Riding with Recruits: Mitchell Mayes
Preseason expectations can sometimes weigh down a team with talent and coming off a 10-3 season, but Leesville Road opened 2019 scoring early and often in a 37-6 win over Wakefield on Friday night at The Pride’s field.
The 34-6 score was actually the halftime margin before rain and lightning suspended play four snaps into the third quarter. After the teams went to their locker rooms and the stadium was emptied, the game was later called as an official result.
“We had a good summer,” said Leesville Road senior Noah Burnett, a triple-scoring threat, of the team’s fast start. “We came together and meshed as a team. We were ready and showed people what we can do.”
Leesville Road turned in an all-around effort, scoring on offense (rushing and passing), on special teams (a punt return, field goal and four PATs) and the defense forced a fumble the offense converted into a touchdown two plays later.
“We had some first-game mishaps, but we played hard overall,” said Leesville Road’s new coach, Ben Kolstand. “I told the team to go out and prove we can play. It’s an experienced team, but we have a new staff and some kids in new positions.”
Burnett, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound senior, scored a touchdown on a 59-yard reception, booted a 46-yard field goal and converted 4-of-5 extra-point kicks. He blamed himself for “rushing” the one he missed.
His TD reception was a slant pattern off of a play-action. Burnett had a step on his defender to the inside and quarterback Trey Baker’s pass hit him in stride. He caught four balls for 104 yards and Baker connected on 7-of-10 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
The Pride actually needed one series to warm-up after a three-and-out. But on the second possession, senior Tiawan Moore broke off a 34-yard run after a fumble recover. He scored one play later on a 7-yard run, cutting inside a linebacker and stepping into the end zone untouched when Derrell Gary Jr. had the defensive back blocked.
Wakefield’s lone touchdown was an opportunistic play by Nemiah Jones. He caught a pass deflected in front of him and pulled it in to run the final 20 yards for a 42-yard score on a pass from Trexler Ivey.
RECORDS: Wake field (0-1) at Leesville Road (1-0)
THREE WHO MATTERED:
(Leesville Road – Andrew Doss) The junior running back wears No. 6, but 53 was his number for the night. He scored on a 53-yard punt return in the first quarter and a 53-yard run in the second period.
(Leesville Road – Noah, Burnett ) The senior also showed his long leg on kickoffs with three touchbacks. After a 15-yard penalty following a TD was assessed on the kickoff, Burnett’s 70-yard kick to the 5-yard line normally would have been a fourth touchback.
(Wakefield – Trey, Ivey) The senior quarterback was often running for his life, but he completed 10-of-20 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown without an interception.
--- Wakefield showed some big-play potential, but the Wolverines hurt themselves with eight procedure or delay-of-game penalties in just two quarters of play.
--- Leesville Road has depth to go with talent. David Sohn was a 1,000-yard rusher last year, but he is such a strong safety/linebacker, Kolstad left him on on defense in the opener.
LR -- Tiawan Moore 7 run (Noah Burnette kick)
LR – Andrew Doss 53 punt return (Noah Burnett kick)
W – Nemiah Jones 42 pass from Trexler Ivey (pass failed)
LR – Noah Burnette 59 pass from Trey Baker (Noah Burnett kick)
LR – Andrew Doss 53 run (Noah Burnett kick)
LR – Trey Knox 24 pass from Trey Baker (kick failed)
LR – Noah Burnette 46 FG