Teen with fake license among DWI arrests

Lincoln Parish Detention Center staff stayed busy over the weekend booking several DWI suspects arrested by local law enforcement.

State police charged a 19-year-old Monroe man early Friday morning in Ruston for DWI and possessing a fake driver’s license.

Christian C. Markle was arrested just after midnight Friday when a state trooper saw a vehicle turning off North Bonner Street onto Maryland Avenue without using a turn signal. Markle’s vehicle was then clocked at 48 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone.

When the trooper approached the driver, a strong odor of alcoholic beverages was detected on Markle’s breath. The trooper reported Markle having slurred speech, red watery eyes, and performed poorly on field sobriety tests.

Markle was arrested and taken to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center where a breath sample was obtained showing a blood alcohol concentration of .113g%. When Markle was booked, a fake driver’s license showing his age to be 22 was found. He was booked for first offense DWI, speeding, failure to use turn signal, and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents. Bail was set at $1,500.

About 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning, state police arrested Breeon D. Hill, 43, for first offense DWI and improper lane usage. Bail was fixed at $1,500.

Ruston Police arrested another DWI suspect about 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Braxton H. Moss, 18, was charged with first offense DWI, hit and run, and careless operation of a vehicle. Bail was set at $3,000.

The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested another motorist for DWI about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Jose Aguilar, 26, was charged with first offense DWI, no driver’s license, and leaving the scene of an accident. Bail was set at $1,500.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 


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, Dec. 4
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome
5:30 p.m.: Ruston city council meeting (Ruston City Hall)
6 p.m.: Toastmasters International meeting (Louisiana Center for the Blind, 101 South Trenton Street)

Tuesday, Dec. 5
10 a.m.: Storytime at Lincoln Parish Library
6-8 p.m.: Holiday open house at Lincoln Parish Museum (609 N. Vienna)
6 p.m.: Lincoln Parish School Board meeting (Lincoln Parish School Board)

Wednesday, Dec. 6
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
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Capitol Chats: Pelican Institute Luncheon (Richardson Suite at Joe Aillet Stadium, La Tech)

Thursday, Dec. 7
2 p.m.: Ribbon cutting for The Big House (504 N. Vienna St.)
5-7 p.m.: Holiday Sip and Stroll (Downtown Ruston)
5:30-10 p.m.: Lincoln Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
6:30 p.m.: Cultural District Community Caroling (Railroad Park)

Friday, Dec. 8
5:30-10 p.m.: Lincoln Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)

Saturday, Dec. 9
8:30-11:30 a.m.: Hazardous waste material collection and recycling (2609 Farmerville St.)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
5:30-10 p.m.: Lincoln Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)

Short-handed Dogs down Colonels

Devin Ree scored 15 points in the Bulldogs win.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

With two starters out due to injury, other players had to step up.

That they did as four Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Tahlik Chavez who had a season-high 20 points, as Louisiana Tech remained unbeaten at home with a 68-55 victory over Nicholls on Saturday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

“It is coming (for Tahlik), said head coach Talvin Hester. “He was in the gym this morning shooting. I think it bothers him more than it bothers us. It was just a matter of time before the ball started falling for him. I thought we got him some good looks. I promise you he is going to have a game where he makes more [than five three-pointers]. It is the nature of who he is.”

From the outside, it was Chavez and Devin Ree combining for all eight of LA Tech’s (6-2) three-pointers – five for Chavez and three for Ree. Inside, it was the dynamic frontcourt tandem of Daniel Batcho and Isaiah Crawford. Batch powered his way to his third double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds while Crawford had 11 points and a season-high seven assists.

“Proud of Devin,” said Hester. “He has been working really hard. He is the youngest guy on our team and I know some days he gets frustrated. I have kept telling him he is getting better. He is understanding the system. He has gotten better offensively and defensively he is causing problems with his length.”

The star of the game was arguably the Bulldog defense, which held a Nicholls (3-6) team with plenty of offensive firepower to its second fewest points of the season and just 34.0 percent shooting from the field.

“We were going to lean on our defense this game,” said Hester. “When one of your best offensive players is out in Sean Newman Jr., our quarterback, we just wanted to be solid, get the ball inside to Isaiah and Batcho, play inside-out basketball and play good defense. I was proud of the way we started the game. Really proud of our guys.”

Chavez gave the ‘Dogs their first separation of the contest, drilling back-to-back triples to give LA Tech a 14-6 advantage. After the Colonels cut their deficit down to four, he hit another that was part of a quick 7-0 run that forced a timeout by the opposition with seven minutes to go in the first half.

Nicholls made its biggest run late in the stanza, an 8-0 spurt that made it a one-possession game at 30-27. However, an offensive board and putback by Batcho and a second-chance three-pointer by Ree gave LA Tech a 35-27 edge going into halftime.

The Colonels continued to hang around, making it a 48-42 ball game after Jalen White (had a team-high 16 points) sank one of his four triples with 11:34 still remaining in the game.

LA Tech countered though, going on a 9-0 run that was capped off by yet another triple by Chavez. It was another long ball by Ree, who finished with 15 points, that was ultimately the dagger with 1:44 left, giving the ‘Dogs their largest lead of the contest at 65-49.

The Bulldogs owned the paint with a big advantage in rebounds (47-30), paint points (30-18), and second-chance points (21-6). Defensively, they allowed just 17 made field goals and held the Colonel’s primary scorer, Jamal West Jr., to just seven points.

LA Tech will travel to Nacogdoches, Texas to take on Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday, Dec. 5 inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Inside Tech Basketball returns today

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Inside Tech Basketball makes its return as Bulldog head coach Talvin Hester and Lady Techster head coach Brooke Stoehr will be part of 12 editions this year, starting today.

The hour-long radio show will take place at the Dawghouse Sports Grill from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with hosts Malcolm Butler, the Voice of the Bulldogs, and Kyle Roberts, the Voice of the Lady Techsters.

Fans can listen to the radio show on the LA Tech Sports Network as well as on the LA Tech Athletics app.

2023-24 Inside Tech Basketball Schedule
Monday, Dec. 4
Monday, Dec. 11
Monday, Jan. 8
Monday, Jan. 15
Monday, Jan. 22
Monday, Jan. 29
Monday, Feb. 5
Monday, Feb. 12
Monday, Feb. 19
Monday, Feb. 26
Monday, March 4
Monday, March 11

Ruston artist, LPJ photographer to sell shirts for the state championship

This is an advertorial.

Ruston High alum and renowned artist Reggie McLeroy is selling his latest design as shirts in honor of the Bearcats making their march to the Superdome for the second season in a row.

As a professional artist with a decades-long portfolio, McLeroy has partnered with Tommy Cline of Tommy’s Tees in Ruston to sell shirts with the design seen below (without watermarks) titled “Unfinished Business”.

T-Shirts will be available for purchase Monday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., and are priced at $20 for youth and adult small through XL, $22 for XXL, and $24 for XXXL. Sweatshirts will be available for purchase on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the evening and are priced at $30 for youth and adult small through XL, $32 for XXL, and $34 for XXXL.

A Ruston graduate of 1980, McLeroy has designed multiple shirts, posters and other art media, including a 1990 National Championship poster for the Bearcats and an iconic painting of longtime Lady Techster head coach Leon Barmore.

Shirts are available at Tommy’s Tees for purchase at 2305 S Service Rd West in Ruston. More information can be found at 318.255.2907.

A proceed of the profits will go to advance Ruston High School’s football program.

Liberty rings G5’s New Year’s Six bowl bid

From staff reports

Conference USA champion No. 23 Liberty (13-0, 8-0 CUSA) has earned the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bowl bid as the highest-ranked G5 champion, and the Flames are headed to the VRBO Fiesta Bowl to take on No. 8 Oregon.

This marks the first time a CUSA team has earned a New Year’s Six spot in the league’s history. The game takes place on Monday, Jan. 1, at 12 p.m. CT from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Liberty’s invite comes in their first year as a CUSA member and just eight months after former league member Florida Atlantic made the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in late March and early April.

It’s an impressive one-two punch for a league that many talking heads around the country were claiming was on life support over the past few years.

Liberty moved past previously unbeaten Tulane, who fell 26-14 to SMU in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) championship game Saturday. The loss eliminated the Green Wave from the chance of making history.

Liberty set a program record for wins with 13 and was one of just four undefeated teams in the country during the 2023 season. All 13 wins came against FBS competition, including six wins over bowl-eligible opponents although the Flames did not play a P5 team in their non-conference schedule.

The Flames captured the 2023 CUSA championship on Friday night with a 49-35 win over 10-win New Mexico State, the team’s first FBS conference title in their first season in the conference.

Liberty is one of four CUSA teams that are bowl bound, joining New Mexico State, Jacksonville State and WKU.

New Mexico State (10-4, 7-1 CUSA) will take on Fresno State (8-4, 4-4 MWC) in the Isleta New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque at 4:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 16, on ESPN.

Jax State (8-4, 6-2 CUSA) will face off with Louisiana (6-6, 3-5 Sun Belt) in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1:15 p.m. CT on ESPN.

WKU (7-5, 5-3 CUSA) will take on Old Dominion (6-6, 5-3 Sun Belt) in the Famous Toastery Bowl in Charlotte on Monday, Dec. 18, at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Roberson nets 27 in loss at Vandy

Anna Larr Roberson

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team fell 71-63 to Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon inside Memorial Gymnasium.

Anna Larr Roberson led the Lady Techsters with a season-high 27 points and surpassed 800 career rebounds. The senior finished 13-18 from the field and pulled down six rebounds.

“She played really balanced and was slow to her actions today,” said head coach Brooke Stoehr. “We found her in some good spots, and she’s capable of doing that. It’s really good to see her be able to do that. For us, we’ve got to continue to find ways to get her the ball and move the ball for easy shots.”

Both teams came out firing to open the game, connecting on five of the first eight shots from the field.

Vanderbilt (8-1) built an early 11-8 lead off the back of Sacha Washington. Washington scored nine straight and finished with 11 of her game high 33 in the first.

Salma Bates connected on back-to-back threes and a driving laying to give LA Tech (2-6) their only lead of the game at 13-11. After the first stanza, Roberson added four points to keep LA Tech close at 19-16.

Turnovers hurt the Lady Techsters in the second as the defense held the Commodores to 11 points. Bates connected on three free throws to tie the game up at 23 apiece midway through the quarter.

The third quarter was the difference in the game as Vanderbilt outscored LA Tech 24-15. The Lady Techsters contained Washington, but other players stepped up and were 9-17 from the floor, including four 3-pointers.

“I think we improved in some areas we worked on the last couple of days, moving the basketball,” said Stoehr. “We moved the ball well in the first half and didn’t knock down some open shots. We held on to the ball too much in the first four and a half minutes to start the third quarter. We didn’t move it, and we missed some open looks. That was a separator for us.”

Roberson started to take over for the Lady Techsters and accounted for 10 of LA Tech’s 12 points that spanned the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth. She would finish with 12 points in the fourth and 21 in the second half.

Remembering Michael Ray Stewart

Michael Ray Stewart

Funeral Services for Michael Ray Stewart, age 72, will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023, 11:00 A.M., at Harmony Chapel Methodist Church in Hico, LA.  Officiating will be Rev. Ronnie Dyes, under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes of Ruston.  Visitation will be prior to the services from 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.  Burial will follow at Harmony Chapel Cemetery.

Mike was born November 10, 1951, to W. L. & Juanita Stewart of Hico.  He passed from this life on December 01, 2023.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents, W. L. & Juanita Stewart.  Left to cherish his memory are sister, Wilma Maglott and husband Bill of Gilmer, TX; nephew, Jeff Maglott of Longview, TX; special friend Gail Dick Curtis, along with numerous cousins & friends.

Mike loved hunting & fishing, and loved spending time with his family.  He recently retired from Elcon Elect., where he served as project manager.

The family would like to thank the CCU Staff at Willis Knighton Hospital, and to Ronnie Dyes for his support during this difficult time.

Pallbearers will be Gary Freeland, Duke Napper, Allen Trammell, David Fowler, Larry Barnett, and Tommy Doss.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org.

Notice of death — Dec. 3, 2023

Larry Lynell “Bub” Crawford 
April 18, 1953 – November 30, 2023 

Ruth Z. Osborne   
Wednesday 09/01/1948 –Tuesday 11/28/2023   
Memorial Service: Saturday 12/09/2023 11:00am at King’s Funeral Home   
Interment: Saturday 12/09/2023, Mt. Zion Cemetery, Quitman   

Arlease Dade   
Monday 04/20/1942 — Monday 11/27/2023    
Family Gathering: Monday 12/04/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home   
Visitation: Tuesday 12/05/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home   
Celebration of Life: Tuesday 12/05/2023, Bethel Church Of God In Christ, 1800 Parkview Drive, Monroe   
Interment: Tuesday 12/05/2023 Following Service, Richwood Memorial Gardens, 2705 Richwood Rd 2, Monroe   

BREAKING: Ruston and Zachary to clash in the Superdome

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

After a postponed game last night, Zachary rallied from 15 points down this afternoon to defeat Dutchtown 31-28 in OT.

With nasty weather in south Louisiana, No. 6 Zachary and No. 7 Dutchtown’s semifinal game was postponed last night with 1:38 to go in the third quarter, with the Dutchtown Griffins ahead 28-13.

The game resumed at 3 p.m. today, and Zachary used points from all three sides of the football to get the rally win in overtime.

“Obviously, we know Zachary is a really good football team and has a history of being in state championship games,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “We will need to make sure and get ourselves prepared to play another really good football team. I think they will be excited for an opportunity to get a redo on last years semifinal game.”

The Bearcats defeated the Broncos last season 37-22 at “The Hoss” in their semifinal contest, which saw the Bearcats make the state championship for the first time since 1998.

Ruston and Zachary are scheduled to kickoff Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Caesar’s Superdome for the Non-Select, Division I state championship.

All-out attack sends Bearcats ‘Domeward

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

RUSTON – “Unfinished business.”

That’s been the theme for the 2023 Bearcats all year long after coming up one-touchdown short last season in the Superdome.

Now, they have the chance to finish strong and write their names into Ruston High School history after beating the Mandeville Skippers 28-7 and headed to New Orleans for the second straight season to play in the championship game.

“I’m really pleased with how the kids came out and competed to start with,” Ruston High School head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “Tthe kids were excited about the opportunity to go play for another state championship. And now we got that chance. So I’m really proud of our kids. And you know, what a great turnout, the community and wonderful. It’s been great.”

Senior Skipper running back Nate Sheppard came in with over 30 touchdowns on the season, and would only rush for 21 yards in the first half on eight carries.

“It was a tremendous job by the coaches and the kids putting the plan together and executing what we needed to,” Baugh said. “You know, they’re a really good football team. They put up a lot of points and a lot of yards on some good football teams. And I think our kids took that personal and and came out and played really well.”

Ruston put two touchdowns on the scoreboard in the first quarter alone, first on a 7-yard touchdown run by junior running back Dylone Brooks at the 4:33 mark, and shortly after, junior running back Jordan Hayes would score from 24 yards out after a 30-plus yard punt return by senior Nate to set up excellent field position for the Bearcats.

Junior quarterback Josh Brantley would find senior wide receiver Jamar Woods in the back corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 7:58 to go in the half.

Hayes would get his second touchdown of the night on a 12-yard redzone touchdown run with 7:25 to go in the third quarter to go up 28-0.

Mandeville would finally put points on the board with a 34-yard jailbreak screen to tailback Isaiah Baham with 5:03 to go in the third quarter to cut it to 28-7.

Hayes would lead all rushers with 184 yards and two touchdowns. Brooks totaled 102 with a touchdown as well.

Brantley threw 8-of-12 on the night for 72 yards and a touchdown.

The Bearcats totaled six sacks on the night coming from senior defensive linemen Ahmad Breaux and Geordan Guidry and junior tackle Peyton Bell. Each of them had two sacks apiece.

Ruston would not relent from there en route to the victory and a ticket punched to New Orleans as they await the winner of the No. 7 Dutchtown – No. 6 Zachary matchup. Kickoff will be set for 7 p.m.

Notebook from Bearcats semifinal win

Jordan Hayes (Photo by Josh McDaniel)

By Malcolm Butler

Ruston High will return to the Caesars Superdome Saturday after defeating Mandeville 28-7 at James Field at Hoss Garrett Stadium.

Below is a notebook from tonight’s game.

Dome Opponent: While the Bearcats were dominating the Skippers Friday night, the other Nonselect Division I match-up was being dominated by the elements. Dutchtown and Zachary were suspended due to severe weather with 1:48 to play in the third quarter with Dutchtown leading 28-13. The game will resume Saturday at 3 p.m. with the winner advancing to face the Bearcats next Saturday (Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.).

Who knows who it’ll be,” said Baugh. “Either way, we know that there will be a really good football team. And, you know, I think our kids will get focused on on whoever that opponent is. And that’s what they’ve done all season. And I’m really proud of them to be able to, at their age, deal with the pressure that comes with that and to be able to do what we need to do to get that chance.

Mandeville QB has Ruston Connections: Mandeville sophomore QB Ben Hendricks has Ruston ties. Hendricks is the grandson of Emmett Hendricks, former Louisiana Tech men’s basketball coach from 1974 to 1977. Ben had a tough night in Ruston, getting sacked six times while completing 9-of-14 passes for 107 yards and one TD.

Bearcats Peaking at Right Time: After its success last season and the expectations of making it back to the Dome this year, at times Ruston looked like they weren’t 100 focused during the regular season — almost as if the Bearcats were waiting for the playoffs to put it into full gear.  Baugh agreed that was a battle at times.

“I think I think we dealt with some of that through the season,” said Baugh. “Because I think we had a lot of people that jumped us ahead to the state championship because we had so many guys returning. But there’s a lot of things you got to do on the way there. And it’s hard for kids their age to to stay focused on those small goals. But I think they did as well as what kids at their age can can do. And it’s hard as a coach and staff to try to keep the kids focused on the immediate goals, just like I said earlier. And, you know, I think obviously I think there’s a lot of relief for the kids, but I think they completely understand what we have out in front of us to to finish the job.

Cats Stop Sheppard: Mandeville tailback Nate Sheppard came into Friday night’s game highly-touted after scoring six touchdowns in the Skippers 56-50 quarterfinal win over Airline last weekend. But the Bearcats were able to slow him down all night long outside of a 35-yard run in the third quarter. On the night, Sheppard rushed for just 62 yards on 13 carries.

“The defensive staff did a real good job putting a plan together,” said Baugh. “We wanted to make him bounce the ball and run sideways. And you saw quite a bit tonight that he was sideways because and then we relied on our speed. I thought really the defensive line did a good job. You saw several times where it looked like he was going to have a chance to cut the ball back and the pursuit was there to be able to clean up and get him tackled. And so that is a big deal. That’s something that the defensive coaches and Coach (Kyle) Williams in particular stressed is 11 guys getting after the football. There were times where if we don’t have that pursuit he does have a little lane to run in. You saw he made one big time run and we knew that’s what we were going to have to do.

New Orleans Travel Plans: Baugh said the Bearcats travel schedule for the Dome would be different than last season when Ruston left the day before the state title game and stayed the night in New Orleans. This year the Bearcats will travel down day of game.

“I made my mind up last year after the ball game was over that (if we made it this year that) we’ll go down the day of on Saturday, We will make it a one day trip. We took a trip to Jesuit (earlier this year) which would be much like that. We did a one day trip and I thought the kids handled it really well. So really, we’ve already been on that trip already this year except instead of going to play at the stadium we played Jesuit at, we’ll just make that trip and go to the Superdome.”

Coaching Pressure: After last year’s success, not only was there pressure on the Bearcat players, but also the Ruston coaching staff. Jerrod Baugh acknowledged that pressure and praised all parties involved for finding a way to make it back to New Orleans.

“I think our coaching staff did a really good job of week to week, just putting a plan together and making the kids focus on getting better,” said Baugh. “And it’s hard. It’s hard to stay focused on that whenever everybody’s jumping you to the last ball game. But that comes with the job. It’s like I told the coaches and the kids … that’s where we want our football program to be. And so if you want that, you got to learn how to deal with it.

“t was one thing that came with the group we had coming back and what the expectations are. And I said it going into the season that I thought that was going to be the next step for our football program. And I think this is a really big step forward. You have all those expectations out there and the coaches and the kids can deal with it and perform like like we’re supposed to. We pushed this forward. People said you’re supposed to be in the state championship. They put in the work and stayed dedicated and and here we are.

Big-time Throw by Brantley: With Ruston leading 14-0 midway through the second quarter, the Bearcats found themselves faced with a third down and 18 from the Mandeville 26-yard line. Junior QB Josh Brantley made a big-time throw to the far corner of the endzone where Jamar Woods came down with the catch for a TD, giving the Bearcats a little more breathing room heading into the half.

“It was a really big play at a time where we really needed needed a big play,” said Baugh. “Josh is settled in and throwing the ball really well whenever we ask him to do that. We have run the ball quite a bit. That’s kind of what we lean on. But he has come a long way throwing the football and that was absolutely a big, big throw and catch out to Jamar. Jamar stayed focused on the football, making a big play in that moment. (We went into halftime) up 21-0 rather than 14-0. It was a big deal because if Mandeville comes out and scores, then its 21-7 and a two-score ball game instead of a one score game.

Deep thoughts on Bearcats’ win over Skippers

Sam Nations celebrates as the Bearcats advance to the state title game for the second straight year. (Photo by Josh McDaniel).

By T. Scott Boatright

Championship-caliber teams always seem to have a strong group of players on the bench.

And it was unheralded players providing solid depth that helped Ruston secure a second-straight trip to the Nonselect Division I state championship game at Caesar’s Superdome in New Orleans as the Bearcats defeated Mandeville 28-7 Friday night at L.J. “Hoss” Garrett Stadium.

For sure, Ruston’s star players lived up to that status to help propel the Bearcats to the win — starting with Jordan “Jet” Hayes booming and zooming and slicing and dicing his way for 184 yards and two scores on 19 carries.

And quarterback Josh Brantley helped with a solid aerial attack, connecting on 8-of-12 yards for 72 yards and a touchdown.

And on defense, Tulane commitment Geordan Guidry and LSU commitment Ahmad Breaux were as strong as always, with each chalking up two quarterback sacks.

Not to be forgotten, senior linebacker Jadon Mayfield totaled six tackles to lead the Bearcats in takedowns along with Breaux, who also chalked up half-a-dozen takedowns.

But without strong depth, would the Bearcats be making a return trip to New Orleans?

That’s doubtful in my mind.

And that’s it was some of the unheralded Bearcats who played just as big a role as the team starts in the win over the Skippers.

Sure, the players in the trenches are often unheralded, and even the average football fan knows that games are won or lost in the trenches.

But that’s not what I’m talking about in saying it was Ruston’s unheralded players that proved to be a big difference in the game’s outcome, even if it is true that the Bearcats won the game over the Skippers because of Ruston’s dominance in the trenches.

I’m talking about Ruston’s bench —- the backup Bearcats who played just as big of a role in helping spur RHS on to victory.

Senior receiver Jamar Woods is one of those players. No, Woods doesn’t have a ton of catches on the season. But let’s face it, the Bearcats are a run-first, run-second and run-third kind of team that hasn’t attempted a lot of passes this season.

But Woods did his part in the win over Mandeville with a 26-yard touchdown reception on a pass lofted to the left corner of the end zone by Brantley on a third-and-18 situation that put Ruston on top 21-0 midway though the second quarter,

Woods wasn’t the only unheralded Bearcat that made a big impact in the win over the Skippers.

Junior running back Dylone Brooks is another.

Giving Hayes a chance to keep his legs fresh, Brooks was the first Bearcat to light up the scoreboard as his 7-yard scoring scamper put Ruston on top 7-0 with 4:05 remaining in the opening stanza.

Brooks’ long run down inside the Mandeville 15-yard line set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Hayes for Ruston’s final second with 7:25 remaining on the game clock. He rushed for 102 yards and 14 carries.

Defensively, while Breaux and Guidry haul in the most attention, junior defensive lineman Peyton Bell has quietly turned in a solid season and was back at it Friday night.

With Mandeville driving late in the final five minutes, Bell picked up his quarterback sack of the game before Guidry followed with his second to force a turnover on downs by the Skippers that allowed the Bearcats to run out the clock.

The point is, only with a strong group of players on the bench, can a team consistently win. Every great team has great depth.

Ruston proved it has that kind of depth in the win over Mandeville.

And that depth, combined with the experience of players who participated in last year’s heartbreaking state title game loss to Destrehan, that I believe will be the winning difference for the Bearcats against Dutchtown-Zachary winner next week in the Superdome.


Ruston artist, LPJ photographer to sell shirts for the state championship

This is an advertorial.

Ruston High alum and renowned artist Reggie McLeroy is selling his latest design as shirts in honor of the Bearcats making their march to the Superdome for the second season in a row.

As a professional artist with a decades-long portfolio, McLeroy has partnered with Tommy Cline of Tommy’s Tees in Ruston to sell shirts with the design seen below (without watermarks) titled “Unfinished Business”.

T-Shirts will be available for purchase Monday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., and are priced at $20 for youth and adult small through XL, $22 for XXL, and $24 for XXXL. Sweatshirts will be available for purchase on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the evening and are priced at $30 for youth and adult small through XL, $32 for XXL, and $34 for XXXL.

A Ruston graduate of 1980, McLeroy has designed multiple shirts, posters and other art media, including a 1990 National Championship poster for the Bearcats and an iconic painting of longtime Lady Techster head coach Leon Barmore.

Shirts are available at Tommy’s Tees for purchase at 2305 S Service Rd West in Ruston. More information can be found at 318.255.2907.

A proceed of the profits will go to advance Ruston High School’s football program.

Origin Bank announces renovation of downtown Ruston banking center

Origin Bank announced its plans Friday to open a new location in the heart of downtown Ruston. Renovations have begun on the iconic building located at 400 N. Trenton Street and are expected to be completed in 2024.

“The Downtown Ruston Banking Center represents our long-standing commitment to Lincoln Parish and the foundational relationships we have developed over generations,” said Drake Mills, chairman, president and CEO of Origin Bancorp, Inc. “We take great pride in the entrepreneurial spirit that has been so prevalent in this community, and we are honored to play a part in the growth and success of Ruston and Lincoln Parish.”

Architect Michael Walpole and contractor Lincoln Builders are bringing Origin’s concept to life, evolving the building into a state-of-the-art hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Origin collaborated with creative agency Adrenaline on a total redesign of the 16,000-square-foot space. Twin Oaks Landscaping will open up and transform the landscape surrounding the structure.  

“Our vision for this location is to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our customers where our team of trusted advisors will be focused on relationship development, entrepreneurism and innovative banking services,” said Lance Hall, president and CEO of Origin Bank. “Through our partnerships with the City of Ruston, Louisiana Tech University and the business community, we look forward to executing this vision in the heart of downtown Ruston.”

The Downtown Ruston Banking Center will be managed by Senior Vice President Judy Williams-Brown and house an experienced team to serve the needs of personal and business customers. In addition to the retail lobby service, the banking center will feature ATM and drive-thru services, along with a community meeting area and podcast room for customer use.

About Origin

Origin Bancorp, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana. Origin’s wholly owned bank subsidiary, Origin Bank, was founded in 1912 in Choudrant, Louisiana. Deeply rooted in Origin’s history is a culture committed to providing personalized relationship banking to businesses, municipalities, and personal clients to enrich the lives of the people in the communities it serves. Origin provides a broad range of financial services and currently operates more than 60 banking centers located in Dallas/Fort Worth, East Texas, Houston, North Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information, visit www.origin.bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Ruston boys beat Cedar Creek in Quitman tournament

Jake Doan shoots over two Ruston defenders during Friday’s Bearcat win. (photo by Darrell James)

By Kyle Roberts and Malcolm Butler

Ruston High and Cedar Creek found themselves in a cross-city matchup Friday evening at the Ruston Sports Complex that saw the Bearcats get a 67-24 win over the Cougars.

“They were locked in in winning last night against a pretty good Quitman team Thursday,” Ruston head coach Ryan Bond said. “I think they’re a really good team for Class B; that gave us some confidence. We just got locked in all day after school, and they get there, sit together, and we warm up well. We were just unselfish, and overall their body language all day was good.”

The Bearcats hopped out to an early 20-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and next looked back.

Freshman KeShun Malcolm led Ruston’s scorers with 18 points, while senior Lonnie Dimmer finished with 17.

For the Cougars, junior Jack Bell led the way with 13 points.

“Ruston did a great job tonight holding our offense in check,” Cedar Creek head coach Lance Waldron said. “After their football team wins a state championship next week and they get all their guys on the court they will be one of the best 5A teams in the state.”

Bond was very complimentary of Waldron and the Cougar program postgame.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Cedar Creek because of Coach Waldron, of course, and our relationship,” Bond sad. “I know Lance from we played against each other in high school, so I appreciate what he’s done with their program. And they’ve improved. They’ve got some good hard nosed players. He’s got a lot of kids coming back, and they’ll have one of our transfers playing there next year. They’re going to be a solid program.”

Bicyclist Succumbs to Injuries in Three-Vehicle Crash

Ouachita Parish – On Thursday, November 30, 2023, shortly after 1:00 p.m., Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop F began investigating a three-vehicle injury crash on LA 34 at Sandal Street in West Monroe. The crash ultimately claimed the life of 57-year-old Anthony Mckeever of West Monroe.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2021 Toyota Tacoma, driven by 75-year-old Darryl Rayner, was traveling north on LA 34 in the turning lane. At the same time, a 2017 Dodge Ram was traveling south on LA 34 in the right outside lane. For reasons still under investigation, the Toyota turned left into the travel path of the Dodge. As a result, the Dodge struck the Toyota. After impact, the Toyota struck Mckeever who was riding a bicycle south on LA 34 in the right outside lane.

Mckeever suffered moderate injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Rayner and the driver of the Dodge, who were both properly restrained, received minor to moderate injuries and were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Impairment is not suspected.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. yesterday, Mckeever was pronounced dead by the Ouachita Parish Coroner’s Office. This crash remains under investigation.

Far too often, Troopers see the tragic consequences of preventable crashes. Troopers wish to remind motorists to always make good decisions while in a motor vehicle. Never drive impaired, fatigued, or distracted. Follow all traffic laws and always ensure every occupant is properly restrained. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2023, Troop F has investigated 37 fatal crashes, resulting in 45 deaths.

Semifinal results from LHSAA playoffs


High school football fans can check out all of the scores from across the state in week two of the high school playoffs thanks to GeauxPreps.com.

Just click HERE.

Football Scoreboard

Dogs host Colonels at 2 p.m. today

Jordan Crawford

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

The Louisiana Tech Men’s Basketball team looks to remain unbeaten at home when the Bulldogs host the Colonels of Nicholls today at 2 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 107.5 FM with Malcolm Butler and Jack Thigpen providing a call of the game.

LA Tech (5-2) had its five-game winning streak snapped this past Wednesday, falling at New Mexico by a final score of 74-65. The Bulldogs struggled offensively, suffering a season low in total points and in field goal percentage at just 35.6 percent.

Isaiah Crawford had a game-high 24 points in the loss, his third 20+ scoring performance of the season. He is averaging a team-best 15.6 points per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. His other 24-point effort came at ULM in the third game of the season.

Despite the loss, the Bulldog defend held UNM, which came into the contest with a top-20 scoring offense, to its second fewest points of the season. LA Tech currently ranks 32nd in the country in field goal percentage defense (38.4), having held five of its seven opponents to under 40 percent shooting.

Nicholls (3-5) wraps up its three-game road swing on Saturday when they face LA Tech in Ruston. The Colonels are coming off back-to-back road losses against nationally ranked opponents, falling 74-61 at No. 25 Mississippi State and 108-70 at No. 9 Baylor this past Tuesday.

Their most impressive win came on the road back on Nov. 10, upsetting LSU in Baton Rouge by a score of 68-66. They led by as much as 24 points, but needed a game-winning three-pointer with one second left to down the Tigers.

Jamal West Jr., who hit the three-pointer to beat LSU, is averaging a team-best 17.9 points per game. The transfer from Clarendon College has scored in double figures in seven of their eight games, including a season-high 31 in a triple over victory at South Alabama.

LA Tech leads the all-time series against Nicholls State, 16-2. The Bulldogs have won four straight over the Colonels, including a 79-54 victory in their last meeting back on Dec. 18, 2014 in Ruston.

Remembering Larry Lynell Crawford

Bub Crawford

Funeral services for Larry Lynell “Bub” Crawford, age 70, of Dubach, LA, will be held Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 2:00 pm at New Prospect Baptist Church of Dubach.  Officiating will be Rev. Marvin Winham, Pastor.  Burial will follow at the Colvin Memorial Cemetery in Dubach, LA under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.  Visitation with family will be at 1:00 pm until service time at New Prospect.

Larry went home to be with his Lord and Savior in Ruston, LA on November 30, 2023, with his loving wife and children by his side.  He was born on April 18, 1953, in Bernice, LA to Emmett Crawford and Jerolyn Grafton Crawford.

Larry grew up in the New Prospect and Unionville community and was a member of New Prospect Baptist Church.  He made a profession of faith and was baptized as a young teen. Larry married the love of his life, Joyce Popwell Crawford, on February 28, 1976, and they ultimately made their home in the New Prospect community.

Larry was taught to work hard at an early age going to work with his dad and siblings during the summers in the construction and home building business.  He also learned much about the farm and the cattle business working around the homeplace watching his dad. Larry was an avid hunter and cattleman. He was a jack of all trades and a master of none.  He tried his hand as a truck driver, city municipality worker, farmer, and cattleman. He loved three things in life — family, guns, and land.  

He would do anything for his family and friends with the understanding it was done his way or no way. In the words of a family member “Bub was such a huge help to us all as a neighbor who would do anything to help. I marveled at his ability to figure out ways to get things done!  He was one of the toughest men I’ve ever met—mentally, and physically.  After getting electrocuted, he was determined not to quit—he succeeded when others would have just given up.  Somehow, he survived all those major surgeries and still kept going! Clearly the Lord had more for Bub to do.  We shall all miss him.”

Larry was preceded in death by his father, Emmett Lee Crawford; adopted brother, Cecil Minor; brother-in-law, Johnny Michael Popwell; and sister-in-law, Barbara Barham Crawford.

He is survived by his mother, Jerolyn Crawford; wife of 47 years, Joyce Popwell Crawford; daughter, Melissa Renee Crawford; son, Clint Allen Crawford (wife, Heather Lowery Crawford) grandchildren, Schyler Gabrielle Dumas (Fiancé, Cody Lee Sanderson and great-granddaughter, Henley Klaire Sanderson); Jon Draven Dumas (great grandsons, Jayce, and Jett); Kade Allen Dumas (girlfriend, Stormy Taylor Givens); Katelyn Brooke Harvey; and Connor Andrew Harvey. He is also survived by his siblings Davey Crawford, Stanley Crawford (wife, Susan), Rocky Crawford, and Sheila Crawford Barham (husband, Bill) and numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other family and friends.

Serving as pallbearers will be Travis Frasier, Jon Dumas, Connor Harvey, T.J. Johnston, Craig Crawford, Nicky Barham, and Cody Sanderson. Honorary pallbearers will be Kerry Gaskin and Caleb Gray.

The family appreciates the loving and compassionate care provided to Larry by Dr. George Smith and Robin Hart-Smith, FNP-C, and staff of Green Clinic as well as the doctors, nurses, and staff at North Louisiana Medical Center. 

Notice of death — Dec. 1, 2023

Dorothy Green  
Saturday 03/08/1952 –Tuesday 11/21/2023    
Celebration of Life: Saturday 12/02/2023 11:00am, Shady Grove C. M. E., 775 Shady Grove Road, Simsboro  
Interment: Saturday 12/02/2023 Following Service, Shady Grove C.M.E., 775 Shady Grove Road, Simsboro  

Deborah L Burton (Debra)  
Monday 03/24/1958 — Wednesday 11/22/2023  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 12/02/2023 11:00am, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 521 Mt. Olive Church Road, Grambling  
Interment: Saturday 12/02/2023 Following Services, Grambling Memorial Garden, Highway 80 West, Grambling  

Carl Lee Edmonds  
Wednesday 01/01/1958 — Sunday 11/26/2023   
Visitation: Saturday 12/02/2023 3:00pm to 6:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Sunday 12/03/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Interment: Sunday 12/03/2023 Following Service, Bonner Cemetery, Ruston  

Ruth Z. Osborne  
Wednesday 09/01/1948 –Tuesday 11/28/2023  
Memorial Service: Saturday 12/09/2023 11:00am at King’s Funeral Home  
Interment: Saturday 12/09/2023, Mt. Zion Cemetery, Quitman  

Arlease Dade  
Monday 04/20/1942 — Monday 11/27/2023   
Family Gathering: Monday 12/04/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Visitation: Tuesday 12/05/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Tuesday 12/05/2023, Bethel Church Of God In Christ, 1800 Parkview Drive, Monroe  
Interment: Tuesday 12/05/2023 Following Service, Richwood Memorial Gardens, 2705 Richwood Rd 2, Monroe  

Curtis Kevin Kilpatrick     
July 27, 1954 – November 15, 2023     
Visitation: The Bridge Community Church, Saturday, December 2, 2023, 10:00 am     
Service: The Bridge Community Church, Saturday, December 2, 2023, 11:00 am     

Franklin D. Brewster      
Sunday 02/11/1973 — Saturday 11/18/2023 Age: 50      
Memorial Service: Saturday 12/02/2023 12:00pm, King’s Funeral Home      

Bearcats host Skippers with ‘Dome trip on the line

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

One more kickoff at “The Hoss” this season.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome, it will be the final chance to watch this 2023 Ruston High football squad put the pads on and walk up the ramp from the Chick Childress Fieldhouse.

And they’ll make that trek with one thing on their mind: a possible repeat trip to the Super Dome to bring home the Division I, Non-Select crown.

But first, a Cinderella story in the making: No. 21 Mandeville, who has been throwing points on the scoreboard this postseason like nobody’s business.

The Bearcats won’t be going anywhere if the Skippers come to town and spoil Ruston’s run.

“They are another really good football team,” Ruston High head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “It’s kind of for them a tale of two seasons. They swapped quarterbacks late in the year to somebody who has a great feel for the offense; even as a sophomore. He seems to operate their offense really well, and it’s amounted to them scoring a lot of points, and their running back having a lot of yards.”

Baugh is referring to sophomore quarterback Ben Hendricks and senior running back Nate Sheppard, who has totaled 32 touchdowns this year.

“They’s got a big offensive line in front of them that does a good job, and the coaches do a good job of scheming up defenses to give him the best opportunity to win,” Baugh said of Sheppard. “They’re going to try to get him the ball in the a variety of ways.”

Mandeville was 4-4 on the season before winning their next five straight games, including going to Bossier last week and knocking off No. 4 Airline 56-50. 

Ruston is hosting its second consecutive semifinal playoff appearance at home after defeating Zachary last season 37-22 to secure the Bearcats’ first trip to New Orleans since 1998. Baugh spoke to how important this is for his program.

“I think it’s big,” Baugh said. “Before the season started, there were a lot of people just throwing us into the state championship, and that put a lot of pressure on our kids. And I put a lot of pressure on our kids, and probably, too much so early on. But I knew what our possibilities were and tried to make it a reality check. I thought we should be making a run for a state championship, if we maximize what it is that we’re doing on a daily basis. And they have accepted that challenge.

“Last year, I think there were some expectations, but people were like “Yeah, Ruston ought to be good, but let’s just wait and see.” This year, people were saying that we ought to be there. Let’s see how they handle it. And they have absolutely accepted the challegne and done what they needed to do.”