ScoutSouth.com: Lanett vs. Leroy "Book" It

The undefeated Panthers of Lanett will head out of the den on Friday and hope to find the Leroy Bears hibernating early in a 2A third round playoff match up that leaves high school football fans with more than just a game on the Plains to look forward to this weekend.



Lanett defeated the one loss team of Wicksburg in the second round of the playoffs. They did it handily, 47-19. Jawann Booker is the MVP of this game. He scored on a 65-yard punt return and a 70-yard punt return. The 6-0, 175-pound receiver and cornerback caught three passes for a total of 55 yards. Each one for a touchdown. That is five scores if you are keeping count.

Leroy has lost only once this season in a game that Coach Danny Powell knew full well did not mean a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. They lost to 1A Sweet Water mid-season, but it was well known Leroy had some banged up players. He saw the week as a chance to get them healthy and ready for the next week's region game.

Lanett has gone through the season beautifully. We caught Coach Sikes at practice on Wednesday and with some lopsided wins of late we asked if he thought his team was coming into this game about as healthy as he would want to be.

The answer was succinct and in typical Coach Sikes fashion to the point. "That's right."

This is the biggest challenge for Lanett this year. "Without a doubt," Sikes said. "They compare with Valley (5A) from the first game."

The Panthers won that match up 24-21.

Leroy comes in with a powerful quarterback in Clint Moseley.

The junior is 6-4, 200-pounds and boasts a 3.9 GPA.

Receivers Patrick Rivers and Johnny Williams each caught a pass from him last week. Rivers went 79 yards for a touchdown, and Williams' only reception was an 84-yard touchdown strike.

Stephen Scoggins caught two touchdown passes. Michael Bracy rushed for two scores.

The Bears defeated a good Pickens County squad 52-26.

Moseley completed 10-of-18 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns.

"We cannot let him (Moseley) set his feet," Sikes said. "We've got to put pressure on the quarterback and not let him have big plays."

Standout linebacker LaManski Ware will bear part of that burden. The talented senior already holds an offer from Jacksonville State with Middle Tennessee on the cusp of an offer. Ware is also hearing from Ivy League schools.

You will see Ware play offensively at tight end, but watch him play defense. He is one of the hardest hitters in the state. He will get you up high and you will have a very difficult time getting away from him.

Senior quarterback LeMarcus Wright completed 12-of-19 passing attempts for 177 yards and four touchdowns.

Wright is closing in on 2,000 yards passing for his senior season. He is also one of the three ASWA finalists for 2A Back of the Year.

His competition? He will see him Friday night, Clint Moseley. The third finalist is Dewayne Whitten from undefeated Cottonwood. He is also in action Friday night against American Christian.

If Sikes' squad can manage to stop Moseley it is quiet simple what the rest of the equation is. "We've got to be able to move the ball both on the ground and in the air," he said.

Leroy will host this game, and we asked Coach Sikes about the travel and practice plans.

"It never is good, but we've got to deal with it," Sikes said. "We will leave around 11:00 A.M. Friday (235 mile trip). We're practicing now (Wednesday), then we will go through a little run through Friday morning before we leave. We are not practicing tomorrow, Thanksgiving."

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