By Joe Overby
Raleigh -- Leesville Road pounced on costly Green Hope mistakes early, and the Pride's Ryan Mangum ran for three touchdowns as Leesville crushed the Falcons 38-8 at home.
The loss was Green Hope's 29th straight, and this one included some costly blunders early on that led directly to Pride points.
Leesville (1-1) struck first when it recovered a lateral pass in the backfield on the Green Hope 6-yard line on the second play from scrimmage. Mangum ran it on the subsequent play for his first score of the night, giving Leesville a 7-0 lead with less than a minute gone by.
The Pride added another touchdown at the end of the first quarter, this time quarterback Josh Stanley throwing a 39-yard strike to wide receiver David Lowery. Just like the first touchdown, it only took Leesville one play to score, as it went up 14-0.
That one-play drive was set up when Leesville's Brendan Lough recovered a Green Humble fumble in Falcon territory.
"Obviously, those things don't help," said Green Hope coach Steven Katz. "When you have a young team, sometimes those things backfire."
Leesville, meanwhile, continued to take advantage of opportunities.
Up 21-0 midway through the second quarter, Leesville forced Green Hope to a three-and-out. The Falcons faced fourth-and-14 from their own 10-yard line and their punt was tipped by Leesville, which then took over on the Falcon 11.
Three plays later, Mangum ran in for this third touchdown of the night, this one putting Leesville up 28-0 with 5:08 in the half.
On the next play from scrimmage, Green Hope quarterback Will Nassif was sacked in the end zone by Pride tackle Bryan Ball, giving Leesville a 30-0 advantage that it took into half.
"We wanted to be aggressive on defense. We wanted to force errors," said Leesville coach David Green. He added that the Pride wanted to take advantage of opportunities that arose and complete that goal, as well.
Mangum's second touchdown on the night came with 9:09 remaining in the first half, when he ran 33 yards for a Leesville score that put the Pride up 21-0.
Braxton Berrios added a 5-yard touchdown run with just under 4 minutes left in the third to give Leesville a 38-0 lead.
Green Hope wouldn't put any points on the board until late in the fourth quarter. Nassif ran it in from 14 yards out with 2:36 remaining, then converted the 2-point conversion with a pass to Kevin Collins, making it the final 38-8.