Last week, Leeds capped off a perfect 10-0 regular season, its second in three years by beating Moody 49-13 in what is called the Battle of the Bridge.
Leeds scored the first three times they had the ball and never looked back. They now prepare for their second season — the state playoffs.
Ladarius Rodgers scored the first Leeds touchdown the second time he touched the ball on a 28-yard run. Keaton Glass was true on the first of seven extra points on the night as the Green Wave was on top 7-0 with 6:15 left in the first quarter.
The next Leeds drive covered 24 yards in two plays, with Dantrell Purifoy scoring on a 24-yard run to make it 14-0 after the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Dedrick Forsythe was not going to be denied as he broke several tackles and bulled his way into the end zone, a touchdown that covered 25 yards. That made it 21-0 with 11:47 remaining before halftime.
Following a Moody punt, Leeds took over at its own 46-yard line and drove to the Blue Devil 28 but fumbled the ball and Darian Lee recovered for Moody.
The Blue Devils did drive to the Leeds 30, but a holding penalty and a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the 45. Facing fourth down and 25, Moody punted. Jonathan Rose gathered in the punt at his own 10 and he didn’t stop until 90 yards later as he scored a touchdown to make the halftime score 28-0.
Moody had six first-half possessions that resulted in five punts and had the ball as the first half ended. They had three first downs and 42 total yards.
Leeds finished the first half with eight first downs and 163 total yards.
The Green Wave took the second-half kickoff and marched 48 yards in just three plays. The touchdown came on a 12-yard run by Purifoy to make it 35-0 with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
The first two times Moody had the ball in the second half, they were forced to punt, the sixth and seventh punts of the game for them.
With 4:05 remaining in the third quarter, Forsythe scored his second touchdown of the game on a 23-yard run to make it 42-0.
Moody finally got on the scoreboard as they drove 65 yards in six plays. The touchdown came on a 12-yard run by Justin Ulmer with 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was 42-6 headed into the fourth quarter.
Three plays into the fourth quarter, Ulmer intercepted a Shane McGinnis pass, but a few plays later, they had to punt and the Blue Devils downed the punt at the Leeds 2 yard line.
On the very next play, Forsythe fumbled and Perry Best recovered at the Leeds 7.
Three plays later, Heath McGuff scored on a 3-yard run. The PAT by Ramon Delfin was good to make the score 42-13 with 6:39 remaining in the game.
It did not take Leeds long to answer as Forsythe ran the ensuing kick-off back 90 yards to the Moody 5 yard line. On the next play, Derious Mitchell scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 49-13 with 6:09 remaining in the game.
The rest of the contest was filled with personal fouls, pushing and shoving and a lot of jawing back and forth between players from both teams.
It got so bad that Leeds head coach Keith Etheredge ordered his players to go straight to the
locker room after the game and not shake hands with the Moody players.
“I got sick watching our kids get hit late and after watching the film, we were hit late all night,” Etheredge said. “Our kids reacted to some late hits. I got permission from our principal to go straight to the locker room after the game to avoid anything bad happening. It’s not that we did not want to shake their hands. We still have the playoffs left, and I know Moody’s kids are frustrated. I want this to be a good clean rivalry. I know coach David Standford real well, and he is a great guy and a class act.”
Standford said it was extremely unfortunate that things turned out the way they did toward the end of the game.
“I was disappointed that we had some kids who did not act right,” Standford said. “I was also disappointed that we had some coaches who did not act right. We showed no character. I have a lot of respect for Keith Etheredge and have known him since we were in high school. I don’t blame him for taking his kids straight to the locker room. I wish Leeds the best of luck in the state playoffs.”
In the first round of the playoffs, Leeds will host Greensboro, which is 6-4 and finished fourth in its region.
“It’s a great feeling to finish the season undefeated and be in the playoffs,” Etheredge said. “We’ve played well all season. It has come down to a five-game season. You lose one and you’re done. You go home. We want to remain perfect and win a state championship.”
Etheredge said Greensboro is very athletic. They play well and do not turn the ball over.
“They are very dangerous on special teams,” Etheredge said. “They can return punts and kick-offs for touchdowns. We will have to execute.”
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.