Gladewater Bears (1-1)

vs.

Bossier City Parkway Panthers (1-0)

11 a.m. Saturday

Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.

Coaches
  • Gladewater: John Berry
  • Parkway: David Feaster

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Gladewater: at Carthage, Sept. 18
  • Parkway: vs. Shreveport Huntington, Sept. 18

 

Playmakers

Gladewater

  • RB/LB Darnell McKnight, Jr., 5-10, 220
  • RB/LB Marcello Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 190
  • FB Justice Centers, Sr., 6-0, 215
  • QB Dadrian Strickland, Soph., 5-10, 195
  • WR Cameron Callaway Jr., Jr.
  • WR Caleb Williams, Sr., 5-11, 160
  • DL Quanterius Turner, Sr., 6-4, 275
  • LB Austin Blanco, Sr., 5-11, 220

 

Parkway

  • WR/DB C.J. Morgan-Walker, Sr., 5-11, 185 (committed to Mississippi State)
  • QB Keondre Wudtee, Sr., 6-4, 195 (committed to Louisiana Tech)
  • OL Miles Landingham, Sr., 5-11, 220
  • DE Antonee Beckwith, Jr., 6-1, 205
  • WR Terrace Mitchell, Soph., 6-4, 180
  • RB Robert McKnight, Jr., 5-11, 195

 

Just the facts
  • This is the fifth time since 1951 Gladewater has faced an opponent from the state of Louisiana. The Bears have lost all four previous encounters.
  • Gladewater dropped a 42-21 decision to St. Thomas More, of Lafayette, La., in last year's Battle on the Border event in Shreveport.
  • The Bears allowed 49 points in last week's loss to Pittsburg, the most Gladewater has allowed in a game since 2013's regular-season finale.
  • Since that loss, Gladewater has posted a 16-4 record.
  • Gladewater is 10-5 in non-district games since 2012.
  • Bossier City Parkway defeated Marshall in each of the last two seasons in Shreveport -- 62-19 in 2013, and 45-21 last year.
  • Parkway 2014 alum Brandon Harris is the starting quarterback for LSU.
  • Parkway's enrollment is 1,145, while Gladewater's is 540.

 

Gladewater DB Austin Hawley. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Parkway passing attack vs. Gladewater secondary. The Panthers have become a mini-quarterback factory of sorts for the state of Louisiana in recent years. Parkway is the former home of current LSU quarterback Brandon Harris, and the Panthers have another Division I signal-caller on the roster in senior Louisiana Tech commit Keondre Wudtee. In last week's 57-56 shootout victory over Bastrop, Wudtee passed for 321 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with six seconds remaining. Parkway is also very talented at receiver with senior speedster C.J. Morgan-Walker, a Mississippi State commit, and 6-4 sophomore Terrace Mitchell. Walker, who doubles as an elite defensive back, caught the game-winning touchdown in last Friday night's win, while Mitchell caught four passes for 196 yards in the defeat of Bastrop. Typically, Parkway uses its passing game to open up holes against opposing run defenses. Case in point: junior running back Robert McKnight rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns in last week's win.

Gladewater RB/LB Darnell McKnight. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Needless to say, Gladewater's defense will have its hands full in defending Parkway, especially the Bears' secondary. Fortunately for the Bears, they are skilled both up front and at the linebacker positions. Gladewater lost several key components to last year's secondary, but does bring back physical junior cornerback Austin Hawley, who could match up opposite either Morgan-Walker or Mitchell. But Gladewater will need more than just one cover man to keep up with Parkway's gifted athletes on the edge. If the Bears can get enough pressure on Wudtee, and the secondary can stay tight on Parkway's receivers, Gladewater has a chance to remain competitive for four quarters. The more stops the Bears' defense can get, the better odds they have at establishing their own tempo with their powerful rushing attack.

Gladewater RB/LB Marcello Jackson. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: A ton of points are put on the scoreboard on Saturday. With Parkway's explosive season-opening performance last week, and Gladewater's ability to pound opposing defense into submission with its powerful ground game, defensive stops could be at a premium once the game kicks off. If a shootout ensues, a slight edge would have to go to Parkway, which is on the heels of a high-scoring affair and has plenty of firepower in the passing game. Gladewater, while capable of lighting up the scoreboard, prefers to do it by keeping the ball on the ground. That may become too difficult if the Bears find themselves trailing by multiple scores early in the game. The key for Gladewater is not to fall behind, and allow its offensive game plan to take flight.