Running back D.J. Hunt waited his turn after the game. He felt he had to make a statement in front of his Leesville Road teammates.
So once coach Chad Smothers and his assistants spoke, Hunt rose to his feet.
"Hey, I just want to thank the offensive line," Hunt said. "We couldn't do this without you guys."
When Hunt was finished, his teammates cheered for the offensive linemen. Hunt was right, for the linemen were the difference in the Pride's 62-21 victory against Broughton in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA playoffs.
No. 1-seeded Leesville Road (11-0) will host Wake Forest-Rolesville (10-2) next week, a rematch of the regular-season finale in which the Pride beat the Cougars.
This game was a rematch, too.
The Pride defeated the Caps by forcing six turnovers during the regular season. This time around, Leesville Road built its lead on run blocking.
"We didn't take this team lightly," guard Michael Laverty said. "You just never know, but we were able to pick it up at the end of the first quarter."
In a game that featured no first-half passing yards, Leesville Road's offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage - and the game.
Four of the Pride's nine touchdowns were runs of 20 or more yards. Smothers said that was possible because Broughton's defensive linemen rarely touched Leesville Road's running backs.
"We are going to lean on them," Smothers said of the offensive line. "We have some good skilled players, but the line gives them the opportunity to get outside."
Leesville Road's offense was effective even without quarterback Austin Berrios, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week.
The Pride gained 561 yards on the ground, enough that new starting quarterback Braxton Berrios, Austin's brother, attempted just two passes the entire game.
"Honestly, (the offensive line) is the best in the state," said Hunt, who finished with five rushing touchdowns. "They are the full package and they showed that out here."
Broughton (5-6) scored on its first offensive play of the game, a 71-yard run by running back Chris Mangus. Though Mangus rushed for 196 yards, Broughton coach Chris Martin said Leesville Road's running game was superior.
"We just couldn't stop the run," Martin said. "Leesville Road is an extremely good team, and when you can't stop the run it's going to be a long game."
Hunt knows Leesville Road is a team with plenty of athletes who can run the ball well. But he also knows athleticism can only go so far. Hunt made a lot of elusive cuts against Broughton's linebackers and defensive backs - all from holes created by the offensive line.
That's why he had to say something. Tackle Thomas Sanders was glad Hunt did.
"It means a lot because you know you're doing something really good," Sanders said of Hunt's comments. "There's nothing better than knowing you made the block and see D.J. or Braxton make a cut in front of you for a touchdown."