Students recognized by Rotary Club 

Rewarding hard work and academic success is important to the Rotary Club, and five students from area high schools were recognized for their determination and dedication. 

Each month from September through April, the Rotary Club honors Students of the Month from parish high schools. In May, three of those students will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. 

November’s Students of the Month are as follows: 

Maddie Ray Hancock from Ruston High School;  

Kate Myers from Cedar Creek School; 

Jordan Jones from Ruston High School; 

Lauryn Vernon from Simsboro High School; and 

James “Owen” Watson from Choudrant High School. 

 


Christmas festivities abound in downtown

Due to inclement weather over the weekend, the Kickoff to Christmas event was postponed and will take place tonight.

The lighting of the Christmas tree in Railroad Park will take place at 6 p.m. Kids — and kids at heart — will also be able to meet Jolly St. Nick himself as he makes a special appearance at the event.

In addition to the lighting of the Christmas tree, festive activities, holiday tunes and extended shopping hours for downtown businesses will take place.

 


Grambling State VAPA head subject of magazine interview 

Grambling State University’s Rodercas Davis, head of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, was the subject of a profile feature earlier this month by Canvas Rebel Magazine (canvasrebel.com). 

The feature discusses Davis’ path to becoming head of Grambling’s VAPA department, including writing he’s done as a former columnist for the Athens Banner-Herald and Code Z Online: Black Visual Culture. 

Davis also talked about things he wished he would have known earlier in his creative journey as well as the rewards he’s earned by being a creative force. 

“I feel great about the article,” Davis said. “The response to the interview has been beyond favorable. Generally speaking, it was illuminating for those unfamiliar with the minutiae of my studio practice. “ 

“The questions helped to drill down on topics that a lot of artists need to discuss more often. I was recommended by VAPA alumna Landis Anderson, who helps to run Visionary Arts Grind in Houston, Texas. It’s wonderful when students become your colleagues and demonstrate their understanding and appreciation for the importance of continued professional development.” 

Davis also feels the article could be a recruiting tool to help better GSU’s VAPA department. 

“The amount of exposure that a platform such as Canvas Rebel, or even an exhibition can provide, is hard to quantify,” Davis said. “But we know that we reach people that we may not come across in our traditional recruiting efforts. And it’s terribly important for Visual and Performing Arts to model the behavior that we want young creatives to embody by sharing our exhibitions, performances, and lectures, etc. That way, current and potential students can see what is possible.”   

The Canvas Rebel article on Davis can be found at https://canvasrebel.com/meet-rodrecas-davis/. 

 


Semifinal ticket purchase information released

Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy

Prices for Ruston’s semifinal home matchup against Zachary have been released for Friday night’s contest in James Field at “Hoss” Garrett Stadium.

Reserved seating tickets will be $18 while general admission will be $15.

Ruston High students with an ID can purchase a ticket for $10 at the gate. Students can also take advantage of a promotional during lunch period at school on Thursday and Friday for $5 with a sponsor offsetting the ticket cost. With this particular ticket, students will be required to show ID to enter the stadium and cannot purchase this particular ticket on behalf of anyone else.

Reserved season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets today from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the home side ticket booth located on Everett Street across from the cemetery for $15 at a three dollar discount. These tickets cannot be purchased for any other season ticket holders.

On Tuesday, any remaining reserved tickets and general admission will be on sale from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the same location.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Ruston High ticket office located on in the school.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night.


Small Business Saturday didn’t end Saturday

The turkey has been eaten, the sweatpants have been worn, and the Christmas tree is up. Now it’s time for the important question: What are you buying for Christmas? 

We had Small Business Saturday this past weekend, but just because we had a special day of shopping small doesn’t mean that viable local options aren’t available throughout the holiday season. 

In slight anxiety of letting my loved ones know what they’re getting in advance, I wanted to share some of the gifts that my friends and family will find under the tree this year. 

Art. We have so many talented artists in the area that it would be a shame to try to mention all of them. However, this year, I am focusing on two artists in particular: Chelse White with Haven Oak Designs (@havenoakdesigns on Instagram) and Callan Thornton (@callanrayne on Instagram). Chelsea is a friend of mine who is working on sharing her talent with the community, and Callan is the daughter of friends of ours who is majoring studio art at Louisiana Tech. Many of their creations are in the $10-25 range and include small canvases, ornaments and more. 

Candles. I burn candles regularly. I LOVE candles. But I also would rather support a small business than a big chain store. Luckily, we have several businesses in downtown Ruston and at the weekly Farmers Market that sell candles. And don’t think that candles are only sold at boutiques; a month or two ago, I found local candles for sale The Limitless Grooming Lounge, located at 206 N. Trenton St. Feel free to browse in our downtown area. 

Salsa and hot sauce. I have to hand it down to Fuego Dulce Sauces for salsa and hot sauce. They have some of the best hot sauce I have ever tried, and I am picky about my hot sauce. My motto basically is if I’m not sweating at the first taste, it’s not hot enough. Fuego Dulce – if you have a foodie to shop for, visit John at Farmers Market. 

Gift certificates. Don’t think that a gift certificate is only for chain stores and restaurants! Many of our local businesses offer them too – and often with competitive sales! Common Goods coffee shop, for instance, is offering an extra free gift certificate for every $25 purchased. That sounds like you’re getting some coffee for Christmas – and I am too! 

And while I would like to name more, I’m just getting started with my Christmas shopping, but I’m so excited about our local options. 


Walker, Roberson lead Techsters to win

Photo by Kyle Kavanaugh

Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team responded in a big way Sunday to take the third-place game in the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament with a 71-52 win over George Washington behind Keiunna Walker’s game-high 20 points, which included a 12-13 day from the line. 

Anna Larr Roberson nearly picked up her third double-double of the year with 14 points and nine rebounds. 

“Yesterday was a very tough day for us, but yesterday is over,” said head coach Brooke Stoehr, referring to her team’s loss to Illinois State. “George Washington is a really good team who can really shoot and I was concerned about that, but our defense was really good, and we got contributions from everyone today. I can’t say enough about Kate Thompson and Robyn Lee, they were huge for us and we were able to get Keiunna and Anna Larr going today.”

Sunday inside Cox Pavilion was a game of runs, with LA Tech (5-2) generating a 12-4 spurt out of the gate. George Washington would land their first response of the day with a 10-2 run to finish the first quarter and knot things up at 14 each. 

In the second, the Colonials began to heat up from deep, a team that shoots 39.4 percent on the year, as they went 4-8 from three in the quarter, that included an 11-0 run over four minutes, to take their largest lead of the day at 27-16.

Tech was just 1-9 during the stretch, but it was Tech’s turn to respond as they finished the half on a 12-1 run over the final 3:41 to tie the game back up at 28-28 heading into the halftime break.

Tech extended the run to 16-1, taking a 32-28 lead, but George Washington quickly tied things back up. Kate Thompson soon entered the game and became a force inside, cashing in on back-to-back possessions and scoring five points while grabbing three rebounds and diving on the floor for a loose ball to save a Techsters’ possession.

Thompson’s effort fueled another 10-4 Tech run over the final 4:40 to give the Techsters a nine-point advantage heading into the final 10 minutes (48-39).

In the fourth, Tech braced for another push from the Colonials but held GW to just 1-7 from three during a stretch that built Tech’s lead to 15 thanks to a Silvia Nativi three from Salma Bates as the shot clock expired, 60-45. 

On the ensuing possession, George Washington’s bench was given a technical foul that led to two Walker free throws, followed by a Bates’ free throw, a bucket from Amaya Brannon, and a layup from Anja Bukvic to give Tech their largest lead of the game, 67-47, with 2:07 to play. 

Bates and Brannon each finished with seven points, Nativi and Thompson chipped in five apiece. 

Tech held the Colonials to just 34.6 percent shooting, including a 6-21 mark from three while cashing in on 51 percent of their own attempts and making 19-24 from the stripe (.792). 

After nine first-half turnovers for the Techsters, LA Tech took much better care of the ball, only coughing it up two times in the second half while forcing nine second-half Colonial turnovers. 

Tech outscored George Washington 38-22 in the paint and finished the Vegas weekend with 98 paint points over three games. Tech’s bench also proved impactful in three games over three days as they poured in 75 points over the weekend.

Walker was named to the UNLV All-Tournament team. She averaged 15.3 ppg, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists, while registering three steals.


Louisiana Tech MALT Center receives Topic 2 funding

Louisiana Tech University’s MALT Industrial Assessment Center recently received $400,000 in funding to expand its work on identifying energy, productivity, and sustainability opportunity enhancements for manufacturers in the region through assessing commercial buildings.

The region the Center services includes parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (MALT).  Students are teamed with faculty to conduct audits of energy efficiency while also examining opportunities to  enhance sustainability, decarbonization, cyber security and advanced manufacturing in a cost-effective manner.

This commercial building expansion now enables the Center to include the Louisiana Delta Community College’s students and faculty,  increasing opportunities in jobs and future careers. It is anticipated that this new addition will increase the Center’s capacity to provide productivity enhancing recommendations to industrial and commercial enterprises in our region.

“This funding allows us to continue advancing our students and their experiences in the field and community college students at Delta Community College,” said Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, Associate Director for the MALT Center. “The partnership will provide us with new opportunities to impact our community on a greater level.”

The MALT Center is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. MALT provides free on-site visits and assessment reports that outline how facility managers can update their systems to be more cost-effective, cleaner, and more secure.

Louisiana Tech’s Industrial Assessment Center has saved local companies $5.56 million through these energy saving assessments.

 

Bulldogs complete perfect Alabama road trip

Photo by Kane McGuire

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech got points from all 12 Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon inside the Pete Hanna Center, crushing UT Southern by a final score of 91-47 to go a perfect 3-0 in the multi-team event.

LA Tech (5-2) picked up the victory in much the same way it did against Alabama A&M and Samford.  The Bulldogs forced turnovers (20 that turned into 27 points) and knocked down three-pointers (made a season-high 15 from beyond the arc)

“I am really proud of the team, winning four games in six days,” said head coach Talvin Hester. “I am proud of their effort and their intensity throughout the week.  They completed the task.  Was excited that everybody got to play today and contribute.  We had some older guys step up and lead us in the right way.  I thought Isaiah, Cobe, Keaston, those guys really stepped up this week.  I have to give credit to my assistant coaches too who prepared us well.”

The ‘Dogs had little issue with UT Southern (6-3) from the tip, getting a three-pointer from Keaston Willis to start the game and then getting another from the sharpshooter to make it 26-6 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

The Firehawks were limited to just five made field goals in the first half, getting 12 of their 23 points through the first 20 minutes from the foul line. 

The 46-23 halftime lead by the Bulldogs gradually grew throughout the second half.  Quandre Bullock was the final LA Tech player to score, posting nine points in the final four minutes of the game. 

Willis and Dravon Mangum each tallied 17 points to lead the way (season high for Mangum).  The Firehawks only had one player in double figures as Kevion Hancock scored 11.

The Bulldogs host Southern Friday at 6 p.m. at the TAC.


Weekly events

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

Monday, Nov. 28
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome
6 p.m.: Lighting of the Christmas tree (Downtown Ruston)

Tuesday, Nov. 29
10 a.m.: Family storytime (Lincoln Parish Library)
6 p.m.: Adult origami class (Lincoln Parish Library)

Wednesday, Nov. 30
7-8 a.m.: Veterans Coffee Club (PJ’s Coffee)
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome

Thursday, Dec. 1
5:30-10 p.m.: Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents: Elf the Musical (Dixie Center for the Arts)

Friday, Dec. 2
5:30-10 p.m.: Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
6 p.m.: Christmas Movie Night at the Park (Choudrant)
7 p.m.: Ruston High semifinal game
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents: Elf the Musical (Dixie Center for the Arts)

Saturday, Dec. 3
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Winter holiday Bazaar (9325 Hwy. 80, Simsboro)
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Christmas in Dubach (Scott Hamilton Warehouse, 139 E. Hico St., Dubach)
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Christmas on the Farm (Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center, Dubach)
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Christmas in the Village (Choudrant)
2 p.m.: Lady Techster basketball v. Alcorn
5:30-10 p.m.: Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents: Elf the Musical (Dixie Center for the Arts)


Sunday, Dec. 4
2 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents: Elf the Musical (Dixie Center for the Arts)


Tech’s LaBerteaux earns academic honor

Courtesy of Louisiana Tech Athletics Communications

Louisiana Tech senior Jacquelin LaBerteaux was named to the 2022 Conference USA All-Academic team, announced by the league office Wednesday.

LaBerteaux, a native of Carencro, La., posted a 3.98 GPA this season majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biology. She is one of 12 student athletes across the 11-member conference to be recognized.

The Westminster Christian Academy product is a three-time Conference USA Honor Roll recipient and C-USA Academic Medalist. This is her first career All-Academic conference honor.

LaBerteaux finished her XC season with a 25:37:28 time at the Conference USA Championships which was a two-minute jump from her 2021 time. 


Street closure in downtown Ruston

Beginning Monday, November 28, East Alabama Ave. and the eastbound lane of W. Alabama Ave between N. Trenton St. and N. Vienna St. will be closed to all through traffic until further notice. These closures are necessary for the Downtown Revitalization Project.

The City of Ruston regrets any inconvenience this necessary work may cause residents and motorists and appreciates your patience.


Tigers drop San Antonio heartbreaker

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

The Grambling State University men’s basketball team led by six with 49 seconds left, but Incarnate Word closed the game on a 9-1 run as the Cardinals picked up a 63-61 come-from-behind win during the second day of the 210 San Antonio Shootout on Sunday evening at the Convocation Center.

The Tigers (3-3) trailed, 29-24, at the half, but used a 15-5 run to open the second half. However, down the stretch, Grambling State was plagued by turnovers and fouls as Incarnate Word (4-3) rallied to pick up the win.

Cameron Christon went 9-of-13 from the floor to toss in a season-high 20 points, along with four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Carte’are Gordon finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards, with four assists and three blocked shots.

Josh Morgan paced three Cardinal players in double figures with 12 points, while Jonathan Cisse added 11 points. Brandon Swaby chipped in 10 points.

With the score tied at 8, Incarnate Word used a 10-2 run, capped by an Andre Cruz 3-pointer, giving the Cardinals an 18-10 advantage with 10:55 remaining in the first half.

UIW extended the lead, its largest of the day, to 24-12 as Cruz scored on a fast break layup with 7:03 left.

Grambling State battled back, on the heels of a 10-4 run, during the final four minutes of the half, closing the gap to 29-24 at the break.

The Tigers opened the second half strong, using a 15-5 run, as Grambling State took a 39-34 lead after a Gordon bucket with 12:51 remaining.

GSU stretched the lead, its largest of the night, to 48-39 on a Christon layup, but the Cardinals refused to go away quietly.

Incarnate Word used a 8-0 run, capped by a Morgan bucket to close the deficit to 48-47 with 6:29 left.

Morgan’s 3-pointer with just under four minutes remaining tied the game at 52, but baskets by Smith and Tra’Michael Moton broke the tie and gave the Tigers a 56-52 lead with 2:16 left.

Moton added to the lead with a pair of free throws, giving GSU a 60-54 advantage with 49 seconds left.

The Cardinals used a 9-1 run during the final 49 seconds to slip by Grambling State.


Lady Tigers fall late in Hawaii

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

The Grambling State University women’s basketball team had four players score in double-figures, but a fourth quarter rally by Florida Gulf Coast sank GSU’s hope for victory, as the Lady Tigers lost 73-67 on the final day of the Rainbow Wahine Showdown on Sunday afternoon.

Grambling State (1-7), which led by as many as seven points in the second half, was led offensively by Phylicia Allen’s season-high 16 points, along with five rebounds.

Colbi Maples continued to have a hot hand for the Lady Tigers, posting 15 points with two rebounds and one assist. Leah Morrow contributed 13 points and a game-high six steals. Jurnee McLaurin finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Miracle Saxon dominated the boards for GSU, snagging a season and game-high 13 rebounds, to go along with four points and two assists.

After a tightly contested first half, GSU held a 35-34 lead going into halftime. With the Lady Tigers leading, 38-36, Grambling State embarked on a 7-2 run, highlighted by five points from Allen, extending its advantage to 45-38 with 5:44 to go in the third quarter.

Florida Gulf Coast (6-1) briefly took a 51-50 lead, but a free throw by Maples in the closing moments of the period, tied the game a 51-51 heading in the fourth.

The turning point of the contest was FGCU’s ability to get to the free-throw line and convert. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles went 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. Florida Gulf Coast claimed the its first lead of the period, 59-58, on a pair of free throws by Kaela Webb with 5:17 to play. Webb put the Eagles up 61-58 when she knocked two free throws.

After a 3-pointer by Maples tied the game at 61-61 with 3:49 remaining, FGCU’s Aliza Winston worked her way to the free-throw line, sinking both attempts, putting the Eagles on top for good, 63-61.

GSU wasn’t able to get back on track, falling 73-67.


Notice of death — Nov. 27, 2022

Lunsford Edward Warner 
June 12, 1944 – November 22, 2022 
Visitation: Temple Baptist Church Chapel, Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 10:00 am – 11:00 am 
Service: Temple Baptist Church Chapel, Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 11:00 am 
Cemetery: Kilpatrick’s Memorial Garden, Tuesday, November 29, 2022 

Doris Stewart 
December 1, 1927 – November 25, 2022 
Private family service 


Dogs drop season finale

Charvis Thornton rushed for over 100 yards and a TD in Tech’s season finale against UAB. (photo courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications)

by Malcolm Butler

Under a blanket of grey skies and steady rain through most of the game, Louisiana Tech saw its 2022 season come to an end Saturday as the Bulldogs fell 37-27 to UAB during the season finale at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Fourteen Bulldog seniors were honored during a pregame on-the-field ceremony conducted as rain drops pelted those in attendance.

Dewayne McBride set the UAB single season rushing record, while amassing 274 yards and one score on just 16 while as the Blazers totaled 406 yards on the ground in the win. Jermaine Brown Jr. added 119 yards rushing and two scores for UAB (6-6, 4-4 C-USA).

Tech (3-9, 2-6 C-USA) entered the game with only pride and its senior class to play for and early on it appeared as if the Bulldogs would use those factors to their advantage.

“It was a challenge today for our team to see who could go out and play really hard and I think we had guys that did that,” said Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win for the seniors as they head out and pursue their dreams whether that is the NFL or wherever their degrees take them.

“I am really proud of that group for what they have done and change is very hard especially for older players. They allowed us to come in here and earn their trust. I am very appreciative of everything they did here and before we got here.”

After a Buck Buchanan 46-yard field goal gave Tech the early lead, UAB rode the legs of McBride and Brown to score 17 second quarter points. Brown scored on a 29-yard run and then the Blazers scored on a 14-yard return of a blocked punt to grab a 17-3 advantage.

Buchanan connected on a 49-yard field goal of the final play of the first half to close the deficit to 17-6 at the half.

Tech backup quarterback Jack Turner was inserted in the game late in the second quarter and played the rest of the game for the Bulldogs. He helped Tech to three second half touchdown drives, although the Bulldogs were unable to close the deficit closer than 10 points.

UAB scored on its first three drives of the second half — TD runs by both McBride and Brown and a 74-yard play-action pass for a score — as the Bulldogs defense struggled to get a stop.

Tech’s offense was able to answer each one of the Blazers scores. Charvis Thornton scored on a 63-yard TD run that saw Thornton break a tackle at the line of scrimmage and then outrace the Blazers to the end zone.

Turner then hit Tre Harris on a 17-yard TD pass that closed the deficit to 30-20 late in the third quarter. Turner completed 15-of-25 passes for 167 yards and one score along with one interception.

“I thought Jack did some good things,” said Cumbie. “We wanted to give him an opportunity to show what he could do. We had gotten kind of stagnant offensively in the second quarter. I didn’t think Landry (Lyddy) played bad. We just made the decision to give Jack an opportunity in the second half.”

The Bulldogs final score came on a 1-yard TD run by Marquis Crosby with 6:10 remaining in the game to pull Tech to within 37-27. The Tech defense got a number of stops in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs offense came up empty on three of its final four possessions (punt, interceptions, downs) as UAB was able to run out the clock for the win.

Thornton rushed for a career-high 132 yards and a TD on just eight carries while Crosby added 72 yards and a score on 18 totes.

“Our focus turns to the next couple of weeks,” said Cumbie, referring to football signing day in December.


Jaguars race away late from G-Men in 49th Bayou Classic

True freshman Floyd Chalk IV was named Grambling’s Player of the Game after rushing eight times for 120 yards. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T Scott Boatright

NEW ORLEANS — Learning to win.

That’s never easy for a young team. It’s probably even harder for a young team with a new coaching staff.

And that showed Saturday afternoon in the 49th annual Bayou Classic at Ceasar’s Superdome, as Grambling State started strong before fading away under the pressure of growing pains and missed opportunities as Southern took control late en route to a 34-17 win over the Tigers.

Grambling’s defense held Southern, which entered the contest averaging 413.0 total yards per game, to only 12 yards in the first quarter.

But the Tigers, who finished at 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, missed on a 47-yard field goal attempt 8:40 into the opening stanza.

GSU started its third drive of the contest at the 3:22 mark of the first quarter, and methodically marched 80 yards on six plays, with a 40-yard pass from true freshman quarterback Julian Calvez (aided by a 15-yard facemask flag against SU) and an 18-yard run by Chance “Cadillac” Williams helping put the Tigers into the red zone.

Those plays set up a scoring opportunity GSU did take advantage of as Calvez fired a 14-yard scoring strike to Lyndon Rash to put the G-Men on top 7-0 at the 43-second mark of the first quarter.

Grambling looked like it would move out to an even bigger early lead early in the second quarter, driving to the Southern 19-yard before Calvez was sacked and lost the fumble, which was recovered by the Jaguars, who marched 71 yards on six plays with a two-yard touchdown run by Karl Ligon tying the game at 7-7 with 7:08 remaining in the first half.

The G-Men regained the lead as Urban made the most of his second opportunity, booting a 44-yard field goal to put the Tigers on top 10-7 with 3:17 remaining in the first half.

But the Jaguars countered with a seven-play, 76-yard drive culminating with Kendrick Rhymes’ five-yard touchdown run with 25 seconds remaining that gave Southern a 14-10 halftime advantage.

“Obviously we’re disappointed,” GSU first year head coach Hue Jackson said during the postgame press conference. “We had chances in the first half but didn’t make them pay off. My hat’s off to Southern and that coaching staff. They made some huge plays in the second half, and that was the difference in the game.”

Jackson was maybe even more disappointed in hindsight was seeing his Tigers’ start strong again to open the second half, marching 94 yards on seven plays with runs of 22 and 30 yards by true freshman running Floyd Chalk IV setting up a one-yard quarterback sneak by Calvez that put the Tigers back on top 17-14 only 4:57 into the second half.

But the Tigers’ offense failed to get anything going after that, and even worse, after maintaining  their lead heading into the final stanza, allowed the Jaguars to score 20 unanswered points in the final stanza to earn the big win.

After the Jaguars retook the lead on a 22-yard touchdown run by Besean McCray with 13:30 left on the clock, Southern added two more scores off turnovers — a 48-fumble recovery by Jordan Carter with 7:42 remaining followed by a 42-yard pick six by Kriston Davis with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Grambling ended the game giving up three turnovers (two fumbles and Davis’ interception) while also being penalized six times for 66 yards. 

“Penalties and turnovers,” Jackson said of two of the obstacles his G-Men couldn’t overcome. We’ve had the penalties. We’re used to those. But the turnovers, they were magnified — by twice. Twice the ball fell out of the quarterback’s hands. I haven’t seen that. We’re got to grow from it. We’re not where we want to be I think to a man — every member of the coaching staff and every player. We know this is not where we want to be, and it’s not where we’re going to be. So we respect where we are even though we’re not even close to where we’re going. But we’re got a lot of work to do. 

Southern was a good team — a senior-laden team — and they did what they had to do to make sure they had a chance to play next week. I thought we had a good plan. If you go back and really look at it closely, there were some opportunities we had to really hurt them. Maybe finish them in a different game. But we just couldn’t for whatever reason.”

Calvez completed 13-of-27 pass attempts for 152 yards, but faced constant pressure in the second half and sacked seven times in the contest.

Jackson said he didn’t think adjustments by Southern helped the Jaguars pull away late. 

Instead, Jackson felt it was a case of his young Tigers imploding at a crucial point in the game.

“I don’t think they saw anything (to adjust to), I think if anything, they just saw a young quarterback,” Jackson said. “I think they smelled blood in the water and just kept coming. I think there were chances to make plays there. And we didn’t. We’ll learn from it. He’ll learn from it.”

Chalk IV was named Grambling’s Player of the Game after rushing eight times for 120 yards while Maurice Washington added 49 yards on six carries for the Tigers while Williams chipped in with 41 yards on six carries for the Tigers, who finished with 201 yards on the ground as compared to 159 for the Jaguars.

That GSU rushing attack helped the Tigers outgain Southern 353-234 in total offensive yardage.  

“That’s something that’s been good for us all year,” Jackson said of his Tigers’ rushing attack. “Our problem was not having the ability to gain ‘chunk’ plays in the passing game. That reared its ugly head again today and that’s something we’ve got to work on. We get it.

“But like I said, we’re not anywhere near where we want to be. Where we will be. I just told the team that I’m proud of them and love them all, but the next thing for us is to improve. We’ve got to get better and we’ve got to get better fast.”

Jackson said he was thankful this holiday season for a group of senior football players who never gave up the fight.

“They mean a ton to me, I just told them that,” Jackson said of his seniors. “I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the effort and the way they represented this team. They never wavered a bit, even when it was tough and even bleak. Those guys fought through. They’re the guys who suddenly helped us win two in a row, fighting down the stretch. 

“I’m thankful for those guys. But at the same time, I want them to be proud of what they started here. The only way we can give it back to them is to next year be a lot better football team.”

And Jackson said he already has next year’s 50th Bayou Classic on his mind. Southern’s win over the Tigers gave the Jaguars a 25-24 advantage in the series between the schools since the Bayou Classic was born. 

“It was 24-24 coming in — they’ve got one up on us now,” Jackson said. “We’ll be preparing for the next one for 365 days until we get the chance to do it again and get it back to 25-25, that’s for sure.” 


Semifinal ticket purchase information released

Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy

Prices for Ruston’s semifinal home matchup against Zachary have been released for Friday night’s contest in James Field at “Hoss” Garrett Stadium.

Reserved seating tickets will be $18 while general admission will be $15.

Ruston High students with an ID can purchase a ticket for $10 at the gate. Students can also take advantage of a promotional during lunch period at school on Thursday and Friday for $5 with a sponsor offsetting the ticket cost. With this particular ticket, students will be required to show ID to enter the stadium and cannot purchase this particular ticket on behalf of anyone else.

Reserved season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets on Monday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the home side ticket booth located on Everett Street across from the cemetery for $15 at a three dollar discount. These tickets cannot be purchased for any other season ticket holders.

On Tuesday, any remaining reserved tickets and general admission will be on sale from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the same location.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Ruston High ticket office located on in the school.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night.


Remembering Doris Kaylor Stewart

Doris Kaylor Stewart

A private family memorial service for Mrs. Doris Kaylor Stewart, age 94, of Dubach, LA, will be held 10:00 AM, Monday, November 28, 2022 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston, LA.   Pastor Thomas Ussery and Rev Doug Stewart will be officiating.  Graveside will follow service at Unionville Cemetery.

Doris was born December 1, 1927 to Thomas and Edna Kaylor in Haynesville, LA, and went home to be with the Lord on November 25, 2022 in Ruston LA.

While attending Haynesville High School, she worked at a soda fountain in a drug store and later was employed at the local bus station.  She attended Bible College in San Antonio, TX.

She was best known for her catering weddings and baking birthday cakes in the Lincoln Parish area.  She also worked as a cook at the Dubach High School lunch room.

She was very active in her local church in Dubach and was for many years the church pianist, youth leader, and Sunday School teacher. Currently she was a member of LifePoint Pentecostal Church in Ruston, LA.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Howard D. Stewart, sisters, Lois Baker and Opal Steiger along with her son-in-law Elwyn Sparks. She is survived by her two children; Doug Stewart and wife Rosemary and daughter Darlene Sparks, also dear friend Ralph Bruce.

Serving as pallbearers will be Ralph Bruce, Travis Bruce and Boyd Gibson.

A very special thanks goes to the ICU staff of Northern Louisiana Medical Center for their loving and excellent care of our mother.

To leave an online memorial message for the family, please visit www.owensmemorialfuneralhome.com.


Bearcats back in semifinals for first time in decades

Ruston ran past Denham Springs 49-31 Friday night in quarterfinal action. (Photo by Reggie McLeroy)

By T Scott Boatright

DENHAM SPRINGS — It looked like a cross between a heavyweight slugfest and an Olympic track meet.

And the end result was history more than 20 years in the making, even if “Old Mo” didn’t make it easy.

For the first time since 1999, the Ruston Bearcats have punched their tickets to the state football semifinals as they traveled down south and held on to defeat Denham Springs 49-31 Friday night during a game in which momentum danced across the field between sidelines with the frenetic feel of Jennifer Beals’ workout performance in the 1983 movie “Flashdance.”

And now the Bearcats are one game away from their first “Big Dance” since falling to West Monroe in the 1999 semifinals.

Ruston (13-1), the top seeded-team in Division I Non-Select School postseason play, will next take on Zachary (10-2), the defending Class 5A state champion that defeated Southside 48-27 Friday night.

“Denham Springs is a good football team and I knew they were going to play hard for all four quarters,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “They kind of caught us in some bad spots and got the ball to some really good playmakers that made some plays.”

The Bearcats opened Friday’s scoring marathon on its second possession of the contest, as a long run by sophomore Jordan Hayes set the Bearcats up in the red zone at the Yellowjackets’ 15-yard line.

Then Ruston started pounding Dyson Fields inside on six consecutive plays with the senior running back bursting through to paydirt from two-yards out to put the Bearcats on top 7-0 with 3:32 left in the opening stanza.

Ruston pushed its lead to 14-0 with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter as Bearcats’ quarterback Jaden Osbone hit Aaron Jackson on a 12-yard scoring strike as RHS looked like it would take control early.

At that point “Old Mo” stayed in the background on the sidelines, waiting for the right time to make his move.

Ruston pushed its lead to 21-0 with 1:42 left in the first as Osborne hit Logan Malone on a 32-yard touchdown pass.

But “Old Mo” had somehow seemingly snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat last week to keep Denham Springs’ postseason dreams alive, and he would tease the Yellowjackets several times about a potential first trip to the quarterfinals since 1985 for DSHS before finally riding off into the sunset with the Bearcats.

First Denham Springs scored on a 12-yard pass with nine seconds remaining in the first half as Da’Shawn McBryde went high and outfought RHS defenders for the ball.

The Yellowjackets then went for the onside kick following Brooks’ scoring reception, and the ball was recovered by Denham Springs at the RHS 30 because of two post-touchdown penalties called against the Bearcats, allowing Denham Springs to kick off from the Bearcats’ 30 yard line.

Denham Springs had pulled off an unlikely victory over Benton last week when instead of running out the clock the Tigers’ quarterback under pressure kneeled on the ball on fourth down a little too early with  .6 seconds left on the clock.

“Old Mo” then helped the Yellow Jackets do a walk-off dance off the field with an incredibly unlikely 29-yard field goal on the game’s final play to cut Ruston’s lead to 21-10 at intermission.

Baugh admitted that end of the first half of Ruston’s win over the Yellow Jackets caused him some concern after watching that happen for Denham Springs on video during the week.

“That definitely worried me,” Baugh said. “I thought we were in complete control of the game early on and then they get those two quick scores out of nowhere to make it a game at halftime. That gave them a lot of momentum going into halftime and coming out in the second half.”

The second half between Ruston and Denham Springs was a see-saw slugfest with the Bearcats landing solid haymakers before “Old Mo” seemingly kept lifting the Yellowjackets off the mat to stay in the contest.

Denham Springs scored at the 6:21 mark of the third quarter to cut Ruston’s lead to 21-17 before Hayes broke loose on a 39-yard scoring scamper to push the Bearcats’ advantage to 28-17 at the 2:29 mark of the third quarter.

But the Yellow Jackets connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass on the next play from scrimmage to hold the Bearcats to a 28-24 lead heading into the fourth.

“Old Mo” was only getting started, this time jumping back over to the Ruston sideline as the Bearcats moved out in front 35-24 with 11:22 renaming on a nine-yard bullet from Osborne to Jackson for their second scoring connection of the night before quickly stopping the Yellow Jackets before Fields pushed the RHS advantage to 42-24 on a 62-yard burst up the middle with 10:44 remaining.

But “Old Mo” was back at it on the ensuing play, sparking Denham Springs’ Ray McKneely for an 82-yard kick return that cut the RHS lead to 42-31 with 10:29 left on the clock.

Junior Bearcat linebacker Jadon Mayfield’s quarterback sack on the Yellowjackets’ next series turned the ball back of the the Bearcats with 7:12 remaining, and Fields’ 17-yard scoring scamper off right tackle on the next play, breaking through three attempted tackles in the process, finally forced the Yellowjackets, and “Old Mo,” to wave the white flag in surrender.

“We’re going to this game for what it’s worth and hopefully learn from it and move on,” Baugh said. “We’ll build on the good things we did and work on the things that we obviously need to correct.”

Fields finished with 121 rushing yards and three scores to lead the Bearcats while Hayes added 14 carries for 117 to power Ruston’s rushing attack.

“Their defensive line looked tough on video heading in and we had a tough time running the ball early on against them,” Baugh said. “It’s one of those things that felt like if we stuck with it, that we could possibly wear them down because they had a couple of guys that played both ways.

“We just stuck with the game plan and before it was over with and I think we just kind of wore them down and were able to break some big runs at times.”

That run game helped Jackson turn in a big night with eight catches for 70 yards and his two scores.

“When we’re able to get the run game going that creates one-on-one matchups with him to be able to get open and he was able to make some plays,” Baugh said about Jackson.

Mayfield led the Bearcats with eight tackles while Nate Johnson added five and Zheric Hill chipped in with four along with an interception to close out the Yellowjackets’ dreams of “Old Mo” giving them a second straight miraculous comeback.

“He got out there and I thought he looked good in pregame,” Baugh said of Hill. “He practiced all week and looked pretty good, better and better each day. Mayfield went out with cramps in the second half, so we needed players like Zheric and Nate Johnson to step up and fill the void, at least on defense.

“We had to move some people around on defense in the second half, and that helped Denham Springs get some good matchups on us. Their coaches did a good job of looking at what we were having to do defensively with Mayfield out, but once we settled in I thought we got better to close out the game.”

And now that that game is closed out, Baugh is already looking ahead toward Zachary.

“We’ll get a few hours of sleep and get back to the school and turn the page on this game and start getting ready for another really good football team,” Baugh said.

 
 

Bayou Classic could jump start Tigers into 2023

Hue Jackson and the Tigers prepare for the 49th annual Bayou Classic. (Photo by Glenn Lewis)

By T. Scott Boatright

 

It comes down to this to close out chapter one of the Hue Jackson era for Grambling State University football.

And when it comes down to the 49th annual Bayou Classic, history has shown anything can happen.

Nothing could close out the season more sweetly for the G-Men than to play spoiler in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) showdown set to kick off at 1 p.m. today at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Grambling State (3-7 overall, 2-5 SWAC) enters coming off a 41-7 to Texas Southern on Nov. 12. 

But GSU has won two out of its last three games heading into its final regular season game of the season.

Southern (6-4, 4-3 SWAC), which defeated Mississippi Valley State  27-7 at home on Nov. 12, controls its own destiny after snapping  a two-game losing streak with that win over the Delta Devils despite earlier  losses to Jackson State and Florida A&M. 

A Bayou Classic win for the Jaguars will secure a spot in the SWAC Championship game. But a Southern loss will mean that Prairie View A&M ends up meeting Jackson State on Dec. 3.

“Obviously we are excited about getting back to playing football. It’s obviously one of the biggest classics that there is, with a game played in New Orleans at the Bayou Classic,” said first-year GSU head coach Hue Jackson, who will be coaching in his first Bayou Classic.

 “The players are excited, the coaches are excited. We got back to work (Tuesday) after having some down time. We’ve seen some areas we need to focus on, to get better at. That’s our number one goal. Our number two goal is to continue to work extremely hard and to get ready for this game.”

Last year, playing in the wake of the dismissal of former head coach Broderick Fobbs before the Bayou Classic, GSU’s walk-off field goal gave the Tigers a 29-26 win over the Jaguars to win their first and only game under interim head coach Terrence Graves, who now serves as assistant head coach at Southern.

Jackson said he’d love to see this year’s Tigers cap off his first season as head coach at GSU with a similar win.

“Our players understand it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to get a jump-start into next season,” Jackson said during a press conference in New Orleans earlier this week. “For the seniors graduating, we want them to go out the right way.”

GSU is averaging 24 points per contest while Southern is averaging 32 points per game.

Defensively, the G-Men are giving up an average of 398 yards and 31 points per game compared to 282 yards and 20 points per game the Jaguars are holding their opponents to.

Southern leads the all-time series between the schools, 39-34, but the Bayou Classic series is tied at 24-24.

Grambling State is 1-1 this season in neutral site games, winning the Shreveport Classic over Northwestern State before falling in the State Fair Classic to Prairie View A&M.

Saturday’s game will air live on NBC and Peacock with Chris Lewis and Anthony Herron in the booth being joined by sideline reporters Lewis Johnson and Corey Robinson. 

Grambling State will broadcast and stream the game on the Grambling State Sports Radio Network. The game can be heard in Ruston and Dubach on the flagship station, The Peach (KPCH-99.3 FM), KNNW 103.1 FM in Columbia and Monroe and KEDG 106.9 FM in Alexandria and Pineville with the Tigers’ broadcast crew of Ossie Clark and Chyelle Flowers calling the action.


Dogs host Blazers in season finale at The Joe

When Louisiana Tech and UAB kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Joe Aillet Stadium, the Blazer will be playing for a bowl berth.

The Bulldogs will be playing for pride.

UAB sits at five wins knowing a victory on Saturday would give the Blazers an opportunity to go to a postseason bowl.

Tech (3-8, 2-5 C-USA) isn’t as fortunate when it comes to postseason possibilities. They have none.

However, Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie isn’t allowing that to be used as any type of excuse entering the game.

“It’s about playing for our seniors,” said Cumbie. “I think that is something you can always hang on to. We have talked about this season a lot. If the won-loss record of our opponent or the location of where we play or any of those types of things has to dictate our energy, our effort and our preparation level, then it’s probably a hobby. You play for a sense of self pride. You play for a sense of pride for your teammate.”

Saturday’s contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 107.5 FM and the LA Tech Athletics app while the contest will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

The Bulldogs suffered two overtime losses as well as a one score setback at Charlotte last week. Win two of those three and Tech would be playing for a possible postseason bowl berth as well.

UAB (5-6, 3-4 C-USA) would like nothing better than to defeat Tech and keep their season alive.

Cumbie said the Blazers are better than their 5-6 record indicates.

“They are very talented,” said Cumbie. “They are a really good team. They have had some injury problems at quarterback in the middle of the season that hindered them a little bit. They are very good.

“They have an interim head coach. Coach (Bill) Clark stepped down right before the season. Coach Vincent has done a great job of keeping it together. That’s just the structure and the program that UAB has.”

Tech’s biggest challenge will be slowing down UAB running back DeWayne McBride, a Doak Walker Award semifinalist. McBride enters the game ranked second nationally in both rushing yards per game (144.1) and rushing touchdowns (18).

“They have some really good players,” said Cumbie. “McBride is one of the best running backs in the country. He is going to be very difficult for us to tackle. It’s going to take a lot of guys running to the football, wrapping up and holding on to bring him down.”

McBride needs 147 rushing yards to set the single season school rushing record which is currently held by Jordan Howard who had 1,587 yards in 2014. He has had tremendous success in two games against Louisiana Tech, compiling 133 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2020 and 210 yards and four touchdowns last season.

“We have to take care of the ball,” said Cumbie. “Create takeaways. If we do that, we will find ourselves in the game in the fourth quarter and have an opportunity to go win it.”