RUSTON-At halftime of their Jam at the Joe match-up with Ruston High, the Minden Crimson Tide faithful had to feel good. At the end of the first 15 minutes, Minden had held the Bearcats to just one field goal, and led 8-3 going into the half.
But after the break, Ruston's offense and defense took control and they went on to beat the Tide, 31-8.
"Defensively I thought we played pretty well in the first half," Minden head coach Randy Peters said. "We got after them pretty good. But we knew that they would go into the half and talk about what was happening and make changes. I told our youngsters that Ruston was going to turn it up and that they had to turn it up with them. But we weren't able to do that."
After struggling to put together any substantial drives against the Tide defense in the first half, Ruston marched 64-yards in eight plays on the opening drive of the second half to score their first touchdown.
"We just let them come out in the second half and go off," Peters said. "It seemed like it only took them four or five plays to score. That really gave them the momentum."
While Ruston scored touchdowns on their next three possessions, the Crimson Tide offense failed to muster a single first down in the second half.
"Offensively, we're still not consistently moving the ball," Peters said. "We had too many drops, turnovers and missed assignments. We have to be able to support our defense a little bit. We have to be able to move the chains and get some first downs to build our confidence."
There were some good moments for the Tide. Marshal Frye had a 40+ yard kickoff return in the first half. Hutton Leppert launched a 54-yard punt, and De'Vontrez Jackson had an early sack. Elgin Moore had a big hit in the second half where he separated the Ruston tight end from the ball and his helmet. But the biggest play on the night for the Tide was the pick-six by cornerback Dominique Walker.
Minden trailed 3-2, when Walker stepped in front of a Ruston receiver, leaped high for the interception and raced 45-yards for the score.
"Dominique made a nice play," Peters said. "He kind of saved himself there, because he came up a little quick. Their quarterback tried to dump it over his head, but he was able to go up and get it."
Peters said he saw some bright spots and some things that need to be changed before this Friday night.
"Obviously we have to get better, but overall I was pleased," he said. "We need to make some changes, nothing drastic, but we have to fix some things. The kids have a great attitude and we'll get it done this week."