Leake Academy loses tough game to Washington Generals
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 1:00 AM
Leake Academy football coach Brian Pickens knew exactly what to expect when the Washington School Generals took the field Friday night.
What he didn't know was how his Rebels would handle the Generals.
Washington jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and cruised to a 35-7 win over the homestanding Rebels.
The Rebels fall to 1-1 with the loss against their second straight Class AAA opponent.
The Rebels will open division play this week against Manchester in Madden.
"They were a very good football team, exactly what we expected," Pickens said. "They were strong, physical and fast. That's what we expected after seeing them on film and that's what we got. Teams like that make you play up to their level."
The Generals took the opening kickoff and used their zone-blocking approach to move the ball down the field for a quick score.
The Generals scored on their next two possessions and led 21-0.
"We put ourselves into a hole and before you know it, it's 21-0," Pickens said.
"That's not where you want to be but that's where we were at. But I was proud of the fact that after we took their best shot, we battled back and got a score and held them the rest of the half. We battled back and got the score and caused a pair of turnovers."
The Rebels got their only score of the game in the second quarter when Reed Mayfield hooked up with Drew McMillan on a 31-yard touchdown pass.
John Forrest Sisson booted the PAT to make it 21-7.
The Rebels then got a pair of defensive stops thanks to defensive end William Johnston who forced a pair of fumbles.
The second fumble occurred just before the half when Johnston stripped the ball from the running back and scooped it up for a touchdown that was called back on a penalty.
"That was a huge play in the game," Pickens said. "If we score right there, it's 21-14 going into the half and who knows what happens from there."
But whatever hopes the Rebels might have had started to slip away in the second half, starting with the injury of starting tailback Taylor Nazary, followed by a knee injury to Mayfield.
That put sophomore Joshua Jones under center and he was lost in the fourth quarter to concussion-like symptoms.
"You don't want to make excuses or take away anything from them but it's a difficult situation, losing two starters on back-to-back series," Pickens said.
"Once that happens, you have to start shuffling players and just trying to find something to give the kids some confidence.
"This is high school football, once you start shuffling people, you are going to lose some things.
"This isn't the NFL, it's not exactly next man up. You can only do so much."
Despite the final and the loss of two key players, Pickens was able to find some positives.
"I thought once we got in the hole, our defense played pretty good," Pickens said. "We gave up two scores in the second half but both of those came off turnovers deep in our own territory. A good team like Washington is going to make you pay for mistakes like that."
Pickens said he will use the next week to get ready for the division opener against Manchester.
"We've just got to get back out there and move some people around and get them comfortable and see what they can do," Pickens said.
"I feel confident the people we move will do a good job there. They just have to get out there and get the reps this week and get ready to go."