The Ruston Bearcats’ Strong Running Game and Opportunistic Defense Makes Difference In 48-23 Win Over Alexandria

This past Friday featured a big opening district showdown between two of the top teams in Class 5A as the Ruston Bearcats made the travel to take on the Alexandria Trojans. After losing the first game of the season against Warren Easton, the Bearcats rattled off four consecutive wins in the row while the Alexandria Trojans were finding their stride winning three consecutive games after dropping the first two games of the season. Something would have to give here between these two district rivals in 2-5A as the winner would be a front runner for the district championship.

The Ruston Bearcats had a setback offensively losing its top rusher Dyson Fields, who did not play in the Alexandria game, but the running game certainly did not let up for the Bearcats. It was a running back by committee approach for Jerrod Baugh’s squad as Jordan Hayes, Jadon Mayfield, Lajaveon Ellis, and Dylone Brooks all picked up the slack and then some. Overall, the Bearcats’ ground and pound attack ran for 395 total yards led by Hayes, who led the team with 184 of those yards coming from him.

Despite the Bearcats having success in the ground game, Alexandria came storming back in the football game in the middle of the third quarter as their quarterback Joe Bordelon threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns, but Ruston’s defense rose to the occasion when it mattered most. Down 21-16 with the Trojans threatening to take the lead after recovering and onside kick, Bordelon’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Ruston’s Kyran McConnell. That turnover led to a long 90 yard touchdown drive that gave the Bearcats some breathing room with a 28-16 lead. On the next drive, Bordelon was intercepted again by Ray Owens, who had a 23 yard touchdown return to seal the deal for the Bearcats.

Ruston starts off district play strong and wins its fifth game in the row. Next up, the Bearcats look to continue their winning streak tomorrow night on the road against Pineville. Meanwhile, Alexandria evens up their record at 3-3. In order to get a game above .500, the Trojans will take on another .500 team in Ouachita Parish on the road tomorrow night.

Check out all the photos taken by our photographer Jason Saucier, who shot all of these photos in Ruston’s win over Alexandria last week.