Crimson Tide still looking for first win of the season
The Minden Crimson Tide, still in search of their first win of the season, will host the Ruston Bearcats tonight at W.W. Williams Field. The Bearcats come into tonight's game also struggling, as they are 1-3 on the year.
Both teams have offenses that have been underperforming. The Crimson Tide has been outscored 159-14 in four games, and the Bearcats have averaged just 13 points in each of their three losses, only scoring in double digits in one.
The two teams met in the Jam at the Joe before the season started, with the Bearcats beating the Tide, 31-8.
Minden's offensive woes can be traced back to inexperience and youth, while Ruston's is a little bit due to injury, a new quarterback and a new offensive scheme.
Ruston changed to a spread offense that new offensive coordinator Chris Gatlin brought in. He also brought in his son, C.J., to be the starting quarterback. Both moves have brought limited success. C.J. Gatlin has been in and out of the lineup this season and top wide receiver Ivan Wilson is out with an ankle injury.
In last week's 16-9 loss to Byrd, Gatlin threw two first half interceptions and turned the ball over late on a fumble.
Ruston's defense is led by a big-time trio of linebackers. Damien Washington, Cannon Brassell and Tanner Frasier. Veontez Crowe is a big hitter at safety and defensive tackle Tra Houston is an anchor on the line.
The Minden High offensive and defensive lines will be out-sized tonight, but they will hold the key to the Tide's success. The Bearcats' offensive line averages 250 across the line, and if the Tide defensive line allows them to control the line of scrimmage, Gatlin will have time to throw the ball downfield.
And the Tide offensive line will have to at least play to a draw with the Ruston defensive line, to give Tide quarterback Turner Francis time to throw and running backs Taylor McKissack and Dominique Walker enough running room.
This game will be the last of three straight 5A opponents for the Tide. Minden High will begin district play next week against Fair Park.
Game time is 7 p.m.