Bulldogs rally for win over Leesville

Published 4:35 pm Saturday, October 31, 2020

Leesville quarterback Jacob Mount (3) threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns during the Wampus Cats' loss on Friday to Jennings.

LEESVILLE – There's an old saying which says, "It's not how you start, but how you finish."

The Leesville Wampus Cats (2-3) raced out to a three-touchdown lead early in the third period, but the Jennings Bulldogs (5-0) stormed back, claiming a 56-41 victory Friday night at Wampus Cat Stadium.

After an early exchange of possessions, the Wampus Cats took the initial lead of the night with a 5-yard TD run by Layne Self, capping an 86-yard as Leesville went up, 6-0.

Jennings responded with a 72-yard drive as Trevor Etienne carried the ball all three times, the final one going for 61 yards and a touchdown. Following the PAT, the Bulldogs were up, 7-6.

The Cats answered right back, using the legs of Caleb Gallashaw to get to paydirt. Gallashaw carried the ball four times on the 6-play drive, covering the final 10 yards for the score. Caden Catron added the point after and Leesville held a 13-7 edge.

After forcing a Jennings punt, the Cats were once again pinned deep in their own territory. Facing a third-and-11, quarterback Jacob Mount, who had been injured earlier in the game, launched a beautiful 71-yard touchdown pass to Marshawn Graham, hitting the sophomore in stride for a 20-7 Leesville cushion. 

Jennings bounced back with a 76-yard drive capped off by a 15-yard TD scamper from Jalen Lewis, closing the gap to 20-14.

It took Leesville just one play to regain a two-touchdown advantage as Mount fired a quick pass to Gallashaw, who broke a tackle en route to a 58-yard TD and a 27-14 lead.

Jennings appeared to be back on the mover for another score when quarterback Bud Wilridge was intercepted by Leesville's Kehmari Pruitt, allowing the Cats to take a 27-14 lead in at intermission.

The Wampus Cats ambushed the Bulldogs on the opening kickoff of the second half as Catron utilized an onside kick to perfection, recovering the ball near midfield as Leesville stole a possession.

Leesville quickly marched down the field and scored, getting an 11-yard TD run from Gallashaw to take a 34-14 advantage.

But back stormed the Bulldogs.

Etienne broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage to close the gap to 34-20. And on Leesville's first play of its next drive, Ja'Corien Palfrey stripped the ball away from Graham and returned the ball 34 yards for a quick score, allowing Jennings to get to within six, 34-28.

Leesville turned the ball over on downs on the next possession, surrendering the ball near midfield. Riding the wave of momentum, Jennings moved the ball quickly down the field, capping the drive with a 2-yard TD from Lewis, taking a 35-34 lead.

The Wampus Cats got the ball back and moved down the field into Jennings territory. At the Bulldog 36, Mount fired a pass over the middle, missing his intended target and into the hands of a Jennings defender.

It took just for plays for Jennings to score as Etienne went 40 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter, giving the Bulldogs a 42-34 cushion.

Leesville's next possession ended in another turnover, which was turned into another touchdown as Jennings went up, 49-34 with about six minutes to go in the contest.

The Wampus Cats refused to die, however, responding with a touchdown drive that featured an incredible 41-yard reception from Gallashaw. He would later add the TD to close the gap to 49-41.

Leesville attempted to utilize the onside kick again, but Jennings recovered the ball and added a late touchdown for the final score of the contest.

Etienne carried the ball 18 times for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while Lewis added 111 yards on 20 carries with two scores as Jennings had 461 yards rushing in the contest.

Gallashaw accounted for 299 yards of total offense for Leesville, rushing for 174 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns, while catching four passes for 125 more yards and another TD. Self added 75 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown.

Mount completed 14-of-21 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times. He found Graham four times for 100 yards and a TD as Leesville finished the game with 561 yards of total offense.

The Cats take to the road Friday for a district matchup with the Bolton Bears.

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: Bulldogs rally for win over Leesville