Going up against one of the most explosive offenses in the area, the Leesville rushing attack was the star.
The Wampus Cats racked up 479 total yards in their 54-40 win over Lake Charles College Prep on Friday night at Wampus Cat Stadium.
"I'm pleased with our offensive," Leesville head coach Robert Causey said. "I can't ask anymore from the coaches on the offensive side of the ball. They had a great game plan and stuck to it. We believe in our kids, and the kids on that side of the ball are growing up. That's our strength."
Tied up at 34 heading into the final quarter, Leesville took the lead on a 2-yard run by running back D'Ante Gallashaw.
The Wampus Cats wanted to avoid booting the ensuing kick deep to the quick Trailblazer returners and instead elected for an onside attempt. The Leesville gamble paid off, as the special teams unit recovered the onside kick.
"We have some kids on kickoff right now that are not performing," Causey said. "We made a decision to do an onside kick and live with it. I'd rather them have the ball on the 50 than have it on kickoff return."
The recovery led to another touchdown run by Gallashaw to take the 48-34 lead with 8:05 to play.
Lake Charles College Prep responded with a 3-yard touchdown by quarterback Dillon Simon to cut the deficit to 48-40.
The Wampus Cats recovered the onside kick attempt by the Trailblazers with 5:51 remaining and milked down the clock.
Facing a fourth-and-4 with seven seconds remaining, Caleb Gallashaw scored from 14 yards out to seal the win as time expired.
Caleb Gallashaw led Leesville with 161 yards on 27 carries, and D'Ante Gallashaw added 95 yards on 14 touches.
Leesville quarterback Jacob Mount went 8-for-10 for 158 yards and a score, while running for two touchdowns.
"They executed," Causey said. "All night long, they executed. Even when they failed, they came back and executed. They believed in themselves. The credit goes to those coaches. The kids have stepped up on that side of the ball. I'm so pleased with them."
Penalties ravaged both teams, with Lake Charles College Prep having two touchdowns taken back and key flags keeping the Leesville defense on the field.
"It was just selfishness," Causey said. "Any 15 yarder is selfishness. It's not being focused and having other things on your mind. It's a team game, and we have to improve in that area. To continue to win, we have to improve in all three phases and that includes penalties."
Lake Charles College Prep had 307 total yards and were constantly putting pressure of the Wampus Cat defense. The Trailblazers scored on all but three possessions and all of its possessions in the second half.
"We found some tendencies, but we just couldn't adjust," Causey said. "We fixed this then would go to that. Throughout the entire game, we just tried to find the right adjustment that the kids could handle. When we did, we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a 15-yard penalty. That caused more ups and downs. I told them it's about executing. The first half, we gave up scores that were our fault. We have to look at who we have on special teams and other places. We can't be satisfied.
"Credit to the kids – they didn't quit. A win is a win. They fought hard and didn't lay down. I think our kids are growing up, but we don't have long. The schedule is unmerciful, and people don't care that you're inexperienced. The problems we have fall directly on my shoulders."
Leesville (2-0) takes on Washington-Marion (1-1) on the road next week.