By Marco Clark
The Natchitoches Central Chiefs came into Friday’s night game looking to open district play with a win, but it was not to be.
The Chiefs took the opening kickoff to start the game. They were able to move the early in their first possession, but after a penalty pushed the Chiefs backward into a 2nd and 18, they were unable to connect on two pass attempts and forced to punt the ball away.
The Trojans took over on their own 45-yard line. Their first play of the game was good for a 19-yard run. Their second play went for 12 yards but was called back due to holding. That put them back to 1st and 20. The next play was a pass for 8 yards to help get them in 3rd and manageable leading to a 28-yard run for a touchdown.
The Chiefs would receive the kickoff and take it to their own 42-yard line but like the first drive they were unable to put a successful drive together and were forced to punt the ball away but this time the Chiefs defense stepped up to the challenge with a great pass rush by Steven Harris and Maleek Johnson forcing an interception by A.J. Walter. The momentum had swung in favor of the Chiefs and it didn’t take long for the Chiefs to capitalize. Within 3 plays the Chiefs were able to score on a 38-yard touchdown run by #10 Trey Solitaire. The extra point by #49 Dylan Price was good to make the score 7-7 with 2:42 left in the quarter. The first quarter would end 7-7 as neither team would score again.
Picking up in the 2nd quarter, the Chiefs defense caused a fumble that was recovered by #90 Maleek Johnson. Unfortunately, the Chiefs were unable to take advantage of this turnover they received and were forced to punt the ball away.
The Trojans drove the field and score again putting the score at 14-7 in favor of ASH.
Going into the 3rd quarter both teams committed several penalties causing both ASH and NCHS offenses to become stagnate. No points were scored in the 3rd quarter.
Going into the 4th quarter with the Chiefs still in striking distance the Trojans put together a series of long drives to score another touchdown and keep the Chiefs offense off the field making the score 21-7 in favor of the Trojans. the Chiefs continued to play hard but after receiving a penalty that put the Chiefs backs against the goal line the Trojans got a safety against the Chiefs pushing the score to 23-7 in favor of the Trojans. On the next possession, the Chiefs defense was unable to stop the running attack of ASH and the Trojans scored their last touchdown of the night making the final score 30-7 in favor of the ASH Trojans.
Coach Moore added after the game, “Our team has to find an identity, we had a few costly penalties that we are not accustomed to having that put us in situations that were hard to get out of, but our defense stepped up and played well giving us the ball back after stopping ASH on 5 different occasions, making them punt and getting turnovers”.
The Chiefs Derilyn Flanagan led in tackles with 9 solo tackles 2 for loss, #18 Jordan Charles had 2 tackles. On offense, the Chiefs #5 Richard Lindsey had 20 pass attempts with 12 completions for 90 yards with 1 Interception, #2 Tony Preylo lead in receptions with 3 for 58 yards, #4 Nick Ficklin had 2 catches for 24 yards and #44 Joshua Fortenberry had 1 catch for 8 yards. #10 Trey Solitary led in rushing with 5 rushes for 44 yards, #5 Richard Lindsey had 10 carries for 14 yards, #44 Joshua Fortenberry had 2 rushes for 9 yards.