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Byrd vs. Calvary dissecting the game
August 31, 2017, 10:09 pm

By Jimmy Watson, The Times

Despite a plague of lovebugs flying up any crevice they could find at Lee Hedges Stadium Thursday night, Byrd and Calvary put together the kind of game you’d expect for a season opener in northwest Louisiana. 

You’d also expect a quality game from teams coached by two of the most revered and longest tenured coaches in the area.

Byrd and Mike Suggs won this one 42-32 over Calvary and coach Rodney Guin, who spent 27 years roaming the sidelines at Haughton before moving over to Linwood Avenue, where he is now 0-1. 

“We’ve coached against each other for 30 years now and I have the utmost respect for coach Guin,” Suggs said. “We used to scrimmage against each other every fall. They are going to win a lot of games this season.”

Byrd was able to grind out a 14-play, 67-yard drive to open the second half to get a 21-17, then got an interception from Parker Brooks moments later. The resulting touchdown gave the Jackets and coach Suggs, now in his 20th season on the Byrd sidelines, the win.

“Coach Suggs is one of those guys like Mitch Downey, who are very tough to beat,” Guin said. “He just does a good job preparing his teams – and they really held onto the ball tonight.”

Eschewing the pass, not at all surprising, Byrd chewed up over 18 minutes of the clock in the second half. The Jackets had to do that to keep Kordavion Washington, Cade Hart and Fred Davis off the field. 

The Cavaliers had a pair of three-play drives in the second half behind that trio which can move the ball at lightning speed and should be able to keep the Cavs in any game they play this fall. They kept Suggs and company from relaxing at any moment.

“Our defense kept fighting out there, but Calvary has some great athletes,” Suggs said. “We controlled the ball in the second half and we got a couple of stops that made the difference.”

One of those difference makers was cornerback Avaunte Steward, who left the game with an injury midway through the second half. But the junior returned late and recovered a fumble with under 3 minutes remaining that allowed Byrd to run out the clock.

The Jackets weren’t overly impressive on offense, but junior running back Charlie Barham was a workhorse on the ground. He rushed 21 times for 148 yards with a 14-yard touchdown run that was a thing of beauty. He was one of five Byrdites to score in the contest. 

Click here to read the rest of The Times article. 


 

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