DERIDDER – After 80 minutes of physical play, neither Leesville or DeRidder could find the back of the net in one of the area's top rivalries.

The Wampus Cats and Dragons played to a 0-0 tie Monday night at DeRidder High School.

"Leesville is a tough group," DeRidder head coach David Wilbur said. "Leesville and DeRidder is always a competitive game. It doesn't matter who is up or who is down. We always play each other tough. We had some moments where I thought we could put it away but didn't.

"I think we limited them to their opportunities. I don't think they threatened the keeper much at all. Our defense was pretty organized."

Leesville is 1-5-3 this season, and head coach Jacob Chambers said this effort against a good DeRidder team could spur a turnaround.

"I told my guys before we went out there that we need to restart the season," he said. "With only one win in the last couple of games, we need to hit the reset button and build the intensity back to where it was last year. That's what we did, and I'm proud of their intensity and effort that we have been working on this whole time.

"If we keep this intensity and execute in the final third, we can go as far as last year or even farther."

The tie puts the Dragons at 7-4-4 this year, and Wilbur hopes a tough early schedule will spur a big run in the second half of the season.

"I think we had moments where we played well," he said. "We could have played better. We had been playing better up to this point."

"We've been in two tournament finals and played a pretty tough schedule this year. I was hoping this would be the step we would take to get to the top of the district, but we put ourselves in a hole now if we want to be district champs. We still do."

Leesville only had three shots on goal during the game, and Chambers know his guys will have to figure it how to finish off runs if they want to turn the season around.

"In the crucial moments in the final third, we were unable to make that final pass," he said. "We made it a couple of times but didn't execute. Some nights you get the shot, and other nights, you don't. It's just one of those things."

DeRidder had seven shots on goal, and Leesville keeper Sam Brocato stopped each one in his first season as a starter.

"He's always cool, calm and collected back there, but I know on the inside that he is a little nervous," Chambers said. "He's our anchor, and we had Xavier Reyes last year. He has been able to step in and fill those shoes. He's Mr. Reliable for us, always."