The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

December 5, 2013

Leonard Tigers practice in Greenville

By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE —   Freezing rain and bone-chilling temperatures didn’t stop the Leonard Tigers from practicing on   Thursday afternoon for their Class 2A Division II state quarterfinal football playoff game.

  The Tigers bused to Greenville and then worked out inside the Lions’ Roy Q. Traylor practice facility.

  “We had a great workout for a short one,” said Leonard coach Shane Fletcher, whose Tigers practiced for about an hour.

  The 10-3 Tigers are scheduled to play the 13-0 Cooper Bulldogs at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wylie ISD stadium. But because of inclement weather, that game could be changed to Monday, according to Fletcher.

  “The UIL sent an email out,” he said. “We can play Monday. We want to play Saturday if at all possible.”

  Leonard is facing an undefeated team that has outscored the opposition by an average margin of 51-9.

  Clarksville stayed the closest to Cooper, falling 41-22 on Nov. 1. The Bulldogs have limited eight of their opponents to one touchdown or less.

  Cooper has whipped its three playoff opponents by scores of 43-7 over Whitewright, 64-20 over Henrietta and 56-18 over Scurry-Rosser.

  “They’re Cooper,” said Fletcher. “They’re real good. They can play.”

Fletcher said the Bulldogs play “Old School Football” and “Smash-Mouth Football.”

  “They’re very physical,” he said.

  But he said the Tigers aren’t afraid of physical teams.

  “We ain’t shy,” he said.

  Leonard has won its playoff games by scores of 43-36 over Edgewood, 35-21 over Blooming Grove and 55-44 over S&S Consolidated.

  Leonard avenged a 19-16 district loss to S&S with the playoff win on Saturday in Allen. Quarterback Justin Bennett threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns against S&S, while Dylan Monck scored four touchdowns and running back Solomon Titus rushed for 125 yards. Titus has topped the 2,300-yard rushing mark for the season.

  KXEZ-FM (92.1) will broadcast the game live.