Wampus Cats aiming for revenge against Minden; Tigers open district play against Red River

Daniel Green | BWS Sports
Leesville senior running back Caleb Gallashaw (with ball) will be looking to find the endzone frequently Friday night as the Wampus Cats host Minden for homecoming.

LEESVILLE - Last year, the stakes were much higher when the Leesville Wampus Cats faced the Minden Crimson Tide in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

In that game, Minden rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime, eventually escaping with a 21-14 victory.

And although this matchup Friday night isn't a one-and-done scenario, it is still an important matchup for the Wampus Cats, who are 2-2 on the season, coming off a 35-32 loss at the hands of the Pineville Rebels.

The Cats will need to get back on the winning side as they enter district play next week. Additionally, it is homecoming week in Leesville as alumni from across the country will descend upon Vernon Parish for good food, memories and football.

The current version of the Wampus Cats are led by veteran running backs Caleb Gallashaw and Layne Self, in support of first-year starting quarterback Parker Maks.

Maks had four combined touchdowns last week, rushing for two and passing for two more in the loss to Pineville. Since moving into the starting role against Captain Shreve, Maks has thrown for over 500 yards and several touchdowns.

Gallashaw, who was held out of the endzone last week, ran for 172 yards and caught five passes for 23 more yards against Pineville, while Self was solid in his role at fullback, rushing for almost 60 yards.

A.J. Bush, Daveion Grubb and Ke'Mhari Pruitt are the favorite targets for Maks, while Mason Fitzgerald and Derrion Beebe anchor the offensive line.

Defensively, the Wampus Cats have shown two sides. In Leesville wins, the Cats surrender just 14 points per game. But in losses, the defense gives up nearly 45 points per outing.

In Class 2A action, the defending state champion Many Tigers (3-1) will met up with rival Red River in its district opener.

After losing to Union Parish in its opener, the Tigers have scored 157 points in wins over Class 4A opponents DeRidder, North DeSoto and Tioga, giving up just 33 points along the way.

The vaunted Many ground attack is led by London Williams, who has two 5-touchdown games this season, and Jeremiah James, an up and coming sophomore.

Tackett Curtis, a 4-star recruit with almost 50 college offers, leads the defense, while also working under center at quarterback.

Both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.