk, Va.)

When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KDBS 1410 AM (Alexandria), KDBS 94.7 FM (Alexandria), WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KZBL 100.7 FM (Natchitoches), KOKA 980 AM (Shreveport), KOKA 93.3 FM (Shreveport), KNCB 1320 AM (Vivian), KNCB 104.1 FM (Vivian), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield)

Radio Talent: Malcolm Butler (PxP) and Teddy Allen (Color) w/ pregame at 1 p.m.

Two teams in need of wins will be squaring off Saturday afternoon at Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium when Louisiana Tech (2-5, 1-2 C-USA) travels to Norfolk, Virginia, to face Old Dominion (1-6, 0-3). Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT.

The Bulldogs have dropped three straight games, including back-to-back losses to league foes UTEP and UTSA. After averaging over 33 points per game in its first five games, Tech has scored a combined 19 in the two losses.

“Last week was disappointing with the way we played,” said Holtz about the loss to UTSA. “If you look at it statistically, it was a very even game with both teams having 400 yards. We were sloppy when you look at the way we performed. When you look at it, we had five plays that we gave away that led to 35 points which good football teams don’t do.

“There’s still a lot of football to play. I know it’s disappointing with where we are right now when you look at our record, but there’s still a lot of football to be played. If we can get a little momentum going on our side, hopefully, we can make a run going down the stretch here.”

Old Dominion has lost five straight games, including Conference USA losses to UTEP, Marshall and WKU. The Monarchs have played close games over the last month, dropping three one score games.

Holtz said that despite the rough stretch for the Bulldogs, they are ready for Saturday’s game and looking forward to getting back on the field. He also knows that ODU is better then their record indicates.

“We come back this week,” said Holtz. “We get ready for ODU. They’re a 1-6 football team, but when you put on the film they flash and do some really good things. The team is playing really hard. They have some talent. They’re coming off an open date last week.

“They made a change at quarterback last week. They went with the big 6-5 freshman (Hayden Wolff) who came in and threw for 340 yards. The transfer wide receiver from West Virginia (Ali Jennings III) had 13 catches. The transfer tight end from Penn State (Zack Kuntz) had nine. They had some guys really step up and do some good things.

“Defensively, they swarm to the ball. They play really hard. They run to the ball. Their linebackers are very active. Their safety (R’Tarriun Johnson) is downhill, knock the tar out of you. He comes down looking for contact. Overall, it will be a great challenge for us on the road and in the conference again. It’s really an opportunity for us to clean up some mistakes from last week and go play another conference game.”

Tech and Old Dominion have only met one other time, a 30-27 double overtime win by the Monarchs in 2014.