Tara, Belaire seeking progress, first victory

Two District 6-4A teams shared some football growing pains in losses last Friday night. Both Tara and Belaire had their share of success on offense, but neither netted a win.

That makes the quest for the first win Job 1 when the Trojans and Bengals host games at neutral sites at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Tara (0-1) squares off against Amite County, Miss., at Olympia Stadium, while Belaire (0-1) hosts Class 2A East Feliciana (0-1) at Scotlandville High.

“We moved the football,” first-year Tara coach Cooter Mansur said, noting that his team ran for more than 200 yards. “The only thing I didn’t like is we couldn’t finish.”

Tailback Kaleb Kador totaled 127 yards on 21 carries; quarterback Jaylen Williams added 75 yards rushing for the Trojans in their 12-9 loss to Baker.

“We had a chance to win that football game,” Mansur said. “We just didn’t follow through on the little things.”

And it’s those little things the Trojans look to improve upon.

“We’re working on fundamentals and doing the little things right,” Mansur said. “It’s nothing they’re not familiar with — they just need to take it from practice and translate it to the game.”

Woods, now in his second season at Belaire, understands exactly where Mansur is coming from. The Bengals trailed 20-6 in the first half, but wound up losing to Glen Oaks, 26-6.

“I can’t fault the effort,” Woods said. “We just dug ourselves too big of a hole in that first half. Even with that, we still had chances to win. Hopefully, we learned from it, and it will show this week.”

Woods, who began the summer with about 30 players, has since doubled that number. The roster increase is yet another reason for optimism.

“We’ve upped that total to about 60 kids,” Woods said. “We’re just trying to keep them interested in building the program.”

Woods said the return to Glen Oaks, where he served as the defensive coordinator, brought some mixed emotions.

“It was bittersweet because I’ve got the young kids at Belaire now,” Woods said.

“I wanted to see them get their first win of the season. But it was good to see the kids who had developed over the last year.”

In EFHS, the Bengals will face a team with a solid running game led by highly-regarded prospect Kameron McKnight.

“We want to make sure we contain him,” Woods said of McKnight. “We know he’ll get his touches. We need to make sure we wrap him up and get as many hats to the football as possible.”

EFHS is coming off a 14-6 loss to West Feliciana last week.

“Our team is still young and they played that way,” Woods said. “We came out in the second half and played better on defense, but they’re still making mistakes young players make so we’re trying to improve on that each week.”