The Minden Crimson Tide probably had a few fans nervous when North Webster came out and drove the field on their opening possession last Friday night in The Pit.
Minden reacted how a veteran team should. The defense forced a fumble and recovered, the offense scored on their second possession of the game and the Tide made the Knights pay for miscues throughout the night in a one-sided rivalry game that ended in a 26-0 win for Minden.
“It went kind of how I expected it,” Minden head coach Spencer Heard said. “They came out and tried to run the football and I thought we did a good job of stopping it. We made some nice plays against the pass as well. Offensively, I thought we got in a rhythm their for awhile, but in the third quarter we got a little out of sync. Overall, it was a good night and a good win, so we’re pleased with it.”
North Webster had their opportunities to make it a ball game throughout the first half, but every time the Knights began to put something together, they would shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties.
“When you play a good team, the put a lot of pressure on you,” North Webster head coach John Ware said.
“Minden is a good team and they made us pay for our mistakes.”
The Tide struck first with 4:40 left in the opening quarter on a beautiful 19-yard connection through the air from Antonio Rivette to Kelcey Miller. Following the touchdown, the Tide defense put their stamp on the game when Leonardo McCarter picked off a Cameron Huff pass and raced 45-yards into the end zone for the pick six to make the score 12-0 in favor of Minden as the game rolled into the second quarter.
McCarter’s big night continued in the second quarter with his second interception of Huff. The Minden offense took advantage before the halftime whistle with a quick strike. First, Rivette found Miller for 49 yards to move the Tide to the Knights’ 20-yard line. Then, Rivette kept it himself and darted around the right edge to find paydirt and make it 19-0 Tide.
Minden would add one more touchdown in the second half, a 17-yard touchdown catch for Adrian Flournoy, before calling off the dogs and claiming victory.
North Webster outrushed Minden 120 to 110, but lost the turnover battle 4 to 1. Minden had the upper hand through the air with Rivette. The senior signal-caller finished 11-0f-18 with 194 yards and 2 TDs, adding 25 yards and a rushing score on the ground.
The Minden defense now has two shutouts through their first three games, a justification for preseason talk surrounding the unit.
“Our guys fought,” Ware said. “I’m proud of the effort we gave. We just have to get back to work and fix those mistakes. We’ll be alright.”
Jaylen Thomas had 88 total yards (40 rushing, 48 receiving) to lead North Webster.
The Minden receivers were led by Kelcey Miller who caught 4 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown for Minden. Tavarius Edwards had four catches for 36 yards in support, followed by Patrick Heard with two catches for 29 yards and Flournoy had the one catch for a 17-yard TD.
Kolby Jackson led the running backs on a slow night with eight carries for 50 yards. The Minden offense has enjoyed having more dependable weapons than they did one year ago.
“The defense really can’t key on one guy,” Heard said. “It makes things hard on a defensive coordinator when you have so many people to account for.”
Next up for the Tide is their district 1-4A opener against Fair Park. The Indians are 0-3 so far this season and have only scored six points.
Meanwhile, things don’t get easier for the Knights, as they’ll be on the road once again this week for a showdown with a dangerous Ouachita Lions team.