Get ready for an epic clash as the Ruston Bearcats go head-to-head with the West Monroe Rebels in a highly anticipated rivalry that has captivated Louisiana football fans. On November 3, 2023, Rebel Stadium will set the stage for this monumental matchup. As part of the 20th season of the Great American Rivalry Series, this game is destined to be a highlight of high school football rivalries. 

Founder and CEO of the Great American Rivalry Series, Rick Ford, spoke about the significance of the game, stating, “The Ruston vs West Monroe rivalry showcases the passion, intensity, and tradition that makes high school football so special. It’s an honor to feature this matchup in our 20th season, as it represents the epitome of great football rivalries.” 

This meeting between the Ruston Bearcats and the West Monroe Rebels marks the 34th encounter between the two teams since 1990. The all-time series may not be up for grabs, but the intensity and history surrounding this matchup are undeniable. Both teams are well aware of the stakes and the significance of this game. 

With a crowd size of 12,000 expected, Rebel Stadium will be transformed into a cauldron of excitement. The energy and passion from the fans will reverberate through the stands and provide the perfect backdrop for this clash of titans. 

Last season, Ruston managed to snap West Monroe’s 32-game winning streak against them with a resounding 35-17 victory. That triumph not only broke the streak but also put an end to West Monroe’s 26-year stranglehold on the district championship. Now, both teams enter this game with redemption in mind, determined to prove their mettle and reclaim their rightful place atop the district. 

This matchup could very well determine the district championship, adding an extra layer of significance to the contest. The players know that they are not only representing their schools but also their entire communities. Every pass, every tackle, and every touchdown will be fueled by the desire to secure victory and etch their names in the annals of this historic rivalry. 

Friday nights in Louisiana are synonymous with high school football, and the Ruston vs West Monroe rivalry embodies that spirit. The bands will play, the fans will cheer, and the players will leave everything on the field. It’s a testament to the resilience, talent, and camaraderie that define these teams. 

We Know Friday Nights. 


Jordan Hayes


Grant Edmondson

West Monroe

Accompanied by Eric, Gina, and Brooke is the 3-time Rebel Champion Grant Edmondson. Grant has been a 2-year member of the 2-5A All-District Team and All-Northeast Louisiana Team, as well as a 4-year member of the Interact Club, Biology Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club. Grant has also been selected to the LHSAA All Academic Composite Team and is the recipient of the 2023 Whataburger Character Award. In Grant’s time outside of school, he is a member of the First West Students and enjoys being outdoors while hunting and fishing. After high school, Grant plans to attend a 4-year university.
Nate Johnson


Nate has been a 4.0 student throughout his high school career. He ran track for one year, played basketball for two years, and has been a starter on the Ruston Football Team for three years. He is active in Young Life and Church Youth Group with the Bridge Church. Nate is very proud of his loving family: his parents Luke and Kristi, his older brother Will, and his younger sister Lee. Nate will most likely attend LSU for higher education and plans to study Kinesiology.


The 34th showdown between the Ruston Bearcats and the West Monroe displayed everything we love about Friday Nights: a classic rivalry filled with intense moments, exciting plays, and a battle to the finish. The game kicked off with the Rebels struggling to break through Ruston's tough defense, leading them to punt on 4th down and start their 1st down on the 16-yard line. Ruston's solid defense kept pushing West Monroe back on the first two downs, bringing a challenging 3rd down and 14 situation. A fumble on the Ruston 43-yard line momentarily shook things up, but Ruston's #3 managed to recover with a loss of 19 yards, setting up a difficult 2nd down and 29 scenarios. Ruston's #87 then made an impressive 49-yard gain, setting them up for a 1st down and 7. The back-and-forth continued, with West Monroe's #22 making a 25-yard run to the end zone, tying the score at 7-7. Ruston's #0 countered with a 55-yard touchdown, putting them ahead at 14-7. A touchdown by West Monroe tied the game at the half, 14-14. As the game progressed, both teams continued a back-and-forth battle. West Monroe's Scholar Athlete Grant Edmondson caught a 21-yard pass and Ruston's #0 scored another touchdown to extend the lead to 21-14. However, West Monroe's #34 caught a 46-yard pass, setting up a 1st down with 7:30 left in the 3rd quarter, and then Edmondson's touchdown tied the game at 21-21! Talk about intense…West Monroe's #3 scored, giving them a 28-21 lead with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Ruston responded quickly, tying the score at 28-28 with a touchdown from #8. The momentum shifted once again as West Monroe's #11 embarked on a 35-yard run, setting up a crucial 1st and 10 for West Monroe on the 25-yard line. Then, a sudden interception led to a Ruston touchdown, solidifying their lead at 35-28 with 4 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter! The game ended with the Ruston Bearcats securing a hard-earned 35-28 victory over the West Monroe Rebels, adding another exciting chapter to their longstanding rivalry.