Fair Park to invade The Pit tonight
After a rough three-game stretch of playing high-profile 5A teams, the Minden Crimson Tide returns to Class 4A action tonight, as they host the Fair Park Indians to open up their district schedule.
Fair Park is 1-4 on the season and lost to Haughton, 42-12, a week ago.
Minden was the pre-season favorite in District 1-4A, while the Indians were expected to be in a rebuilding mode.
The Fair Park defense has struggled for most of the season, and has given up an average of 37.8 points per game, including 139 points in the last three games.
That's good news for the Tide offense, as after a quick start the offense has struggled in recent weeks. In the first two games of the year (both wins), the Tide offense scored 48 points (24 ppg). In the next three games (all losses) the offense scored just 34 points (11.3 ppg).
Despite the dropping scoring numbers, Minden has three players among the area's leaders in personal stats.
Quarterback Turner Francis is in the top 10 in Northwest Louisiana with 1,072 passing yards. Francis has completed 85 of 151 passes in his first year as a starter, while tossing for seven touchdowns.
Senior wide out Jared Johnson is atop area receiving charts, as he has hauled in 44 passes for 686 yards and six scores. Running back Cortavious Rice has also made his mark with 376 yards on 77 carries with three touchdowns in five games.
The Indians' offense has been better than their defense. They have averaged 14 points per game, with a high of 42 in a week two 42-32 win over Green Oaks.
Quarterback Joe Robinson has completed 40-93 passes for 494 yards and five touchdowns, but has also thrown eight interceptions. Running back Justin Fortson has run for 480 yards and four scores on 76 carries. Fortson is also dangerous in the return game, as he returned a kick-off 75-yards for a touchdown last week against Haughton.
This game will be the first of five straight district games to end the season for the Crimson Tide. With the importance of power points in playoff selection now, district titles don't quite mean as much as they used to. But district bragging right will always be important, and the Tide's journey for those bragging rights begin tonight against Fair Park.
Game time is 7 p.m.