It did not happen the easy way, but the end result is what Leesville was aiming for all season.
The Wampus Cats defeated St. Louis Catholic 47-34 Friday night to finish their regular season undefeated at 10-0 for the first time in school history.
"It's unreal," Leesville head coach Robert Causey said. "It really hasn't sunk in yet because you're still playing ball. I've been getting calls and texts from former players, and they are just happy. It's a season for all seasons. It's a season for everybody that has ever worn the black and gold. It was something that everybody wanted but not everybody was able to complete. There were a lot of great teams to come through here and a lot of great coaches.
"It's humbling to know that we had a hand in it and we did it. There were a lot of great teams in the '80s, where they were so dominant. In the '90s with Coach Smith, they made it to the Dome, and they couldn't do it. Here we are, overcoming injuries and adversity to do what we thought was impossible. It's very humbling and an honor to say we had the undefeated season this year."
Leesville got out to an early 14-0 lead after a touchdown from Caleb Gallashaw and another from D'Ante Gallashaw.
"They run hard and run where they are supposed to run," Causey said. "It helps to have such a good offensive line that plays with passion. It's a team effort, and these kids really enjoy playing hard for one another. That's what separates us from everybody else. They don't want to let each other down."
A 30-yard rushing touchdown by Khrystian Hoffpauir make it 34-13 in the third quarter, but the Saints went on a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter to get within a score at 34-27.
"We just didn't play well," Causey said. "They were very efficient with their passing game. Most of it was one receiver routes, and we didn't play well in the secondary. We just didn't. We had some costly penalties that gave them a favorable field position. We didn't play well in the ball game. The credit goes to them and their coaches because they never quit. They are going to play to the end. That's why I like playing them because they push you and make you better.
"It's a lesson learned. Our kids just didn't play well. Maybe it was because we were coming off two big wins. But you have to overcome those things."
Leesville quarterback Jacob Mount responded with a 40-yard touchdown to Darius Sawyer with three minutes to go extend the lead, but St. Louis (4-6) scored quickly on a 50-yard pass to get it within a score, once again.
However, with two minutes to go, Mount found Sawyer again, this time for a 50-yard touchdown for the game's final score.
"In the first and third quarter, we played as well as we could play, and that was when the game was won," Causey said.