HAUGHTON – It got ugly for the Minden Crimson Tide Friday night, but not in the way they had grown accustomed.
Minden’s offense struggled mightily in their 2017 debut and the Haughton offense took advantage of a depleted defense and great field position to pound the Tide into submission at Harold E. Harlan Stadium.
Minden fell 42-7 in front of a large opening-week crowd that seemed, on both sides, shocked at how lopsided the contest became.
Haughton running back Lavonte Gipson tallied 88 yards and 2 touchdowns while new Bucs’ QB Cameron Townsend went a perfect 12-of-12 passing for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns. Minden’s defense didn’t have many answers for the duo while being forced into action far too often, but even before fatigue set in things weren’t looking bright.
New Tide QB Seth Tyler had a forgettable debut, completing 4 of 15 passes for 35 yards.
Tyler had a fumble early in the first quarter that led to Haughton touchdown and tossed a pair of costly interceptions in the second quarter that saw Haughton assume control for good.
The quarterback got little help from his receivers who saw a few catchable balls slip through their fingers, and the offensive line was on their heels for the majority of Friday’s rivalry tilt.
“I think it’s a combination of youth and inexperience,” Minden head coach Spencer Heard said. “The main thing for us is to keep working and continuing to improve and work on ourselves. Obviously, we had too many turnovers; there were little breakdowns in communication, but that will get better as we go.”
Minden’s offense did string together one scoring drive on the night, going 80 yards on eight plays as Tyler barreled into the end zone with a 1-yard keeper.
That touchdown cut Haughton’s lead to 16-7 late in the first quarter as it started to look like the Tide would compete.
But the Bucs had a quick drive to answer with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Townsend to Kynan Hayes. Tyler followed with his first interception of the night and Lavonte Gipson added a powerful 29-yard touchdown run to suck the life out of the Minden sideline.
“I thought defensively some guys played well,” Heard said. “Braxton Jackson came off the ball well on defense, we had some good linebacker fits. As the game went on we made some good defensive stops, but we got too tired. We were gassed.”
Minden will get back to work and try to improve ahead of next week’s game against Haynesville.
The Golden Tornado are 1-0 after topping the North Webster Knight 19-7 Friday night.
“We just have to forget about this one,” Heard said. “Get back to work and try to get better on both sides of the ball.”
Patrick Heard led Minden receivers with 2 catches for 27 yards and junior Zack Gage led runners with 9 carries for 56 yards.