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|Ouachita moves into second round
The Ouachita Lions (9-2) will host a familiar foe on Friday night in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The Byrd Yellow Jackets (9-2) will come to Lions Stadium just two weeks after Ouachita beat Byrd 14-10 to close out the regular season.
Ouachita reached the second round of the playoffs by dispatching Sulphur, 21-0. It was the second shutout by the Ouachita defense in the last three games.
"We played another outstanding game on defense," Ouachita head coach John Carr said. "We ran the ball well and the defense keeps making big plays each game for us."
Ouachita quarterback Corey Treadway guided the Lions on multiple scoring drives while completing 10-of-18 passes for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"Sulphur was a good football team," Carr said. "It was a real team effort for our guys to come out and play like that."
Ouachita running back Montrell Conner, a Mississippi State commitment, ran for 160 on 29 carries. Sulphur could do little to stop the bruising running style of the Lions, which opened up passing opportunities for Treadway.
Ouachita as a team ran for 209 yards and totaled 343 yards in offensive yards. Linebacker Cameron Blakes, a ULM commitment, caught his second touchdown pass of the season on a 16-yard strike from Treadway in the third quarter.
The game was tight at halftime with Ouachita holding a 7-0 lead. A 13-yard jaunt by Conner was the lone score in the first two quarters of action.
Ouachita took advantage of two Treadway scoring tosses to take a 21-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Sulphur made its move on offense late when the Tors moved inside the Lions 10-yard line with just minutes to play. Nick Ross ended the scoring threat with an interception in the endzone to preserve the shutout by the Lion's defense.
It was Ross who made almost an identical interception to help Ouachita beat Byrd two weeks ago. Ouachita stormed back to beat the Yellow Jackets in the final district game of the season by scoring 14 unanswered points in the second half.
Byrd was stiff against the Ouachita rushing attack, however, and quarterback Corey Treadway tossed a pair of big touchdown passes to get the Lions over the hump.
Running back Montrell Conner was held to 94-yards rushing in the last meeting with Byrd. Ouachita will look to establish a balanced attack early and give its defense plenty of time to rest.
Quarterback Clint Bickham leads Byrd on offense. Bickham runs their wing-T offense to near perfection.
Byrd enters Lions Stadium after a 13-0 victory over district 1-5A rival Airline in the opening round of the playoffs a week ago.
If the game comes down to special teams, Ouachita has gotten near perfect performances as of late from kicker Matt Little. Little is 5-of-5 over the last two games on extra point attempts.
Byrd has also been known for a stiff defense. The Yellow Jackets have held opponents to six points or less seven times this season.
Kickoff at Lions Stadium is set for 7 p.m.