"Leopards’ stingy defense helps them slip past Wheatley" by: John Hoffman

   VAN VLECK – The Van Vleck Leopards used a stingy defense and timely offensive plays to defeat the Wheatley Wildcats 21-6 here Friday night, Sept. 7.
   With the win, Van Vleck moves to 2-0 on the season.
   “I was happy to get the win after a wild week,” said Leopard Head Coach Robert Blackmon. 
   “We didn’t get much practice in due to the holiday and weather, and it showed at times. But the kids held up and stayed after it, especially in the second half. It just proves how important practice is,” Blackmon commented.
   The Leopards wasted no time breaking in their new upgraded stadium by scoring on their first drive. 
   Van Vleck took the opening kickoff from their own 27-yard line and went to work. 
   Leopard running back De’Mitri Monroe got the bulk of the carries, busting off a 36-yard run to set Van Vleck up at the Wildcat 5-yard line. Monroe would take it up the middle on the next play for the score. 
   Brandon Burnett booted the PAT, and Van Vleck was up 7-0 with 9 minutes left in the first quarter.
   The Van Vleck special teams stepped up on the ensuing kickoff as Travis Koliba jumped on a Wheatley fumble to give the Leopards’ possession.
   The Leopards set up shop at the Wildcat 37, but stalled at the 22-yard line and penalties pushed the Leopards back from there. 
   On third down from the 45, quarterback Cameron Hudson was hit from behind and fumbled, recovered by the Wildcats to end the Leopard scoring threat.
   Wheatley took the turnover and turned it into their only points of the night. 
   Wildcat quarterback Gervon Livingston led the Wheatley offense down the field with nifty running and timely passing. 
   Running back Fabian Willis capped off the 6-play, 41-yard drive, by taking it in from 9 yards out. 
   The Wildcats missed the two-point conversion, keeping Van Vleck in the lead at 7-6.
   Van Vleck found the rest of the first half tough to complete a consistent drive. Every time the Leopards made a big play, they would find a yellow flag laying on the grass to cancel the play and bring the offense back. 

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