By JOE OVERBY
RALEIGH -- Leesville Road scored on all three phases of the game Friday night at home against Enloe and was able to grab momentum while piling up a four-touchdown lead in the first half in the Cap 7 opener for both teams.
The Pride scored on the first play of the ball game and it was indicative of how the night would go for Leesville, which cruised to a 42-9 win over the Eagles to start 1-0 in conference play.
Leesville got off to a quick start when Austin Berrios took the opening kick back 90 yards for a touchdown, putting the Pride up 7-0 with just 16 seconds gone by. Leesville coach David Green said it was his third kick that he's returned for a touchdown in the five games he has played.
LRHS would close the first half in similar fashion, as Braxton Berrios picked off a pass on an Enloe fake punt deep in Pride territory and took it to the house, putting Leesville up 28-0 as the first half drew to a close.
"We had a few big explosive plays. Austin and Braxton Berrios both made some big explosive plays for us," said Leesville coach David Green, referring to the first half of the game.
And the Pride coach was pretty pleased with the fact his team scored on offense, special teams and on defense.
"We want to be a good offensive football team and score points, but that's not the only way to score points. Your defense has got to either score points for you or give you short field so you can score. And you always want your special teams to make plays," Green said.
After scoring on the first play of the game, Leesville wouldn't score again for more than 16 minutes, but then the Pride scored three touchdowns in a hurry, putting 21 points on the board in the final 8 minutes of the first half.
Leesville's second touchdown came on a 2-yard touchdown run by DJ Hunt with 7:37 remaining in the second quarter.
On the Pride's next drive, following a three-and-out by Enloe, a 58-yard pass from Josh Stanley to Austin Berrios set up a 2-yard Stanley touchdown run that stretched Leesville's lead to 21-0.
The Pride forced three-and-outs on Enloe's first three possessions and the Eagles didn't move into Leesville territory until the early part of the second quarter.
Enloe's best scoring chance in the first half came on its final drive, which ultimately ended in the Braxton Berrios interception return for a Pride touchdown.
The Eagles started at midfield and drove down to the Leesville 9-yard line, but two consecutive flags -- the second an intentional ground penalty -- pushed Enloe back to the Pride 34-yard line. There the Eagles faced fourth-and-32 before their ill-fated fake-punt play.
Enloe finally got on the board with 7:08 remaining in the third when quarterback Charlie Twitty snuck in from inches away.
But Leesville would respond on the following possession with a seven-play, 60-yard drive capped off by a 8-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Austin Berrios that put Leesville up 35-6 with 4:10 to go in the third.
Enloe kicker Vinny Tsiba knocked in a 29-yard field goal that made it 35-9 on the Eagles' subsequent possession.
Hunt then added a 12-yard touchdown run after a six-play, 53-yard drive to make it the final 42-9.
"I saw a lot of effort in the second half. We played real strong in the first quarter, really the first 14, 15 minutes of the game and then they got three big plays there in the first half that kind of got us," said Enloe coach Ron Clark.
"Just a real good effort in the second half, and defensively, I think we're better than the (42) points that were put up. Just didn't look like it," Clark added. "But I'm proud of these guys and of course Coach Green does a great job over here ... it's a battle every time we play them."