Electric second half over Byrd propels NCHS to second district 1-5A win


Colin Vedros | Times Intern 

Natchitoches Central varsity football (5-0) notches their second district 1-5A win of the season after defeating the Byrd Yellow Jackets (4-1) in a 23-10 defensive-led victory. The Chiefs improve to 5-0 overall for the first time in a few decades and hold a 2-0 district 1-5A record on the season.  NCHS started off slow, gaining possession first and leaving the first quarter with a Yellow Jacket 7-0 lead off of a short run to the end zone from Byrd.  Caylin Demars, running back for the Chiefs, kept the NCHS running game consistently efficient in the first half, despite the early deficit.

This article published in the Oct. 7, 2021, print edition

Demars, in quarter two, showed slick improvements with more of an Alvin Kamara style persona to his game compared to quarter one.  BJ Young, quarterback, was also efficient in the run game, making riskier plays for points as he passed a 40-yard touchdown to Justin Aaron to end the first quarter.  The story of the game was led by defensive gains, with NCHS head coach James Wilkerson’s second half mindset coming through to keep the Chiefs in line for the victory.

With two unsportsmanlike conduct calls and a last minute field goal to end the second quarter, Byrd’s malfunctioning persona gave Wilkerson enough room for explosive plays in expensive scenarios.

An onside kick, one that struck one of Byrd’s players in the chest before the Chiefs recovered the football, a late safety for an extra two points for NCHS and more miscommunication issues on Byrd’s side cost the Yellow Jackets a scoreless second half, one that should’ve seen the light of day when preparing for a WIlkerson team.  This sparked a gasoline-type fire for the Chiefs when Young launched a 50-yard touchdown pass to Aaron, giving Natchitoches Central the 14-0 lead in the third quarter.

More miscommunication commenced within the third quarter as NCHS gathered a 16-10 lead for the Chiefs before another NCHS touchdown to end quarter three and keep the score 23-10 for the rest of the game.  Overall, Wilkerson’s second homecoming against Byrd, provided it rained on Byrd’s actual homecoming game, propelled the Chiefs to an undefeated record heading into more district 1-5A games to tally on to this historic season. An outstanding start to the 2021 season has fans wishing for more success later on as the postseason inches closer to fruition.

The Chiefs will host their third district 1-5A match against the Southwood Cowboys (0-5 & 0-2) this Friday at 7 p.m. in Turpin Stadium.