Leake Academy Rebels take victory over Pillow

Leake Academy Rebels take victory over Pillow


The Leake Academy Rebels aren’t used to being a homecoming opponent.

The Rebels scored 30 unanswered points to spoil Pillow Academy’s homecoming and take a 37-20 win over the Mustangs on Friday night.

Leake improves to 2-5 on the season and will travel to East Rankin this week for a district contest. 

After a slow start, the Rebels put together their best game of the season on both sides of the football.

“I thought we played our best game of the season,” Pickens said. “We were able to throw it when we wanted and had some success in the run game. I thought the defense played their best game of the year. We gave up a couple of big plays but we tackled better and were more physical on defense. It’s tough to go on the road and beat someone on their homecoming but I give our kids credit. They continue to play hard and practice hard and are starting to put it all together.”

Pillow got the first score of the game as they capped off a long drive with a 4-yard run and hit the PAT to go up 7-0.

But Leake answered back with a big play as George Wilcox hit Matthew Nowell on a 64-yard touchdown pass  with 54 seconds left in the first quarter. Nowell also hit the PAT and to tie the game at 7-7.

The Mustangs answered with a big play of their own as they scored on a 56-yard touchdown run with 11:48 left in the second quarter. The PAT was good and Pillow led 14-7.

Leake scored the last 10 points of the half to take the lead. The first was a 22-yard field goal from Nowell with 4:37 left to cut the lead to 14-10. 

Nowell found the end zone again on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Wilcos with 1:10 left in the half. Nowell also hit the PAT and the Rebels led 17-14 at the half. 

The Rebels dominated the action in the third quarter.

After stopping Pillow to start the third, Leake went to the running game as Charlie Brantley scored on a 37-yard run with 9:28 left in the third. Nowell’s PAT was good and Leake led 24-14.

The Rebels got the ball right back and Brantley found the end zone again on a 4-yard run with 6:41 left in the third. Nowell’s PAT gave Leake a 31-14 lead.

After another Leake stop on defense, the Rebels hit another big play as Wilcox hit a streaking Matthan Weaver on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 2:39 left in the third. The PAT failed and Leake led 27-14.

Pillow added a final score early in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard halfback pass with 11:53 left in the game. Camden Marble blocked the PAT attempt and Leake led 37-20 for the final margin. 

Leake had 276 yards rushing and 96 passing for 370 yards of total offense. Wilcox was 20-of-30 passing for 276 yards with three TDs. Nowell caught seven passes for 124 yards and two TDs while Weaver had six catches for 100 yards. Ben Jackson had five catches for 30 yards while Jack Harkins had 22 yards on two catches. 

Brantley led the rushing attack with 63 yards on nine carries while Weaver had 47 yards on eight carries.

On defense, Marble led the Rebels with 14 tackles while Tyler Winstead had eight tackles. Coby Kemp had five tackles while Jack Harkins had four tackles and an interception. John Donovan had four tackles while Grayson McDonald had three tackles and Nowell had 2.5 stops. Brantley also had an interception for the Rebels. 

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