Leesville 63, Grant 30
The Leesville offense and defense struck early and often to get the Wampus Cats out to a big lead en route to their 63-30 victory over Grant.
Leesville (6-1, 1-0) got out to a 35-6 lead at the end of the first and a took 55-14 advantage headed into halftime.
"It was so important because it took (Grant's running backs) out of the game," Leesville head coach Robert Causey said. "If you kept them within one or two scores, they can keep it close. With a team like that, you have to put them away early. That's what our focus was. We did for the most part, and we kind of let our guard down at the at the end of the half with our two's in. We went in at halftime and our focus was to not let our guard down."
Leesville running back Tyreke Walker got things going with a 2-yard rushing touchdown, followed by a Gabe Ellis pick-6 on the ensuing possession to go up 14-0.
However, the playmakers of Grant (1-6, 0-2) would not held down, as Ro'Dara Ellis broke off a 65-yard touchdown run to get Grant on the scoreboard.
"We did (keep them contained) expect for a couple of times," Causey said. "On the second drive, they hit us with a counter and started doing things. We adjusted on the fly, and I was proud of them for that. We took their best running back out of the game and they had to rely on their other two weapons. They play both ways, so that helped us. Those guys are legit. They are college-level running backs."
Midway through the first quarter, senior running back Andrew Croker scored on a 16-yard run and a 71-yard reception to make it 28-6.
With under a minute remaining in the first, the Wampus Cat defense got its second touchdown of the day with a 50-yard fumble recovery from linebacker Derek Hurt.
On the opening drive of the second quarter, senior quarterback Chris Vargas connected with Duwan Tolbert for 68-yard score, and Croker broke off an 80-yard run to make it 48-6 in the second quarter.
With the large lead, Causey put in his subs and the Wampus Cats won their sixth game of the season.
"On the last drive, we probably had nine first-year players on defense," Causey said. "That's a mismatch but the kids got some playing time and they competed. That's their time."
Leesville takes on DeRidder next week for a game that has a big impact on the power rankings, as well as being a rivalry, before welcoming Tioga to the friendly confines of Wampus Cat Stadium.
"You always want to finish stronger than what you started," Causey said. "You have a rivalry coming up, then Tiago and St. Louis. You want to finish strong because of the implications power rankings and the seedings. To me, you always want to be playing your best ball at the end of the year. The competition is going to get tougher, and I'm excited to see how our kids respond."
DeRidder 35, Tioga 20
The DeRidder Dragons put the rest of the state on alert Friday night, as they defeated the sixth ranked Tioga Indians at the Reservation 35-20.
The Dragon offense wasted little time, taking advantage of excellent field position in the first half with a pair of touchdowns. The first came in the first quarter when veteran QB Lane Armer connected with Greg Woodard for a 42-yard bomb, giving the No. 21 ranked Dragons a 6-0 lead at the 6:42 mark in the quarter.
Armer found paydirt on a three-yard scamper, and Colton Denning added the PAT for DeRidder’s second score of the half, extending their lead to 13-0 with 7:25 left in the first half.
The Indians who have been dominating in previous weeks, after going scoreless for nearly 20 minutes, got on the scoreboard with 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the half with a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake McGhee to Devin Franklin to trail at halftime 13-7.
The sixth ranked Indians (5-2,1-1) answered first in the second half taking their first lead of the ball game 14-13 with just under eight minutes remaining in third quarter.
DeRidder (5-1,1-0) silenced the Tioga hopeful with pair of offensive scores from Armer to Dre Bagley with 29 seconds left in the third and Armer to Woodard to start the fourth quarter, extending their lead to two touchdowns 28-14 with 8 minutes, 24 seconds left on the clock.
Nick Sanders put the proverbial nail in the coffin with a big pick-6 and Denning point-after extending DeRidder’s lead to 35-20 with 6 minutes, 24 seconds left in the game.
The No. 6 ranked Indians put the final points on the scoreboard with a five-yard pass from McGhee to Tray’Von Gilbert to save face, but the damage was already done as the No. 6 Indians fell to DeRidder 35-20.
“I am extremely proud of our guys”, said DeRidder head coach Brad Parmley. “We played hard against a quality team and came away with big “W”.
The DeRidder offense amassed 334 total yards of offense, including 108 yards on the ground and 226 yards in the air. Lane Armer completed 19-of-24 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Dre Bagley led the receiving corps with 101 yards off six receptions with a touchdown, and Greg Woodard added 89 yards and pair of touchdowns. Torin Bouvia led the Dragons ground with 82 yards.
Merryville 30, South Cameron 7
Behind a strong run game, Merryville picked up its second win in a row and third on the year with a 30-7 victory over South Cameron Friday night.
Senior Desmond McCain was the catalyst for the Panther offense, racking up 191 yards on 22 carries.
"He's rounding himself back into form, and that's a big, big plus for us," Merryville head coach Randy Jones said.
As a team, Merryville (3-4, 2-3) ran for 410 yards, including 80 yards from fullback Kaileb Flanigan and 68 yards from quarterback Jarrett Allen.
Allen completed 5 of his 9 passes for 60 yards, with a large chunk coming on a 41-yard touchdown catch from John Hooper.
Merryville jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and added a touchdown in the second quarter to go up 22-0. South Cameron (0-6, 0-4) scored its lone touchdown in the second quarter.
"We pursued to the ball well," Jones said. "Our guys are starting to buy into all the stuff we asked them to do," Jones said. "Defensively, they're going and making tackles. That is a big thing for us.
"It's big to get out to a lead because you can milk the clock a bit with our running game."
The back-to-back wins is good sign for the Panthers with three tough opponents in Hamilton Christian, Elton and St. Edmund left on the schedule.
"We're still not where I want to be," Jones said. "I told the guys last night, and I think I might be selfish, but I don't think we played as well as we could have. We're still learning a lot about ourselves and how good we can be. I think we're getting better each week. We cannot take any steps back, because we have three good opponents coming up."
Iowa 51, South Beauregard 20
Taking on the one of the top teams in the state, South Beauregard had its hands full against Iowa.
The Knights took an early 7-0 after an interception sat up a Cole Spooner touchdown run, but the firepower from the Yellowjacket offense was too much, leading Iowa to a 51-20 victory.
Iowa tied it up mid-first quarter with a run from Elwayne Carrier to make it 7-7 heading into the second period.
The Yellowjackets (7-0, 5-0) scored 27 unanswered points in the second quarter to make it 34-7 at the break.
South Beauregard (0-6, 0-3) scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes to close the gap. The Knights take on Washington-Marion next week on the road in search of their first win of the year.
DeQuincy 44, East Beauregard 16
East Beauregard could not overcome a 20-point first quarter from DeQuincy as it fell 44-16 on the road.
The Tigers scored on a pair of 1-yard runs to go up 12-0 before quarterback Jacob Cooper ran for an 11-yard score to go up 20-0.
However, the Trojans (3-4, 2-1) would not go down easy as Zach Doucet scored on two 1-yard runs in the second quarter to bring the deficit down to four points.
With under a minute to go in the second quarter, Cooper found receiver Cooper Hext for the 11-yard touchdown, and DeQuincy extended its lead to 26-16.
The Tigers (4-3, 2-1) scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and a touchdown in the fourth to pull away and seal the win.
East Beauregard hosts Pickering next week at home.