On September 22, Leesville traveled to face the Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders for their first round of conference play.
Leesville had notable plays and fought until the very end; however, efforts weren’t enough to hold off the Crusaders. With a loss of 47-3, the Pride returned home devastated but full of inspiration to work harder.
As the 2017 football season makes way, Chad Smothers, new head coach, begins to settle in.
With a new head coach and a new coaching staff, this year is a “reconstruction” year as Baldwin Bell, a senior and a starting linebacker for Leesville described it. “On the other hand, our team chemistry has increased compared to previous years and players,” said Bell.
Leesville chose to defer after winning the coin toss, therefore kicking to Gibbons. Early on, the Pride prevented Gibbons from scoring a touchdown and forced a field goal, giving Gibbons a 3-0 advantage.
On the ensuing Pride possession, a ruinously high snap, resulted in a safety against Leesville.
On another turnover by Leesville, ended in a 45-yard touchdown.
A snap was bobbled close to the end zone- a dangerous area to turn it over- leading to a safety against the Pride.
As the clock wound down, Pride trailed Gibbons 47-3 at the end of the third quarter, due to several defensive breakdowns.
No points were scored for either team during the entire fourth quarter. The final score was 47-3, and the Pride went home with a loss in their first conference game. Gibbons fans displayed notable sportsmanship when the Leesville buses were leaving, by applauding their hard-fought performance.
“I think we might have overlooked them a little bit,” said Noah Burnette, kicker and wide receiver. “Their running game was amazing and I think that’s what got the best of us.”
6-0 overall, Gibbons is a powerhouse in the CAP 7, coached by Steven Wright.
The team has had great wins so far this season. “To insure future success in the cap-7, we need to prepare better as a whole. Coach Smothers preaches being ‘all-in’, and we just have to buy into that faith as a team,” said Bell.