By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
The Chiefs tasted defeat at the wrong time during this season dropping a loss to district foe Ouachita Parish Friday night 34-14. The loss put Natchitoches Central in a tough spot for making the playoffs in coach Bryon Keller’s inaugural season as head coach of NCHS Chiefs. Signs point to the Chiefs finishing with a 3-8 record, a repeat of the previous season which left Natchitoches Central on the outside of the playoffs. Picking up action in the first quarter the Lions were set to kick-off to the Chiefs after winning the coin toss. Natchitoches Central picked up a first down during the first possession but was forced to punt the ball away after going three and out on the next set of downs. Ouachita would take over on their own 23-yard line for their first possession of the game.
The Lions used a precise running game to navigate their way down the field capping the drive off with a 15-yard touchdown run by Chaunzavie Lewis. PAT good, 7-0 Lions. The Chief’s take over on their own 30. On their first play Jaylin White handed the ball off to Trey Solitaire for a 22-yard bust putting the ball on the Lions 48.
The Chiefs would stall and were forced to punt the ball away, giving the Lions their second possession. Ouachita would run two plays before the first quarter expired. They started on their own 30 at the beginning of the second quarter, but the Chief’s defense stood tall forcing the Lions to punt. The Chiefs offense committed some unwarranted penalties forcing another three-in-out giving the ball back to Ouachita. At this point of the second quarter, both offenses sputtered along forcing both teams to punt the ball away twice within 5 minutes. However, on the Chiefs fourth possession, they provided a spark by getting on the Lions 10-yard line.
The Chiefs would turn over the ball on downs after a touchdown was called back for illegal formation, giving the Lions the ball on their own 8. The next play for Ouachita would serve as a cruising blow for the remainder of the half. On the first play from scrimmage Lewis rushed for a 93-yard touchdown. PAT good, 14-0 Lions. The Chiefs would receive the kick-off and run the clock out retiring the first half. The Chiefs kick-off to the Lions to start the second half. Chiefs defense stood tall stuffing the run on three consecutive plays. On the third play from scrimmage the Lions Zach Shaw was sacked by the Chiefs Jacoby Timms forcing a turnover on downs. After receiving the ball, the Chiefs drove the field effortlessly with Jeremiah Aaron scoring on a 48-yard touchdown run breathing life back into the Chiefs. PAT by William Bernard was good to cut the Lion’s lead in half.
The Lions were not feeling a let down on the their next possession after letting NCHS on the scoreboard. They returned the favor by scoring 36-yard touchdown by Dylan Roberts. PAT good, 21-7 Lions. After receiving the kick-off the Chiefs where forced to punt the ball away after going three and out, however the Chiefs defense stopped the Lions on their next possession with a huge play from the Chiefs Devonte Snow with a three-yard tackle. Ouachita decided to punt the ball with hopes of pinning the Chiefs deep in their own territory. The Chiefs would turn the ball over on downs giving the ball back to the Lions and Ouachita would not be denied on this possession scoring another touchdown on a 35-yard rush by Lewis. PAT no good, 27-7 Lions to close out the third.
The Chiefs started the final quarter receiving the ball but unfortunately went three and out forcing a punting situation. The Lions continued to pour it on scoring another touchdown with a 4-yard run from James Gee to dash any dream of the Chiefs coming back to win the game. PAT good, 34-7 Lions. The Chiefs would make the score look better by adding another touchdown on a 6-yard run by Solitaire.
The extra point by Jarvis Berry brought the game to an end.
Next week the Chiefs hit the road traveling to Ruston. Game time is 7 p.m.