PREGAME — by Brendan Shore, staff writer
Just like any Homecoming week, the spirit last week at the home of the Pride was at an all time high. Students dressed up all week for Spirit Week, and on Friday, decked out in green, Leesville students were insanely hyped for the football game.
Several members of the student section were especially excited pre-game–“It’s one time of year where everybody gets to come out and dress up altogether as a team,” said Gavin Woody, junior. Leesville’s student section, known for their crazy colors and loud cheers, is generally the most hype part of any football game.
The feeling was a bit different for seniors, who are always at the front of the student section. “Of all the years I’ve been here, this is probably the most exciting,” said Victoria Rodriguez, talking about her own experiences as a senior going to football games.
Excitement before the game was also higher because of the success of the team. Undefeated before the game with a 7-0 record, the varsity team has been pounding through opponents all season. “Our team’s doing really, really well this year, so everyone’s excited to go back and watch us crush the other team,” said Rodriguez. The undefeated season certainly helped with the turnout–easily the highest since the opening game.
After a successful Spirit Week, a football game was what the students needed. Arriving at the game, the energy was high, the fans were buzzing, and the sea of green in the student section was ready, as they always are, for an amazing Leesville football game.
Game by Matt Wiener, senior staff
In back-to-back weeks, the Pride have won games which were decided by just one possession. This week, Leesville took on the Broughton Capitals in the Pride’s homecoming game, and the crowd had their largest attendance since the home opener.
As the fans were on their feet, Leesville came alive early with their efficient offense, after Broughton scored a touchdown on their opening drive. As Andrew Doss, junior running back, was ruled out from the game with a concussion, his teammate, TJ Moore, senior running back, stepped up in his absence and came alive with 20 carries for 148 yards. David Sohn, senior also pounded the rock for 8 carries, 85 yards and a touchdown.
The Pride’s passing game came alive after a brief few week hiatus. Trey Baker, senior quarterback went 10-20 passing attempts for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. DJ Gray (1 catch, 14 yards, TD) and Trey Knox (2 catches, 17 yards, TD) hauled in the touchdowns. Noah Burnette (4 catches, 56 yards) played his part in the passing game, making several key catches to move the chains for the Pride on third down conversions.
Though the offense found a different rhythm on Friday, it wasn’t all perfect. Several times, the Pride had chances to put the game out of reach from the Capitals in the second half, but had to settle for a punt each time.
Luckily, the stellar Pride defense was back on the attack after the sudden Broughton comeback in the second half. After allowing a touchdown in the middle of the 4th quarter, and the Pride offense punting the next drive, the Capitals had a chance to take the lead in the game. The Pride defense was able to stop the momentum with a huge 4th down stop, forcing an incomplete pass and turnover on downs. The Pride then ran out the clock to end the game.
Leesville fans kept the stands packed during the game, and erupted into cheers as the Pride put away the Capitals for good with the 4th down stop late in the game.
POST GAME by Trevor Darnell
Some of the best memories people can have is of their time at high school and the football games are a big part of the high school experience. The biggest game of the season, though, is Homecoming, from all the hype of everyone coming out to the game to the halftime Homecoming King and Queen crowning it is a special night. “Everyone was cheering for all of us, it was a pretty special moment,” said Adam Wesp, a senior at Leesville who was on the Homecoming Court.
Carson Sellers was voted Homecoming Queen, and Justin Hickland became Homecoming King.
The large number of students at the game contributed to some of the best energy of any football game this year. “I’ve never really seen that many people at a Leesville game before,” said Keeghan Krause, a junior at Leesville. As triple zeroes went up on the clock at the end of the 4th quarter, the remaining parts of the student section kept their energy from the beginning of the game. Students were slapping the fence in the front row and cheered the team off the field as the lights were turned off.