BELLS — The Leonard Tigers’ defense held Bells to 91 total yards of offense, while the Tigers offense put up 48 points, to give Leonard a convincing 48-0 win over the Panthers.
Leonard opened the scoring with a 50-yard drive, which ended when Blake Hicks connected with Tyler “Turbo” Turner for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Ty McKinney’s kick gave Leonard a 7-0 lead.
Leonard next drove 66 yards, with Hicks stepping off the last five for a score. McKinney’s kick was true, and the Tigers led 14-0.
Justin Bennett intercepted a Bells pass and ran it back to the Panther 35-yard line. Four plays later Hicks plunged in from one yard. McKinney’s kick split the uprights, giving Leonard a 21-0 lead with 5:20 left in the half.
Starting at their 37, the Tigers next drove to the Panther 12-yard line. Hicks then threw a 12-yard aerial to Turner for a score. McKinney’s kick gave the Tigers a 28-0 lead at the half.
In the third period, Ryan Reid Nixon scored on runs of two yards and 18 yards, and McKinney converted his 13th straight on the season, improving Leonard’s lead to 42-0.
Early in the fourth quarter Bells drove to the Leonard 30 but was stopped on downs.
Nixon, who ended the night with 102 yards on six carries, finalized the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run with 8:31 left in the contest.
Dylan Monck and Richard Laster each contributed 60 yards rushing on four carries each.
Turner had four receptions for 70 yards on the night.
Leonard, 5-1-1, will host the Gunter Tigers next week for the probable District 7-2A championship.
Lone Oak 43,
LONE OAK — Defense provided the spark Lone Oak needed Friday night to get back into the win column.
The Buffaloes defeated the Quitman Bulldogs 43-8, improving their district record to 2-1.
Defense was a factor early, with both teams trading punts through almost the entire first quarter. Finally, at the 2:13 mark, Lone Oak sophomore Devin Shaw recovered a Bulldog fumble, setting the Buffs up on their own 22-yard line. Four plays later, Kyle Crow found Chawn Cooper on a 5-yard touchdown pass. Cody Hardin added the PAT.
On its final drive of the half, Quitman managed to gain 41 yards, but with 54 seconds left, an errant snap got away from Joel Cameron. This time, Lone Oak senior Ty Tolleson, who was out last week with an ankle injury, picked up the loose ball and returned it 84 yards for the score. Hardin split the uprights again as time ran out, making the halftime score 14-0.
After receiving the kickoff to start the second half, Crow led the Buffaloes on a 61-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tolleson..
On Quitman’s next possession, the Buffalo defense stepped up again when Ryan Basye picked off Cameron’s pass and returned it 50 yards to the Lone Oak 20-yard line. Crow then hit Kason Freelen on a 16-yard pass, setting himself up to score on the next play on a 4-yard keeper. Hardin nailed his fourth PAT in a row.
Tolleson finished with 128 yards of total offense, two touchdowns, and led the defense with 11 tackles. Cody Melton added seven tackles and a sack.