SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – On week five of the Johnny’s Pizza House Friday Night Blitz presented by Car Giant, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma hit the halfway point of their seasons, while Louisiana gets set to kick off week four. Below John Sartori previews four of the top matchups you can see between ArkLaTex teams beginning at 10:20 Friday night on KTAL NBC6. This week is the first week John will predict Friday night’s matchups.
BARGAIN BARN AUTOS GAME OF THE WEEK: NORTH CADDO AT BOSSIER
Points. Expect them on Bearkat drive Friday night. Both Bossier and North Caddo come in averaging over 30 points per game. The Titans are led by a two-headed monster in LSU commit Omarion Miller (20 rec. 440 yards, 5 TD), and rising Junior Kelvin Black (44 carries, 344 yards, 5 TD). Black already holds an offer from Mississippi State. The Bearkats are one of the great turnaround stories in the state. With just one winning record in the past eight seasons, first-year Head Coach Deaumaunte Johnson has the team thinking District 1-3A title. Bossier will attack primarily through the air, with quarterback Carlos Butler making his second start of the season. Butler’s favorite target is his basketball teammate Joseph Manning, who holds collegiate scholarship offers in both sports
PREDICTION: The Bearkats have handled expectations all season, I believe they will in their hardest test yet. BOSSIER: 44 NORTH CADDO: 42
GILMER AT CARTHAGE
It’s hard to be the best matchup in the entire state of Texas. Carthage and Gilmer may live up to that billing in a rematch of last season’s Class 4A Division II state championship game. The Bulldogs dominated 70-14. Last year’s regular-season matchup didn’t go too much better for the Buckeyes (42-14.) Gilmer hasn’t earned a victory over Carthage since the 2015 season. Gilmer quarterback Brandon Tennison ranks in the top 40 in statewide passing yards through four games (1037 yards, 11 TD, 1 INT.) The Bulldogs have recovered since a near week one upset at the hands of Silsbee to move to 2-0. The Bulldogs will be well-rested, playing their last game three weeks ago.
PREDICTION: Gilmer has been phenomenal this year but I’m not going to doubt Carthage until they give me a reason to. CARTHAGE: 38 GILMER: 20
BYRD AT HAUGHTON
The Byrd Yellow Jackets were doubted by some entering 2021 with a new head coach and the loss of numerous playmakers on both sides of the ball. All the ‘Jackets have done is start 3-0 behind the play of Devon Strickland (317 rushing yards, 2 TD) on offense and a defense that has limited opponents to just 12.6 points per game. Friday Byrd faces their first 5A opponent in Haughton to open District 1-5A play. The Bucs earned an emotional 40-0 win over BTW last week in their most complete performance of the season. Haughton’s only District loss last season came at the hands of the ‘Jackets. Byrd hasn’t won between the pines since 2016.
PREDICTION: This Byrd defense is the real deal. The ‘Jackets non-district schedule was relentless and I think they’ll be ready come Friday. BYRD: 28 HAUGHTON: 14
PARKWAY AT BENTON
It’s a shame Parkway lost in a shootout to Huntington last week because if these two teams met up undefeated, it had game-of-the-year potential. Benton has been one of the best stories in 5A. After missing out on the playoffs a season ago, the Tigers have defeated the likes of Barbe and Northwood to start the season 3-0. Parkway had made their argument for the most improved team in 5A after their 2-0 start. Last week’s 38-31 loss to Huntington has caused a slight derailment to the Panther hype train. Benton earned the victory in their 5A debut last season, 36-26.
PREDICTION: They say a loss can sometimes benefit a team, I think that’s the case with last week’s loss for Parkway. The Panthers get it done in a close one. PARKWAY: 33 BENTON: 31
OTHER GAMES ON THE SCHEDULE
- Redwater V. Hooks
- Ore City V. Waskom
- Nashville V. Arkadelphia
- DeQueen V. Hope
- Sabine V. New Boston
- Gladewater V. Tatum
- Natchitoches Central V. Airline
- Loyola V. Huntington
- Marshall V. Longview-Pine Tree
- Ashdown V. Harmony Grove
- Ringgold V. Magnolia
Predicted winners for games above can be found in bold.
You can catch highlights of all these games and scores from many more around the ArkLaTex on the Johnny’s Pizza House Friday Night Blitz beginning at 10:20 on KTAL NBC 6. The show also airs at 10:30 on KSHV, 11:00 on KMSS FOX 33, and 11:37 on KTAL NBC6.