CARY — Leesville Road and Green Hope exchanged quick scoring drives in the opening minutes Friday night at Green Hope. But, as it turned out, Will Nassifs 7-yard scoring toss to Marcus Williams was the last the Falcons would see of the end zone. Meanwhile, the Pride, who rolled to a 44-6 victory, were only getting warmed up.
A week after running roughshod over Panther Creek for 441 yards on the ground, first-year Leesville coach Chad Smothers watched his team score on each of its six first-half possessions to take a 38-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Brothers Austin and Braxton Berrios both starred in the romp for Leesville, with senior quarterback Austin leading the way. He found his brother Braxton, a sophomore wide receiver, for a 21-yard touchdown to open the scoring, and then ran it in himself from 41 yards out to make it 14-6. The Prides D.J. Hunt capped the first quarter scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run up the gut that made it 22-6 after a successful two-point conversion.
Leesville added three more second-quarter touchdowns, the first coming on Hunts second 14-yard touchdown run of the evening, which pushed the Prides lead to 29-6. Freshman Nyheim Miller got into the act for the Pride midway through the second quarter. After his 10-yard touchdown run was called back for a hold, Miller found pay dirt once again on the next play, this one a 21-yard score to make it 36-6.
On the last play of the half, Braxton Berrios hauled in a bomb from his brother in traffic at the goal line, and Leesville took advantage of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Green Hope to convert the two-point try.
The score remained 44-6 until time expired, despite one penetration deep into the red zone by Green Hope. Facing second-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Falcons appeared poised to score their second touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter. But DeMario Williams lost four yards on second down before a pair of incompletions on third and fourth down ended the scoring threat.