Garner-Leesville football: Only one can win

From staff reportsNovember 13, 2012 

  • Stat book
    Scoring average40.346.5
    Opp. scoring ave.15.813.2
    Scoring margin/game24.533.3
    Rushing yards/game328.8291.8
    Passing yards/game85.4145.4
    Total yards/games414.2437.2
    Opp. rush/ game157.3111.5
    Opp. pass/ game98.6168.4
    Opp. total yards/game255.9279.9

Why Leesville will win

Leesville Road has dominated opponents this year, but has also proven an ability to rise to the occasion in close contests.

If Friday’s game turns into a back-and-forth scoring battle, it may come down to which team can make the big defensive play. Leesville Road pulled out a tight win last week to top Middle Creek, forcing five turnovers and staging a crucial fourth-quarter defensive stand.

Leesville Road will have to avoid turnovers, which Garner took advantage of in last year’s NCHSAA 4AA third-round meeting, and work to close the gaps on defense to prevent the Trojans from getting out into the open field.

Leesville was able to halt conference rivals Wake Forest-Rolesville and Wakefield this year, proving that the Pride are up for the challenge.

Caryn Grant is the sports editor of the North Raleigh News

Why Garner will win

Garner seemed ready to be tested for the first time this season in last week’s game with Wakefield. Garner rose to that challenge, notching a 76-34 victory.

The tendency this week will be to turn this contest into Garner’s Defense vs. Braxton Berrios II, but the Trojans know – or they’ll know after being drilled on it by their coaches all week – there are plenty of very talented players throughout the Pride’s offense. Limiting big plays by Evan Parker, Kamir Bowen and Maurice Lauchner will be just as important to Garner’s chances as stopping Berrios.

The Trojans have found ways to do that all season against their opponents’ best players, and have scored points in every phase of the game.

Defensively, Garner has five turnover returns for touchdowns. On special teams, the Trojans have blocked three punts and scored six touchdowns (five on punt returns, one on a blocked punt return).

D. Clay Best is the sports editor of the Garner-Cleveland Record

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