In the first game of the 2015 NCHSAA football season, the Leesville Road Football team was able to cruise to 34-6 victory on the road at Durham Jordan.
The game started off quick, as new Leesville Road coach Brad Wilson officially implemented his new pass heavy, fast-paced offense. Leesville got on the board first with a touchdown at the 6:20 mark on the clock, thanks to a pass from Clay Vick to Matt Hamilton. Kicker Jefferson Norwood punched in the PAT. However, after a return all the way back to the Pride 16 yard line, the Falcons converted a touchdown of their own and made it 7-6, after a failed PAT.
At the 4:03 mark, still in the first, Vick completed another touchdown pass to senior Dustin Leak. Then, after another turnover by the Falcons, the Pride converted another touchdown quickly to make the score 21-6. It was clear that the team was adjusting well to the new offense and Jordan was paying for it.
“It was very effective in the first half (said Vick of the fast-paced offense) and I don’t think Jordan was ready for what we were going to do. We’ve got to make a few corrections, but it was great to speed the offense back up tonight,” said senior quarterback Clay Vick after the game.
Vick had an average night by his standards, as he threw multiple touchdowns but also threw multiple interceptions. He thinks that with time, once the team is used to the new offense, his touchdown to interception ratio will improve.
The Pride continued the pass heavy attack in the second quarter, scoring another touchdown to make it 28-6 with 8:00 left in the half. While the team did mix in a few big runs here and there to balance the passing game, the real story of the rest of the night was turnovers. The Pride were able to capitalize on a few Jordan turnovers and vice versa with the Falcons before halftime.
The second half was mostly uneventful, with the exception of three field goal attempts by the Pride. Jefferson Norwood was able to drill a 35 yard field goal and a 25 yarder from even closer. He did miss his final attempt, but he was glad to have so much in game practice this early on.
At the end of the third, Leesville was up 31-6 and would tack on one more Jefferson Norwood field goal to cap the scoring in the 4th. The 4th quarter was sloppy, and Coach Wilson had to bring his team together a few times for some teachable moments. After the game, Coach Wilson was short in his diagnosis of his team’s performance.
“Not good enough. Not good enough offensively. Defensively I thought we played well throughout, but the offense in the second half was simply not acceptable.”
Wilson especially emphasized the importance of his team playing the whole game, not just settling for one half. The Pride put up four touchdowns in the first half compared to only six points and no touchdowns in the second half.
“First half was good. Real good. I’m not going to take anything away from these kids; they’ve worked hard, and I’m happy for them, but they need to understand that as we go week by week, we can’t play like we did in the second half offensively.”
All in all, the Pride should’ve beaten Jordan, and they did so easily. However, the Pride are 1-0 going into week two, and there are plenty of positives to take away. Just ask senior linebacker Patrick Rice.
“We weren’t even tired at halftime because this team has been working so hard in practice to prepare for the fast-paced offense. We played great defensively all throughout, and we put up 34 points. We were just having fun out there man.”
The Pride’s next opponent on the schedule is Panther Creek. The game will come after Panther Creek took a beating from CAP-8 power Wake Forest, losing 48-20 in their opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 at Leesville next friday, August 28.