SHREVEPORT — On a hot, sultry night in Independence Stadium, Catholic High used its speed and finesse to get past North Little Rock 24-17 in the 2019 Landers Battle on the Border High School Football Showcase.
The event featured two games Friday night with three games on tap for Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. It was Catholic’s first time to compete in the two-day set that has featured some of the top collegiate prospects in the country in past meetings.
The Bears (2-0) couldn’t put the Wildcats (1-2) away, due to effective defense by both clubs, until early in the fourth quarter. A couple of quick strikes and an impressive field goal from Catholic’s Kylan Dupre staked the Bears to a 17-7 halftime advantage, while the third quarter didn’t see either team find the end zone.
The only Catholic scoring in the second half came with 11:34 to play when Jackson Thomas fired a 4-yard bullet to Jalen Toaston for a 24-7 lead. North Little Rock's Liam Selhorst nailed a 33-yard field goal with under four minutes remaining and a meaningless 2-yard touchdown run by Freerick O’Donald with 59 seconds remaining.
The Bears rolled up 393 yards of total offense while holding the Wildcats to just 207 total and just 113 rushing. Thomas was efficient hitting 8 of 13 passes for 141 yards and 1 score with no picks. Senior Josh Parker led the rushing attack with 89 of the 252 rushing yards.
North Little Rock took the lead on its opening series when quarterback Damon Bell found Randall Abrams for a 25-yard score.
The Bears answered on the second play of their ensuing series when Braelen Morgan broke free around right end, crossed back across the field and streaked down the left sideline for a 53-yard score.
The Wildcats came within inches of taking a 10-7 lead with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter when Liam Selhorst’s 44-yard field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar.
After a couple of non-productive series by both clubs, Parker ripped off a 92-yard touchdown run to put his team in front 14-7. That run tied for the second longest scoring play in BOTB history. A beautiful interception by Josha Wax with a couple of minutes remaining in the first half set up a 38-yard field goal by Dupre on the final play of the half.
WEST MONROE 24, BYRD 0: In the first Battle on the Border contest of the night, the LSWA No. 2 ranked Rebels got a pair of touchdowns from Cayden Pierce to move to 2-0 on the season. West Monroe also had an 8-yard scoring run from Derome Williams and a 36-yard field goal from Pittard to complete the scoring. Byrd fell to 0-2 after also losing to Brother Martin.