In a matchup of two teams anxious to put 2018 behind them, Friday night’s Carroll-Booker T. Washington encounter provides an opportunity to start anew.
Carroll is coming off of a 2-8 campaign, while the Lions (1-9) are seeking to match their victory total from a year ago.
“That’s the plan — to get off to a good start. We have four (pre-district) games, then a break and then we get into district,” second-year Carroll coach Alex Washington said. “I think it’s very important for us to start off 1-0 so we can gain some confidence.”
Like the Bulldogs, BTW is hoping to use the game as a springboard to a better season. Tony Reliford was named the Lions’ permanent head coach after guiding the team under the interim label last fall. BTW was up 7-6 over North Caddo last week in a jamboree game that was halted at halftime due to the weather.
Among the Lions’ key players are running back D’Travion Maxie, wide receiver Kentavious Jefferson and quarterback Anthony Jones Jr. on offense, and nose tackle JaMarcus Jackson and linebacker Tyquez Plater on the defensive side.
“They blitz a lot. They have a some guys who run well and their defensive line is good,” Washington said. “Offensively, they have a wide receiver who can go get it and a pretty good running back.”
Kickoff time is 7 p.m. in Shreveport.
Carroll closed out preseason play Friday night in a 28-6 jamboree victory over Lincoln Prep in the Eddie Robinson Classic at Grambling State University.
Montrelle Jones broke off touchdown runs of 60 and 10 yards and Derrick Connor caught a 15-yard pass from Antonio Hollins. Carroll’s defense also contributed to the scoring on a scoop and score by Johntavius Jenkins.
Washington is looking for a better start offensively against BTW.
“We started slow offensively,” Washington said. “We didn’t get going until our third possession. This week, we need to come out and be more efficient offensively.”
Offensive line play has been a strength for the Bulldogs thus far.
“In the scrimmage and jamboree, our offensive line did a pretty good job,” Washington said.
Jackie Wallace had a huge game defensively for the Bulldogs with three sacks and a couple of stops in the backfield.
Lincoln Prep’s Chanse Robinson gave the Bulldogs some problems while lining up at multiple positions, including quarterback.
“(Robinson) is the point guard for their basketball team, and he’s good on the football field, too,” Washington said. “He scored their only touchdown, and was all over the place.”
Washington was pleased with the Bulldogs’ special teams play in the jamboree as Wallace and Markee Hatfield combined to go 4-for-4 on extra points.
“The kicking game is something we put a big emphasis on,” Washington said. “It’s one-third of the game. A solid kicking game gives you the chance to create good field position.”
Washington closely monitored the more subtle aspects of the game in the jamboree.
“I wanted to see how we worked the sidelines as far as subbing, and we did a pretty good job,” Washington said. “I think our guys are learning our system and jelling well together, but the real test comes Friday night.”
Carroll makes its first home appearance of the season next Friday against Madison Parish.