Leesville holds on to beat Assumption

Published 9:12 am Saturday, November 13, 2021

By Daniel Green
LEESVILLE — Sometimes, it’s OK to win ugly.
And sometimes those ugly wins cost you.
A melee near the end of the first half resulted in seven ejections, including four Leesville starters. Despite that, the Wampus Cats held on for a 41-32 win over the Assumption Mustangs in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs on Friday night.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Leesville head coach Robbie Causey said. “I told the kids I loved them and we will have to do what we can with who we have next week.”
No. 12 Leesville (8-2) will take to road next week to face No. 5 Westgate, a 26-6 winner over John F. Kennedy.
Having opened up a 27-14 lead over Assumption after trailing by a touchdown after one quarter, Leesville quarterback Parker Maks was intercepted by Assumption’s D’Ante Davis. Davis hustled up the sideline where he was knocked viciously backward by Leesville running back Caleb Gallashaw. With Davis out on the turf, a fight broke out between the teams, resulting in three Assumption players, including starting quarterback Sage Rivere, and four Leesville players, including three defensive starters.
With Leesville leading by two scores at intermission, the Wampus Cats capped a 58-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run by Layne Self, his second score of the night, to take a 34-14 lead.
Dontrell Thompson answered for Assumption by returning the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. It was his second kickoff return for a TD in the game, having given the Mustangs an 8-7 lead in the first period with a 91-yard return for a score.
Assumption took advantage of a Leesville turnover and marched 43 yards for a score as the drive culminated with a 10-yard TD pass from Landon Sanchez to Jamari Ayrow, cutting the gap to 34-26 about a minute and a half into the fourth period.
Leesville answered with an 11-play, 56-yard drive, with Maks going in from five yards out for a 41-26 edge.
But Assumption was far from done as Sanchez connected with Jayden Goudy on a 48-yard TD, getting within nine points, 41-32.
Assumption had one last chance, but Sanchez fumbled the ball away and Leesville kneed twice for the victory.
“I was proud of the way our kids competed after that unfortunate incident at the end of the first half,” Causey said. “And I let Assumption’s coaches know I felt the same way about their kids.”
Gallashaw ran the ball 28 times for 236 yards and one touchdown, while adding 34 receiving yards. Maks finished with 137 yards passing and two TDs, both to Daveion Grubb.
Sanchez tossed a pair of TD passes, while completing 6-of-10 passes for 115 yards.
Leesville receiver Daveion Grubb (7), seen here returning a kickoff in the first period of Friday’s win over Assumption, had a pair of touchdown receptions from Parker Maks.