With just three regular-season losses over the last four years, it’s not been very often that Garner has had to bounce back from a defeat.
But the Trojans showed their mettle Friday night, defeating Leesville Road 24-10, one week after a 24-point loss to Middle Creek.
“This week’s practice was very intense,” said linebacker/tight end Roderic Christian. “Everything was very well executed, and this was amazing.”
Garner’s defense was particularly effective. They held the Pride to just 93 yards of total offense, and Leesville’s lone touchdown was an interception return by Patrick Rice in the second quarter.
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“We had a better effort out the linebackers tonight. They got to the football better, defensive line putting pressure on the quarterback,” said Garner coach Thurman Leach. “I’m proud we held them to only three points in the second half. The defensive effort was more intense tonight.”
While Garner’s defense was stout, Leesville was without quarterback Clay Vick, who leads the Triangle with 456.0 yards per game. He was on the sideline on crutches, out indefinitely.
But the Trojans were without their leading offensive threat, too. Leach said Collin Eaddy, Garner’s leading running back with 141.3 yards per game, had emergency surgery earlier in the week, but will return later in the season.
So the Trojans spread the ball around.
Quarterback Brodie West was an efficient 9-of-17 passing for 123 yards. Six different players carried the ball for Garner, and Darien Adams shouldered most of the load. He rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries.
Tied 7-7, West completed a 21-yard TD pass to Christian to give the Trojans a 14-7 lead with 6:46left in the first half. Noah Giroux hit a 37-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining to give Garner a 17-7 lead at the half.
Leesville Road’s Jeff Norwood connected on a 28-yard field goal with 6:06 left in the third quarter to cut the Pride deficit to 17-10. But they were unable to move the ball, and Garner’s Braxton Brokenborough put the game away with a 29-yard touchdown run with 1:35 to play.