By T. Scott Boatright
As the 2022 Bayou Jamb prepares to provide a pigskin smorgasbord for north Louisiana football fans, the Lincoln Parish Journal offers up a list of local players to pay attention during Saturday’s action at Joe Aillet Stadium on the Louisiana Tech University campus.
Lincoln Prep will start things off Saturday at 11 a.m. in a “game” against Red River while Cedar Creek will square off against Evangel at 5 p.m. followed by the Bayou Jamb finale pitting Ruston against West Monroe.
Following are only some of the Lincoln Parish players to watch during Saturday’s action:
Jaden Osborne, QB, Ruston
A three-year starter at quarterback is both a rarity and a luxury for a high school football team.
The senior Osborne is that kind of prize for this season’s Bearcats.
Last season Osborne completed 60% of his passes for 991 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions while adding another 894 yards and nine scores on the ground.
RHS coach Jerod Baugh is counting on two years of starting experience to help Osborne improve on those numbers this season as he directs an offense that averaged 37.5 points per game last season.
Braylin Mayfield, QB, Lincoln Prep
Converting wide receivers into quarterbacks is nothing new for Lincoln Prep, and coach Glen Hall hopes to find some magic again as he hands the keys to the Panthers’ offense to Mayfield.
Last season Mayfield’s primary role was catching passes from Ta’Rell Simmons . But he did see some action at quarterback and Hall liked what he saw.
Hall touts the 6-3, 185-pound Mayfield as a strong-armed quarterback that his head coach is asking to stay in the pocket and use his strength to throw the long ball or his touch on play-action and screen passes.
Caden Middleton, QB, Cedar Creek
The player nicknamed “Peanut” passed for nearly 1,400 yards and a school-record 23 touchdowns last year and his father/head coach Matt Middleton is hoping for more of the same from his son in 2022.
At 6-3 and 215 pounds, Middleton has the size and vision to make that happen, and even better, he has a solid stable of experienced and talented receivers to help him do so.
Middleton also brings the mental aspect of being a coach’s son as well as a calculated ability that helped him place third last year in Advanced Math at the State Literary Rally.
Dyson Fields, RB, Ruston
An all-district selection for the Bearcats baseball, Fields is also a home-run threat any time he touches the ball on the gridiron,
Fields rushed for 2,234 yards and 30 touches last year as a junior and will again be the workhorse for Ruston’s high-octane offense as long as the injury bug stays away.
Much of Fields’ ability is based on his speed and vision he uses to find holes that don’t seem to be there before he suddenly explodes through.
But don’t fall asleep on the strength Fields uses as a running back — the 5-11, 185-pounder also benches 225 pounds, squats 345 pounds and cleans 215 pounds.
Jamarius Buggs (FB) and Chauncy Harper (TB), Lincoln Prep
It’s their diverse skill sets melding together in the backfield that makes Buggs and Harper — Lincoln Prep’s “Boom” and “Zoom,” — a powerful two-headed monster of a weapon for the Panthers’ offense.
Harper, the speedster about to begin his fifth season – he’s been playing for Lincoln Prep since he was in the eighth grade -— provides the “Zoom” for Lincoln Prep, using his speed to race around defenders to outside lanes to run or receive in, or slashing through the line on straightforward runs.
Buggs will provide the “Boom” for the Panthers and is a north-south runner who would rather create contact that avoid it. Also a solid receiver, Buggs will likely see some action at tight end and/or H-back for the Panthers.
“Boom” and “Zoom” are also expected to make a defensive impact for the Panthers, with Harper using his speed in the secondary and Buggs using his size and strength as a pass-rushing defensive/linebacker.
Jacobie Bedford and Lathan Elmore, OL, Lincoln Prep
It’s a pair of plus-sized Panthers that are being asked to anchor Lincoln Prep’s front line with a nearly 700 pounds combined worth of impact that will be asked to pave the way to offensive success.
Bedford, a three-year starter heading into his senior season, is said to have added strength and footspeed to his blocking abilities while the sophomore Elmore is a two-year starter who Hall calls the strongest Panther on his team.
Hall is hopeful the bulk and experience that pair provides will be a big boost for the Panthers offense during the 2022 season.
Jadon Mayfield, LB, Ruston
The proof is in the numbers for 6-0, 225 pound junior who earned first-team Class 5A All-State accolades last season.
Mayfield led the Bearcats as a sophomore with 96 tackles (70 solos) while adding a team-best 10 tackles-for-loss and five quarterback hurries.
Sporting a 3.3 GPA, Mayfield also has the mindset to quarterback Ruston’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
Geordan Guidry, DE, Ruston
Guidry, a 6-2, 235-pound junior, totaled 64 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season, and those numbers helped him earn All-District 2-5A honors as a sophomore.
Using a combination of strength and speed to get past blockers and pressure the quarterback, Guidry inherited some of his abilities from father George Guidry, who was an All-Southwestern Athletic Conference outside linebacker/EDGE passing rushing specialist at Grambling State in the early 2000s.
Quincy Lewis, LB, Cedar Creek
A 2021 District 2-1A second teamer for the Cougars, the 5-9, 196-pound Lewis brings the hard-hitting attitude along with ability that has made him a key part of Cedar Creek’s defense at the flex position.
Lewis also has the brains to quarterback the Creek defense as the senior took first-place honors in Agri-Science at the State Literary Rally last spring.
His versatility is another key component for the Cougars on both sides of the ball. Lewis has also lined up at defensive end and offensive guard for Cedar Creek.
Austin Webb, DB/RB, Cedar Creek
While Lewis is a flex defensive specialist, the 5-8, 185-pound Webb’s top weapon is his blazing speed.
But Webb doesn’t only fly to the football. His 18-8 long jump made as a freshman in 2020 ranks as fifth best in school history.
And he also uses his deceptive strength to add to his hard-hitting ability as a defender.
Webb finished third at the 2022 state Division V powerlifting meet with lifts of 380 pounds in the deadline, 290 in the benchpress and 415 in the squat for a total life of 1,085 pounds.
5:30 pm St. Frederick vs. Mangham
7 pm Ouachita vs Oak Grove
11 am Red River vs Lincoln Prep
1 pm Jonesboro Hodge vs. Franklin Parish
3 pm OCS vs Jena
5 pm Evangel vs. Cedar Creek
7 pm West Monroe vs. Ruston
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