High School Sports

Leesville Road shocks Millbrook, Cap 7 with 24-0 win over Wildcats

Posted October 24, 2008
Updated October 25, 2008

RALEIGH — The fireworks have returned to Leesville Road High School - literally.

As the final minutes ticked off the clock Friday night in Leesville's 24-0 rout of Millbrook, a lone firework struggled to make it up through the rain. However, the fireworks on the field weren't hampered by the wet conditions at all.

The opening kick off set the mood of the game for Leesville Road and Millbrook.

Taylor Bucklin's kick came down, slipped through the hands of a Millbrook kick returner, and was picked up by sophomore Ryan Mangum. After scooping up the ball, Mangum took off towards the end zone, and Leesville Road thought they had the first points of the ball game.

"You can't draw it up much better than that," Leesville Road head coach David Green said of the opening kick off. "You get something like that to start the game and it kind of sets the tone for everything that comes afterward."

However, high school football rules state that the kick off cannot be advanced by the kicking team, so Leesville Road took over deep in Millbrook's territory - a site that became familiar to spectators in attendance.

The Millbrook defense appeared to have stopped the Pride, but on fourth and 5, quarterback Jake Groeschen hit Gordon Martin for a 16-yard gain, one of only two completions on the night for Leesville Road.

Seconds later, Zach Gentry got his first of two touchdown runs, and after Bucklin's point-after went through the uprights, Leesville Road had the 7-0 lead less than two-minutes into the contest.

The ensuing kickoff did not result in a Leesville Road possession, instead Millbrook's offense got a chance to get on the field for the first time all night.

Millbrook ate up a lot of clock on their first possession, something that is not typical of the Wildcat offense, and Millbrook faced a fourth and 6 situation just inside Leesville Road territory. In an attempt to pick up the six-yards, Brian Kass hit Kuwon Eldridge on a swing pass, but Eldridge was stopped well of the first down, and Leesville Road got the ball back with four-minutes left.

Both teams had good games defensively, and for almost 15-minutes of game time, the teams were giving the ball back-and-forth to one another.

With less than two-minutes to go in the half, though, Groeschen recorded his final completion of the game. Zach Greene was open on the sidelines, and the senior pulled in a 31-yard pass, bringing the Pride to the Millbrook one-yard line.

On the next play, Mangum used a second effort to hammer the ball into the end zone on the ground, as Leesville Road pushed ahead, 14-0, just in time for the break.

Millbrook came out of the locker room energized, and as their defense took the field to start the third quarter, they seemed to have new life. The Wildcats held Leesville Road to a three-and-out on their first possession, and Millbrook's offense got the ball back after a Pride punt.

On first down, Kass stepped up in the pocket and delivered a pass to Michael Thornton to pick up a first down. Millbrook was operating in the shotgun formation, though, and on the next play a bad snap went over the head of Kass and was covered up by Leesville Road.

Once again, the Leesville Road offense found themselves deep in Millbrook territory.

The Wildcats' defense stepped up to the challenge on fourth and 23 from the 28-yard line, as Nick Murad broke up a long pass intended for Cameron Todd.

The Millbrook offense, who was scoring more than 40-points per game going into the conference battle Friday, struggled all night against the Leesville Road defense. After putting together a solid string of plays, the drive stalled, and with 3:57 left in the third quarter, Millbrook turned the ball over on downs on the Leesville Road 38-yard line.

On their new possession, the Pride got big carries from Gentry, and after getting into field goal range, Bucklin hit a 29-yard field goal to put Leesville up 17-0 over Millbrook with just 15 seconds left in the quarter.

Millbrook's offense got the ball back, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Kass threw his first of two interceptions. Mangum picked the pass off for Leesville Road, and the Pride's offense began the task of chewing up the clock.

With 4:08 left in the game, Gentry broke a 31-yard run straight threw the Millbrook defense to give Leesville Road their 24-0 lead.

"Our defense just played tremendous football, but you know, they've played well all year," Leesville Road head coach David Green said after the game. "They got after it, they played hard, they forced turnovers, and the offense took advantage of some of those turnovers and put it in the end zone."

The defense for Leesville Road did what no team has been able to do against Millbrook all season - stop them.

Leesville Road held the Millbrook offense to just 186-yards of total offense, and only 65-yards came through the air.

"[The Leesville Road defense] played great tonight. We had a couple of drives going early and we fumbled the ball," Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore said after the game. "Our mistakes led to 14-points for them."

While Leesville Road advances to 9-1 on the season headed into their off-week, the loss drops Millbrook out of the conference championship race. Inscore didn't seem too concerned about where his team is going after tonight, though. "We're still a good football team, we didn't play like it tonight, but we are a good football team."

Green thinks Millbrook is a good football team too, admitting after the game that he wasn't expecting the large margin of victory Friday night. "I thought it would be closer than this, but I'll take. I'll sure take it," Green said smiling.


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  • mhsyouknow Nov 3, 2008

    everybody stop hating on millbrook. we played great this past friday and showed wfr we're not going to let one bad game bring us down. 16-15 baby.

  • mhsyouknow Nov 3, 2008

    oh hey teammugs, about bringing our A game against WFR, how were going to need it...guess what. we brought it. and if we ever play leesville again, which im sure we will in state playoffs, were not going to forget it this time.

  • trianglelawns Oct 27, 2008

    To everyone on this board posting all of these excuses/comments....the truth of the matter is that Millbrook just got beat! I was at the Millbrook game...and the truth hurts, but MHS didn't show up to play in a huge Cap 7 game. They got beat up, up front and on the edges. The QB at times had time to throw, but the WR were not open or he scrambled way too early. LRHS is a good team. I think that their defense is the strength, offensively nothing real special. LRHS D gave them great field position all night, but completing only 2 passes will not be good enough. Just my opinion. MHS better get better in a hurry, b/c it gets tougher this Friday!

  • Pridefootball07 Oct 26, 2008

    Leesville was bringing Walker quite a bit, but that was the primary backer i saw blitzing...other than Wooten a few times

  • beaufort007 Oct 26, 2008

    Aaaah, I beg to differ with you chadinator! I know the defense personally and those were linemen that were in the backfeild... they just play like big linebackers and the middle was closed for business! The Millbrook recievers were blanketed all night long thanks to an outstanding secondary! Leesville's blitz is VERY unpredictable and used sparingly. Footballer, Millbrook threw because they couldn't convert on third down and only once on fourth down. Kuwon ran the ball 18 times... he has lived off the big run in games. Kuwon is a great runner, Millbrook is a great team and has great coaching, but Leesville is a solid great team and will deem respect, if not already!

  • chadinator1993 Oct 26, 2008

    The footballer, you have no clue what your talking about. the pass was there the whole the game. leesville was blitzing there linebackers every time thats why brian had such a hard time running. you saying that leesville wasnt expecting the run at all just shows how dumb you are. dont comment on football blogs if you dont know football

  • justinganzon Oct 26, 2008

    Leesville VS. WFR is shaping up to be a great game

  • beaufort007 Oct 26, 2008

    Kuwon had a big run of 30 yards right before the half. He was not averaging 5 yards a carry... 17/18 carries he was lucky to get 3 yards a carry. Leesville is a for real team and is fine playing Millbrook again! We are Fast, quick, strong and have a couple meaty dudes on the line. WFR will beat Millbrook because if you stop Kass and Kuwon from running the ball they become very predictable. WFR can stuff their run game! Show down in Wake Forrest in two weeks... did anyone predict this? Why wasn't decimated use for the title of this win, Nick?

  • justinganzon Oct 26, 2008

    I can not believe that you can make any kind of claim against leesville road for "playing dirty" to say that is rediculous. Leesville's defense is amazing this year with our amazing linebacker and not to mention the secondary that we have. Our offense has no problem putting points on the board either millbrook is a great football team as well, but they were just out played im excited to see how millbrook bounces back or if they do against WFR it should be a great game. But in know way can leesville be thought as overrated or dirty or lucky at all.

  • snowbear725 Oct 26, 2008

    we made mistakes. that's all i have to say. im a manager for Millbrook. we made mistakes, we learn from them, we move on. the longer a team dwells on the mistakes, the more likely they are to make the same mistakes again. We may have underestimated the Leesville defense. im a Millbrook fan, and I'm giving kudos to Leesville for being able to STOP our offense. that, in and of itself, is a challenge.

    i definitely think we might see each other again in the playoffs.