High School Sports

Leesville Road scores 35 points in second half to pull away from Sanderson

Noah Burnette, right, of Leesville Road moves the ball against Malachi Ruffin of Sanderson. The Sanderson Spartans visited the Leesville Road Pride in a high school football game on October 4, 2019.
Noah Burnette, right, of Leesville Road moves the ball against Malachi Ruffin of Sanderson. The Sanderson Spartans visited the Leesville Road Pride in a high school football game on October 4, 2019. newsobserver.com

Six games into its 2019 season, Leesville Road remains perfect.

The Pride beat conference rival Sanderson, 42-10, Friday night at Hamilton Stadium, behind a 35-point second half explosion. The dynamic running back duo of Andrew Doss and T.J. Moore combined for 351 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns, and Leesville’s defense picked up four crucial interceptions to stay undefeated.

“It’s what we expected,” Doss said. “We’ve been working hard all summer. … We’ve always been a team, going to lunch every day together, staying together. We knew we were going to be 6-0. Ready for next week, coming after Millbrook.”

Doss ran for a touchdown on his first touch, but a holding penalty brought it back. That didn’t deter him. A few plays later, he promptly scored Leesville’s first touchdown on an outside run to the left.

The Spartans responded with what ended up their best drive of the game. Quarterback Jaxon Masterson drove Sanderson into field-goal range, and Conner Sandberg converted to make it 7-3 in the first.

Sanderson had even more momentum after recovering a bobbled snap and almost returning it for a touchdown. But after stalling, Masterson threw his first interception of the game to Leesville defensive back Marcus Purvis Jr. on a desperation fourth down. He threw two more before the half ended.

The Pride ran away with the game in the third quarter. After picking off Masterson for the fourth time, Moore, a senior, ripped off a massive run down the middle, and fellow senior back David Sohn punched it in from 4 yards out.

Later, Doss scored his second touchdown of the night, giving his team a 21-3 lead and effectively ending any chance of an upset. Moore’s 87-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed Leesville’s win, and two more late touchdowns only added to its lead.

“I think we wore them down,” said Leesville coach Ben Kolstad, a former Sanderson coach in his first year with the Pride. “We’re pretty deep. They came out with a lot of energy. We kind of just outlasted them.”

Records: Leesville Road 6-0, 2-0 CAP7, Sanderson 3-4, 1-1 CAP7

Three who mattered

Andrew Doss, Leesville Road: The 5-8 junior’s impact Friday night can’t be overstated. As the Pride’s passing game struggled, he was the standout in a dominant rushing attack that willed Leesville to victory. Doss showed off an excellent blend of speed and power on his three touchdown runs, and he finished with 168 yards on 17 carries.

Will Keever, Leesville: Of the Pride’s three first-half interceptions, the junior linebacker’s was the biggest. With Sanderson down 7-3, driving with less than a minute remaining, Keever snagged a pass around midfield off a deflection. His pick kept Leesville’s slim halftime lead intact.

Zion Myers, Sanderson: In the loss, the freshman running back did his best Beast Mode impersonation on a few runs, simply refusing to go down until swarmed by multiple tacklers. He was a lone bright spot for Sanderson’s erratic offense, rushing for 71 yards on 16 carries.

Worth noting

Moore, not be outdone by his backfield mate, rushed 12 times for 183 yards. He averaged 15.2 yards per carry, and his 87-yarder was Leesville’s longest run of the night.

Keever wasn’t the only Leesville defender to get in on the turnover fun. Teammates Marcus Purvis Jr., B.J. Adamchik and D.J. Gray also logged interceptions.

Despite his four interceptions, Masterson moved well in the pocket and extended plenty of plays for Sanderson. He threw a garbage-time touchdown, and his favorite target, wide receiver Ben Foscato, was also productive with six catches for 54 yards.

Scoring summary

LRHS — Andrew Doss 17-yard rush (Noah Burnette PAT)

SHS — Conner Sandberg 20-yard field goal

LRHS — David Sohn 4-yard rush (Burnette PAT)

LRHS — Doss 30-yard rush (Burnette PAT)

LRHS — T.J. Moore 87-yard rush (Burnette PAT)

SHS — Jaxon Masterson 5-yard pass to William Horner (Sandberg PAT)

LRHS — Doss 1-yard run (Burnette PAT)

LRHS — Marcus Purvis 73-yard punt return (Burnette PAT)