April 22, 2019

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Leesville defeats Buckeye in the Squirrel Bowl 41-14

It was senior night for the Wampus Cats of Leesville, sporting an impressive 23 seniors on their roster, unfortunately, that number was more than half the total number of the Buckeye roster. Leesville was highlighted across the offensive and defensive lines with talent including Nebraska commit Matt Anderson. The night got off with a bang, quite literally, as at the end of the playing of the National Anthem the JROTC Cadets fired a cannon in the North end zone.

Leesville came out looking very balanced on their first possession, led by sophomore quarterback Jacob Mount, and on the running ability by brothers Dante and Caleb Gallashaw. Dante the older brother, yes they are not twins, is a junior and played most of the first half and had two scores. While Caleb is a freshman and spelled his older brother in the first half and played more in the second half also had two scores on the night for his team. Both brother have excellent vision and speed, it took the Buckeye defenders, two, three, sometimes even four defenders to make the tackle.

Sophomore quarterback Jacob Mount found Darius Sawyer twice on the night for touchdowns in the first half. Both passes were right where they needed to be as he dropped them in over defenders and just out of reach to be batted away. Big things should be in the future for Jacob Mount as he looked calm and poised against a good pass rush from Buckeye.

On the offensive side of the ball for the Buckeyes, they struggled to move the ball against a very fast, physical defensive line. Leesville was putting eight and nine men in the box almost daring the Panthers to throw against them. All was not lost for Buckeye though, as senior running back Justin Belgard had two monster runs for touchdowns. He ended the night with over 150 yards rushing, against a very stingy Cats defense.

Lane Jenkins on defense for Buckeye was flying around all night and I believe he may have taken the term “sacrifice your body” a little too literal. It seems after a tackle on one play he dislocated a finger, went over to the medical stretcher and had them put it back into place and tape it up. He was back on the field a few plays later.

The score being as it may, one thing I took away from this game was that the Buckeye Panthers continued to fight even after having multiple turnovers that gave Leesville short yardage to work with. The Cats looked to overwhelm the Panthers easily by the end of the first half just with their depth. Make no mistake about it, Buckeye got punched in the mouth by Leesville, but they got back up.