Two huge defensive plays set up a pair of touchdowns that spurred Leesville Road to a 27-16 win Friday night over Athens Drive.
Athens appeared headed to halftime with a 10-6 lead, but Leesville safety Jordan Moore jumped on a Jaguars fumble at the Athens’ 42 with 27 seconds left. Moore then caught two passes for 29 yards from quarterback Clay Vick to set up a 13-yard pass from Vick to Connor Eller with 3.4 seconds left in the half to give the Pride a 13-10 lead.
Athens (1-3) trailed the rest of the game.
“They’re (Leesville) a good, physical football team, but we thought we should have been leading at halftime,” Athens coach Chris Martin said. “Then in the second half they had that real long drive that took the wind out of our sails.”
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In the third period, Athens drove to the 2, but on fourth down Jaguars running back Jamie Barnes, who ran for 118, was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Pride linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle.
Leesville then drove 98 yards for a score. Running back Mason Pyper threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Eller, who was wide open for the score and a 20-10 lead.
“We’re still a work in progress, but we played a lot better, especially on defense,” said Hobgood, whose 1-1 team lost to Apex last time out. “Anytime the defense can make plays like they did to get off the field and get the offense back out there, it’s important.”
Tailback Mike Dehaney, who rushed for 121 yards for the winners added to the lead with a 73-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. He was sharing the running load with Khamari Alexander, but Alexander was injured in the Apex game and is out for the season.
“Dehaney did a lot better in the second half, he had some real tough runs,” Hobgood said. “He’s got really good speed and broke a few.”
Leesville plays Panther Creek next week and Athens opens Southwestern Wake Athletic Conference play at Green Hope.
“We had some guys play well,” Martin said. “Our number two quaterback (Brandon Farley) came in and threw the ball well. We’ve got some things to look at.”