Apex’s football players were convinced this was their year.
Thursday night might have convinced everyone else of the same.
The Cougars blasted Leesville Road 44-14 in the annual Labor Day weekend meeting.
Leesville came into the game ranked No. 13 in The News & Observer area, but Apex running back Isaiah Totten made sure this was Apex’s night to break through.
Totten torched the Pride’s defense with 29 carries for 205 yards and five touchdowns. The Cougars defense pitched in, shutting out Leesville in the second half.
This is the first time Apex has been 2-0 since the 2008 season, when the Cougars won 10 games before falling in the third round of the playoffs. It’s also the first winning streak Apex has enjoyed since 2010.
“It feels pretty good for people who have been around here awhile,” Apex coach Joe Kilby said. “It’s a big confidence deal for us because that’s a good team with good players.”
Totten, a junior, had three of his rushing touchdowns in the second half.
He scored from 3, 14, 1, 51 and 5 yards.
“I put a lot of work in over the summer to become the best I could be because I knew it was going to be a lot of running this year for me,” Totten said. “I want it at least 20-30 times a night. Just so I can score and help my team out.”
Apex (2-0) and Leesville Road (1-1) have had close ties between their coaching staffs for years. This year, Apex is running an old Leesville offense as Will Orbin – former coordinator at Leesville and head coach at Holly Springs – now calls Apex’s plays.
The spread offense is built around power running. Apex had 46 carries for 376 yards.
Grayson Boyd’s 46-yard run on a second-quarter quarterback draw rounded out the Cougars’ scoring. Ben Foote was 6-of-7 in extra points and Nathan Davis kicked a 35-yard field goal for Apex.
“We’re averaging 45 points and we’re only giving up an average of 12 points. The combination of that is outstanding for us. That’s what we need to do,” Kilby said.
Apex’s defense held the Pride to 58 yards rushing. Brandon Cox and Jude Upchurch added interceptions.
Both of Leesville’s scores came on plays involving Elisiah Richardson. On the second Pride play, quarterback Clay Vick connected with Richardson (five catches, 106 yards) over the middle for a 68-yard touchdown.
Richardson added a 6-yard running score in the second quarter.
Vick was 20-of-31 passing for 233 yards.
Leesville running back Khamari Alexander left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. Cooper Eason-Riddle filled in and led Leesville in rushing with nine carries for 55 yards.
Connor Eller (four catches, 44 yards) added an interception.