By Bobby Barr
The Leon Cougars guaranteed themselves a 2A-1 Region III District 9 playoff spot on Friday, October 26 with a 57-0 thrashing of the Bobcats in Cross Roads. The game didn’t start off particularly promising for the Cougs when Dylan Pedigo weaved 70 yards to score with the opening kickoff and then had the +6 taken off the board for an illegal block. But the Cougar offense wasted little time, went right to work, previewing the remainder of the game, when they marched 56 yards in five plays, with sophomore Tyson Cornett scoring from 20 yards at 9:10. The +1 kick by Ruben Gonzalez, with snap by senior, Cole Ware and hold by senior, Peyton Pruett got Leon on the board, 7-0. Following the Leon kickoff, the Bobcats, from their own 30, ripped off 15 yards and a 1st down on their very first play from scrimmage—that would turn out to be one of only three for the entire game (unofficially). The Leon defense shut down any semblance of a CR offense for the entire 48 minutes—the first eight CR offensive series ended with five punts and three losses of possession on downs. Conversely, the Leon offense scored on seven of their first eight offensive tries. The Cougars scored twice more in the 1st quarter: at 4:55—78 yards in four plays, 3-yard pass from senior, Peyton Pruett to Cornett; +2 PAT run by Pruett—15-0; 2:23—following 28 yard punt return by senior, Keaton Caveness, 35 yards in one play, Pruett to senior, Justin Massey +1 kick—22-0. The Cougar scoring blitz continued in the 2nd quarter with two successful scoring drives. The first came from midfield in four plays, all through the air when Pruett hit wide-open senior, Cameron Aldridge from 12 yards, and with kick, Leon led 29-0 at 10:40. The Cougars put up their final +6 of the half with 6:30 remaining—Curtis Stanford from one yard out, capping a short 35-yard, 5-play drive. Pruett then found Gonzalez, who made an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone for the +2 PAT, after a mishandled snap on the +1 kick attempt to pad Leon lead, 37-0. Leon’s only unsuccessful drive in eight tries ended with 1:31 remaining in the first half with a missed 25-yard field goal. Some new faces in the Cougar lineup helped Leon score three more times in the 2nd half. Senior QB, Cole Ware capped a short 3-play, 25-yard drive, scoring from 12 yards out at 8:03 of quarter three and, with +1 kick—Leon 44-0. Dylan Pedigo scored from three yards after a 4-play drive beginning at midfield at 2:21 of the 3rd period. The PAT failed—Leon 50-0. Leon put together their longest drive of the game on their final offensive series, beginning at 11:31 of the final quarter from the Bobcat 39. Zaid Jackson, senior running back and part-time punter (his kicking skills weren’t needed for this game) got the last yard of the 8-play drive with 6:07 remaining. The Cougs, 6-2 overall and 3-0 in District 9, battle another set of cats, the Wild ones from Cayuga, whom they visit next week. Cayuga is 4-4 overall; 2-1 in District 9, losing to Centerville 29-7 and Normangee 6-0 and beating the Bobcats in Kerens, 28-8 on Friday night. Centerville remains undefeated in District 9 competition, blanking Normangee 22-0. In JV action on Thursday night, the Leon JV fell to Riesel, 21-12.