Leps sink claws into Wildcats

David Johnson Sports Writer

November 9, 2013

The Lakewood Leopards took the Hobbton Wildcats by storm on a cold Friday night, leaving Wildcat Country with a 50-7 win. The Leopards scored pretty much when they wanted to.

Leopard coach James Lewis said, “It was a win and we need to get ready for next week in the first round of the play-offs.”

Wildcat coach Jeff Byrd said, “I want to thank the seniors. I know they didn’t win as many games as they’d like in the last couple of years. They have stuck through things and they’ve made this team better. I think throughout the year we’ve got better in some spots. We have a long ways to go; but, we have a good group coming back. Tonight I thought we played pretty decent the first quarter. We had it 9-7 and then we just seemed to disappear.

“I commend these guys because they have stuck with it, and I hope to have a good group coming back next year.”

The Wildcats had first chance but fumbled on the first play from scrimmage with Lakewood recovering at the Wildcat 26-yard line. The Hobbton defense then stopped them on the 1-yard line, turning the ball around.

The Wildcats got nailed again when the Lakewood defense push Marque Surles backward into the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 score.

The Wildcats free kicked the ball back to Lakewood who took over on the Wildcat 49-yard line. Lakewood’s center snapped the ball over quarterback J. J. Tanner’s head. Tanner recovered and connected with Roman King for a 37-yard pass play for an 8-0 lead. Wesley Sessoms kicked the point after for a 9-0 lead with 4:10 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats got the ball back at midfield. Behind the running of quarterback, Logan Langston, the Wildcats covered most of the distance in one rush. Surles scored on a 6-yard run breaking tackles up the middle for a 9-6 Leopard lead with 2:46 left in the first. Malik Parker kicked the point after for a 9-7 Leopard lead.

Lakewood came right back with Tanner connecting with Cooper on a 43-yard pass play to the 5-yard line. Roman Leach ran it in from there for a 15-7 lead with 1:29 left in the first quarter. Sessoms’ kick made it 16-7.

Midway the second quarter, Lakewood scored again capping a 50-yard drive with a 2-yard run by Deshuan Wilson for the 22-7 lead. Sessoms, again, booted the point after to take it up to 23-7.

The Wildcats fumbled the ensuing kickoff with Lakewood recovering at the Wildcat 28-yard line. Lakewood scored on a 9-yard pass from Tanner to Cooper. Sessoms kick the point after for a 30-7 lead with 4:48 left in the half.

Lakewood took the opening kickoff in the second half. They marched 70 yards with s pass from Tanner to Cooper for a 36-7 lead. Sessoms kicked the point after for a 37-7 lead.

The Wildcat defense stopped Lakewood’s younger guys, forcing a punt. The Wildcats took over at the 1-yard line. They moved the ball out past the 20 when Wilson picked Langston for an interception at the 38-yard line.

With 4:07 left, Dillion Kenlock scored on a 40-yard run making it 43-7. The point after kick was blocked.

Late in the game, Hobbton’s Johnnie Knowles had a punt partially blocked with the Leopards recovering on the Wildcat 25-yard line. Roman Leach scored on a 14-yard scamper to make it 49-7. The point after made it 50-7.

For the Leopards, Wilson led the rushing with 74 yards on 14 carries. Kenlock had 6 carries for 46 yards; Leach had 39 yards on 3 carries; Trevon Wilson had 21 yards on 6 carries. Rounding out the Leopard rushing was Tanner with 7 yards on 3 carries.

Tanner was 8 of 10 passing for 207 yards. The Leopards also had 187 yards rushing for a total of 394 yards.

For Hobbton, Langston had 50 yards on 6 carries, Surles had 30 yards on 8 carries, Steven Bell had 18 yards on 5 carries, Jamison Dunn had 9 yards on 3 carries and Ellis Wilson had 7 yards on 4 attempts.

The Leopard defense had a stellar night also. Trace Faircloth had 5 tackles, Malik Rodgers had 4 tackles, Sidney Ivey had 2 tackles, Tyrek Rich had 4 tackles with 1 3-yard sack, D. Wilson had 2 tackles and an interception. Ray Hayes also had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery. T. Wilson had a fumble recovery.

Lakewood finished the regular season at 4-2 and 7-4 overall. The Wildcats finished the regular season 1-10.

Lakewood definitely has a playoff spot next week at a to-be-determined location. Hobbton has a very long shot at a play-off berth.