Dyson Fields has been the bell cow for the Ruston High School offense through the first five games of the season, but at halftime of Friday night’s win over Pineville, the junior tailback was taking a backseat to teammate Devian Wilson.
After watching Wilson rush for two first half touchdowns, Fields – held to just 19 yards rushing in the first half – exploded in the second, adding 135 yards and two scores while playing in just the third quarter and helping 8th ranked Ruston (5-1) to a 41-0 victory.
Ruston, a heavy favorite in the game, came out of the gates sluggish despite holding a 21-0 lead at the half and head coach Jerrod Baugh said it was a matter of the Bearcats not generating their own intensity after two straight victories against Top 10 teams the last two weeks.
“Sometimes you worry about these more than the others,” said Baugh. “You just don’t know if the kids are truly prepared mentally. We have played some really good football teams in some high intense situations. It’s not hard tog et ready for those games. I worry more about these … I guess people call them trap games.
“I think we need to do a little bit better job under these circumstances of making sure we are ready. We have to generate our own enthusiasm in ball games like this. I don’t think we did a very good job that tonight. I am pleased. We went about this business-like and we took care of what we needed to.”
Wilson gave the Bearcats a 6-0 lead on a 1-yard run with 3:37 to play in the opening quarter, capping a 5-play, 52-yard drive. Brady Beason made the first of his five extra points on the night as RHS led 7-0.
The Bearcat fullback struck again early in the second quarter, this time taking a handoff up the middle and racing 29 yards to paydirt and a 14-0 lead. Wilson rushed for 78 yards on just 6 carries on the night with the vast majority coming in the first half.
After the Bearcats defense held following a fumbled punt return deep in Ruston territory, senior defensive back BJ Green blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt by Pineville. The Bearcats then marched down the field using the two-minute offense and Fields scored from one yard out with 22 seconds remaining before the half to give RHS a 21-0 advantage.
The third quarter proved to be a Fields’ day as he scored on runs of 13- and 45-yards, the latter coming with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza. Fields ended with 154 yards on 20 carries and three TDs.
Baugh emptied the bench in the fourth quarter and the Bearcat second and third teamers kept the momentum going. Lajaveon Ellis scored on a 28-yard TD run with 3:20 to play in the game as the Bearcats pushed the advantage out to 41-0.
“I think we put our second group in and they were able to go down and score the ball on offense,” said Baugh. “And then we put our second defense in and they held them in the under two-minute situation and they were doing some no-huddle stuff and our guys responded. I think that was a bright spot.”
Pineville’s last opportunity to put points on the board was snuffed out when Jacoryian Crowe intercepted a pass in the end zone with under a minute to play to preserve the shutout.
Ruston outgained Pineville 375 to 277, including 290 yards on the ground.
Nate Johnson, De’Angelo Harper, Christian Davis and Brilun Elmore led the Bearcats defense in the win.
Ruston travels to Monroe next Friday night to face Ouachita.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bret McCormick (https://onetphotography.smugmug.com)
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