Ruston to be tested at home by ASH

RUSTON, La. — Six straight wins for Ruston (6-1; 2-0 district) and three straight on the road.

Now, the Bearcats will finally be back at home Friday night at James Field at Garrett Stadium to take on the Alexandria Senior High Trojans (6-1; 1-1 district) in a district showdown that will have major implications on the 2021 District 2-5A championship.

“We knew last year the ASH was very good and unfortunately we did not get to play that game due to COVID,” Bearcat head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been able to play them. (Head coach Thomas Bachman) has changed that program and expectations. I expect for it to be a great ballgame. It will be great preparation for us as we near the playoffs. I expect their team to make a deep run in the postseason.”

Ruston held on to a nail-biter last week after winning in double overtime by a final score of 56-55 at Ouachita in an instant classic that saw multiple rain delays that postponed kickoff twice and stalled the first quarter.

“It’s a struggle to figure out what to do to get back out there and get ready after that,” Baugh said of the rain delays. “You don’t want to do too much, but you don’t want to do too little. Coaches try to map out the warm-ups to be what you want to do and how you want to do it. We knew the weather was coming and that it was inevitable.”

Trailing 42-35 with just over three minutes to play in regulation against the Lions, Ruston drove 75 yards and with no timeouts remaining, junior Jaden Osborne found senior Dawson Willis in the back of the endzone to cut the deficit to 42-41. Senior Brady Beason’s extra point tied the game. All but the final seven yards of the scoring drive came on the ground as Dyson Fields, Devian Wilson and Osborne accounted for most of the drive.

“We didn’t need the clock to run out down there with us running the ball,” said Baugh “That is something we work on weekly. We have a goal line package that we work on every week. They went out and executed it. I like to see that.”

Ruston rushed for 402 total yards in the game while Ouachita totaled 326 yards on the ground as the two teams combined for just 53 yards through the air. Osborne finished 2-of-4 for 15 yards, one interception and one TD as Ruston overcame three turnovers in the win.

The game can be heard on KXKZ 107.5 FM starting with the pregame show at 6 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: Reggie McLeroy

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