Millbrook used a couple big plays in the third quarter to break open a tight game and come away with a win Friday night against host Leesville Road, 44-24, in Cap-8 play.
“Proud of our team with the way we responded. Leesville scored (at the) beginning of the second half and make it a two-point ballgame. Then we go right back down and score,” Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore said.
On its first possession in the second half, Leesville’s Clay Vick passed to Victor Richardson on a fourth down play. Richardson caught the pass on a slant to the middle, reversed field and ran to the end zone for the touchdown. The score pulled the Pride to 23-21 against Millbrook.
Then Millbrook answered with some of its own fourth down magic.
Reid Herring found Isaiah Bowman down the middle on a fourth-and-eight. Bowman slipped a tackle and raced to the end zone to give Millbrook a 30-21 lead.
On the next possession, Millbrook’s Raul Oquendo intercepted Vick on a tipped pass. Oquendo returned the pick 42 yards for the touchdown for a 37-21 lead with 4:49 in the third quarter.
Leesville (5-5, 3-3) managed a 22-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to make it 37-24, but the Millbrook defense stopped the Pride on its next two possessions. Marcus Marshall added a 56-yard touchdown run with less than a minute left to seal the win.
“We hung in there a long time against Wake Forest, and we hung in against Millbrook,” Leesville head coach Mike Hobgood said. “We can do it, but our margin of error is less and we have to zone in at practice and come together.”
The win moves the Wildcats to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Cap-8 conference. One more win may secure them a first round home game in the playoffs.
The offense was sharp early for Millbrook. The Wildcats scored on five of its first six possessions. Kicker Nick Viola was the main contributor, connecting on field goal attempts from 34, 35, and 39 yards and was perfect on all extra-point attempts in the game.
“Nick was a weapon there in the first half. He struggled in the beginning of the year, but he stuck with it and worked his butt off, and it’s paying off for us and him right now,” Inscore said.
Trailing 13-0 in the second quarter, Clay Vick faced an all-out blitz on a third-and-11. Vick found Trey Keeney down the middle on the pass. Keeney outraced defenders for the touchdown. Leesville cut the Wildcat lead to 13-7. Vick finished with 325 yards passing in the game.
Marshall responded for the Wildcats later in the quarter with a 70-yard rushing touchdown. The Pride answered with a 24-yard touchdown reception by Richardson from Vick. Leesville trailed 20-14 with just over two minutes left in the second half.
Viola’s 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the first half gave Millbrook a 23-14 lead.