SHREVEPORT — The Crimson Tide traveled to Lee Hedges stadium in Shreveport Friday, looking to score their first win of the season against another District 1-4A team down on their luck, the 1-5 Woodlawn Knights.
However, after four quarters, the Tide had only produced 32 net yards of total offense, with most of those coming in the last drive with only 2:00 remaining, and after the Knights had gone to a prevent defense.
The score reflected the Tide's inability to move the ball, as Woodlawn took the win, 20-2.
Woodlawn's Christian Walker carried the load for the Knight's offense, rushing for 122 yards on 23 carries, averaging over five yards each time he touched the ball. However, this didn't cost the Tide any points until the last Woodlawn drive, as the first two Knight scores came on special team breakdowns by Minden.
Early in the first quarter, after the Tide defense had stopped Woodlawn on three downs on their first drive, the Knights came out to punt. The punt carried a respectable 31 yards to the Tide 35, but was fumbled on the catch, and the ball bounced right into the hands of Richard Bell, who returned it untouched for the touchdown.
The quarter ended with the score 6-0, but another breakdown came early in the second. The Tide defense held the Knights on fourth down from the 14 after an eight play drive.
Offensively though, Minden sputtered again, leading to a punt. As had been the case all night, the Tide blocking couldn't hold back the rush, and the punt was blocked into the end zone, where Bell picked up the loose ball for the second touchdown of the night. They added the two point conversion to make the score 14-0.
The defense showed up strong again on the Knight's next possession and caused a fumble, giving the offense another shot from inside Woodlawn territory. The Tide was able to move the ball and gained its only first down of the half on the seven play drive. On fourth down from the 30, and little time left on the clock, Minden chose to punt the ball, which netted a total of ten yards after the touchback. Woodlawn then ran out the clock to go to halftime with the two touchdown lead.
Overall, the Tide offense showed very little different than they have the last several weeks, running the same plays and same sets with the same players, and the Woodlawn defense looked as though they were in the huddle with Minden, stopping everything at or near the line of scrimmage. Blocking was also a problem, with quarterback Turner Francis being sacked or hurried on every pass play.
However, on the last drive of the game, Francis was able to hook up with Mikey James for several nice pass plays, one for 17 yards, and one for 13 yards to move the Tide into scoring position deep in Woodlawn territory. Once again, as was the case last week against Fair Park, Minden was out of timeouts, and looked confused on their last four plays from scrimmage, and the drive ended with a sack, two incompletions, and an interception, caused mainly by the Knights' rush.
The Tide offense was led by Francis with ten completions for 70 yards, five of which were to James for 61 yards. Marshal Frye had two receptions for 10 yards. Dominique Walker added another two catches. No Tide runner had positive net yardage on the night.
Minden will host Huntington Friday night at 7 p.m. for the annual Homecoming game.