By Bobby Mathews, sports editor
LEEDS — The team that wins the game of the week should be the team of the week, right?
For those not paying attention, the biggest game of the week was fourth-ranked Leeds vs. undefeated upstart Moody in the Battle of the Bridge.
It didn’t matter that this Moody team was 3-0 for the first time since 1996. It didn’t matter that the Blue Devils went up early — a 35-yard strike from A.J. Wallace found Davion Dozier for a score on just the third play of the game — Leeds just continued to do what it’s done all season long: the Green Wave played team football and relied on its physicality to outlast its opponent.
They never got down on themselves. Even when Wallace racked up 342 combined yards from his quarterback position, the defense rose up and only allowed 19 points.
Every member of the Leeds team deserves recognition, from junior quarterback Jarod Latta to senior running back Rametrius Yelverton to the stalwart offensive line that opened holes all night for Yelverton and Jeremiah Hunter and Devonte Megginson.
The Green Wave didn’t punt in the entire first half. In fact, they would only need to punt once for the entire game.
The defensive line created havoc for much of the night for Leeds, with Kavion Henderson, Cody Saulisbury andTucker Summers limiting the Blue Devils running attack while C.J. Douglas, Demarion Keenan and Tanner Chambers patrolled the defensive backfield.
The Leeds defense played incredibly well. While Wallace was a factor, the rest of the Blue Devils team was held to only three yards of total offense.
That’s not a misprint.
But this game, no matter how the final score looks, is not a tale of dominance. It’s a story that the city of Leeds itself can relate to. It’s about toughness, and grit, and determination, and what someone does in gut-check time.
After a scoreless third quarter and clinging to a 26-13 lead, the Green Wave gave up an 80-yard touchdown drive. With 9 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils scored to make it 26-19. Down by only 7, Moody might have thought it had momentum.
Instead, Hunter iced the game on Leeds’ next possession with a 56-yard run for a score. The Green Wave vanquished their upstart foes and are The Tribune’s Team of the Week.
The Tribune Team of the Week is sponsored by Courtesy GMC.