STARKVILLE — Leake Academy came into Starkville looking to bounce back after a defeat
to Jackson Academy last week, and after a competitive opening quarter the Rebels did just that.
Leake Academy outscored Starkville Academy 27-0 over the middle two quarters and rolled to a 48-17 win over the Volunteers on Friday night.
The Volunteers (1-2) got out to an early lead on a 40-yard touchdown strike from Randall Futral to Brady Johnson, but Leake did not waste any time getting even. After a fourth-down pass to Aiden Watkins set up first-and-goal, Whitt Welch scored on a 4-yard touchdown run for the Rebels.
Starkville Academy replied with a 42-yard field goal from John Dillon Miller, but that was the last time the home team would put anything on the scoreboard until garbage time.
On the next Leake possession, quarterback Rhett Atkinson’s 52-yard scramble set up first-and-goal, leading to a 2-yard touchdown run by Canon Parks for a 14-10 Rebels lead.
After Leake (3-1) took over on downs, Atkinson hit Gavin White for a 51-yard touchdown strike. Defensive back Jackson Freeny intercepted Futral on the ensuing possession and returned it to Starkville Academy’s 2-yard line. Atkinson scored easily on a keeper to give the Rebels an 18-point lead.
Starkville Academy went three-and-out on the next possession, and after a bad snap sailed over the punter’s head, Leake took over at the Volunteers’ 11. Moments later, Welch scored his second touchdown of the game.
Starkville Academy had some momentum going on the next drive, but it was quickly brought to a halt when running back Cole Owens went down with an injury. By the time he returned, the Volunteers trailed 35-10.
Starkville Academy had a chance to get back in it after Porter Skelton recovered a fumble in Leake territory, but Freeny grabbed his second interception of the game and returned all the way for a touchdown.
Starkville Academy went three-and-out again, and again Leake Academy scored on the following drive. Keeping the ball on the ground, the Rebels scored on another TD run by Parks.
Starkville Academy finally got back on the scoreboard late when Futral hit Wyatt Buice on a fourth-and-16 pass.
Futral was under constant pressure and was forced to get rid of the ball consistently by Leake defenders. The Volunteers will look to rebound Friday when they travel to French Camp Academy.