Undefeated through three games, the Natchitoches Central High School football team begins District 1-5A competition in Bossier City tonight against a winless Airline squad.
The Chiefs haven’t been 4-0 this century, and they’ve not been severely tested yet, although in their last two victories, they didn’t take control until the third quarter. In each game, NCHS has been able to play backups in the fourth period.
Although Airline was blown out last Friday at Ruston, the Vikings are always a formidable opponent. They have played a very challenging schedule: losing 20-3 at home to Ouachita, falling 43-20 at Union Parish and getting drilled in a heavy rainstorm at Ruston.
MATCHUP: NCHS Chiefs vs. Airline Vikings
WHEN/WHERE: Tonight, 7 p.m., Viking Stadium (Bossier City)
RADIO: 95.9 Kix Classic Country, pregame show 6:45
RECORDS: NCHS (3-0, 0-0) Airline (0-3, 0-0)
LAST WEEK: Natchitoches Central defeated West Ouachita 34-6. Airline lost at Ruston 50-0.
NOTES: Natchitoches Central is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1996. The Chiefs are being led offensively by Caylin Demars with 389 rushing yards and five touchdowns and quarterback BJ Young scoring three touchdowns on the ground and throwing for another last week. In the trenches, the Chiefs are led by offensive lineman Carey Johnson and defensive lineman James Jackson.
Safety Justin Aaron paces the NCHS defense with 36 tackles and two interceptions, followed by linebacker Logan Saucier with 26 tackles and a fumble recovery. The NCHS defense has only allowed 489 yards (163 per game) through three games and has scored as many touchdowns (three) as it has given up.
Airline’s head coach is Bo Meeks, who played quarterback for the NSU Demons in 1999-2000, and is the son of a Demon receiver, Ken Meeks, who blocked for Sidney Thornton at NSU in the mid-1970s.
NCHS COACH JAMES WILKERSON SAYS: “It’s been a good week leading up to our district opener. The boys have kept a level head and not let success get to them. I think we all know the challenge ahead, and we acknowledge this is a step up in competition, nothing against our other opponents.
“Airline runs a spread offense led by a very athletic quarterback who can hurt you with his feet. They have a solid offensive line with good receivers. Defensively they give you multiple looks. Their defensive line is the strong point and the anchor of the defense and that’s always been a strong stickling point with Airline. That defensive line makes them go. We have to be able to stalemate those D-linemen. Defensively, we have to make some big plays and keep the quarterback contained.
“I expect them to come out fired up, looking for their first win. With it being homecoming for them, that’s even more incentive for Airline. It’s going to be a good test for us.”
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