The Leroy Mystery

A 6-4, 200-pound two-time state champion, MVP quarterback and 2A Back of the Year is on a path to his third championship with an undefeated senior season. The senior has a 38-3 record over the last three years as a starter.

Career passing yards of 7,551, including his senior season with 2,761 yards on 142 completions in 210 attempts scoring 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He's rushed for 514 yards on 83 carries with another 11 scores. He also carries a 3.9 GPA. He also kicks the extra points after he scores.

The only thing ASWA All-State Clint Moseley doesn't do is clean the stadium on Saturday morning. What qualities could big time college programs possibly look for that Leroy's quarterback does not possess?

"I don't know," Coach Danny Powell said. "We can't figure it out. We are getting a little interest from time to time, back and forth. Auburn called last week and requested more tape and wanted him to come up, but I just don't know."

"I think part of it is that some of them were just getting one quarterback. They have gotten them early while some of them are still showing interest, but not near what we think it should be. I don't know what more they could want him to do. He is the total package."

"He runs well. He throws well. He could have a lot more running yards if we hadn't beaten some teams badly and actually needed him to run. His passing numbers are great, and like I say the biggest thing--he's just been a winner, always."

The senior has offers from South Alabama, UAB, Jacksonville state and Arkansas State. Somebody is going to get away with a big "get" when they pick up this winner's signature in February.

Coach Powell was in no frame of mind to be melancholy about this the last season the Bears will have the quarterback's services.

"Right now we are just concerned about him and the rest of them going out on a big note," he said.

Moseley has connected with seven different receivers for touchdowns including senior Aerick Davis (5-11, 185) with 44 receptions for 813 yards (18 yd. avg.) and 10 touchdowns.

Senior Steven Scoggins (5-11, 185) has hauled in eight touchdowns on his 36 catches for 765 yards (21 yd. avg.).

Junior Phillip Ervin (5-11, 180) has 597 yards on 33 catches with six touchdowns.

A bright spot for Leroy's future is sophomore receiver Sammy Coates (6-3, 175) who has caught 16 passes for 434 yards and four touchdowns for a 27-yard average per catch.

Running back Michael Bracey (5-10, 170) has 875 yards on 74 carries with 15 touchdowns, and sophomore Justin Besteda (5-6, 155) has 333 yards on 37 carries with four touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Josh Ervin (6-0, 210) has led the team in tackles the last two seasons.

We asked Coach Powell about the season, and the expectations after winning two consecutive championships.

"We have a lot of seniors, 18 seniors," Powell said. "We have high expectations and with that comes a little bit of pressure, but you put some of that on yourself. We're kind of used to playing that way."

"As a whole we have great kids that come through here and that enable us to have successful programs in all our sports and that comes from good family backgrounds, good family values."

We asked Coach Powell about his players not wanting to let him down.

"I don't want them trying to not disappoint me," Powell answered. "But they have a responsibility to live up to the community, to the school and to each other's expectations as well as mine. We just try to get all of them to play their best and be the best they can be."

"We've got a little motto ‘be a better person, be a better player'. There are a lot of expectations here, and they know it's there. It is pressure, but it also gives them something to shoot for and gives them great goals. They know that it can be achieved. We just have to go out there and give it our best effort and see where it goes from there."

The seniors lost to 1A State Champion Sweet Water two consecutive years, 2006 and 2007, and when the game was moved from mid-season to the end of the season in 2008, it became important to not only defeat a rival but to get into the playoffs with a winning surge. The Bears accomplished that goal with a 28-21 victory.

"It was a big win," Powell said. "They've got a great program up there. [Coach] Stacy Luker does a great job, and we were a little disappointed in our performances against them the last couple of years. That's not taking anything away from them because they have had great teams, but it's just been a hump we hadn't been able to get over."

"That game was what high school football is all about. There were over 3,500 in paid attendance. The kids really played hard and performed well. The game went back and forth and never got more than a seven-point difference. It was just a well-played game, no late hits, no personal foul penalties. In fact, there were very few penalties of any kind. Just a really great high school football game."

Leroy defeated Elba last week 47-21 in the first round of the playoffs. Coach Scott Rials' Tigers started off with a 3-0 record this season, but things just didn't go there way this year.

"We felt like they were one of the best teams in Region 2," Powell said. "They finished fourth due to some injuries in the middle of the season, and we felt like they lost a couple of games that they probably would not have lost had they been healthy."

"They beat the region winner (Barbour County) 48-13, so they made a pretty strong statement early on. They climbed up as high as number five in the polls, and then they had some key injuries that took a lot away from them. They had a good football team, and they had gotten a lot of the kids back last week. They came in here on a three game winning streak. They were playing well."

Next up for Leroy is the Region 2 second-seed, Houston Academy (8-2).

"They primarily run the football, and they do a good job of it," Powell emphasized. "They've got a big offensive line. They are a veteran club and with a good running back, Andrew Dauphin (5-11, 185 Jr.) that had been hurt and out for a couple of games. He rushed for over 200 yards against Flomaton last week, so they are going to be quiet a challenge for us."

Big is a good word to describe the Raiders' senior offensive tackle Josh Williford. The LSU commitment stands 6-7 and weighs in at 345 pounds. He was an All-State first team selection for his junior season.

Josh Williford

Leroy will have that 12th man when they lineup in their own stadium this week.

"Home field is pretty big for us," Powell said. "We have a great fan base that really turns out. Although we do travel well, but for the players we don't have to get out of our routine. We don't have to get out of school early, be on the bus three-four hours. It is a good trip over to Houston Academy, we've made it several times in the past, football and baseball and it takes you out of your routine."

"This time of year that is part of it. Playing at home and being settled, keeping our routine is definitely huge for us. We'll have a good turnout to support us."

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