HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Leander falls to Weiss in regular-season opener

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Leander started the first game of the season well on Thursday night. The Lions played to their strengths the rest of the game, but it wasn't as smooth as first-year coach Kris Price would've liked.

Leander lost 23-14 to Weiss in the regular-season opener Thursday night at Bible Stadium. It was the first-ever varsity win for the Wolves, who are just starting their second full year as a program.

"A lot of things that happened tonight were self-inflicted wounds," Price said. "Too many penalties and some bad decisions on our part. When those kinds of things happen, it's going to put you in a position to not be successful. Those are the things we need to clean up."

Leander junior quarterback Garrett Landry finished 13-of-20 passing for 124 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Senior Xavier Dotson had 13 carries for 48 yards and one reception, a 30-yard touchdown catch.

Sophomore Aidan Perrott had four carries for 22 yards and a touchdown as well as three receptions for 24 yards for the Lions. Senior receiver Keon Leonard caught five passes for 26 yards.

Defensively, senior Evan Smith had a fumble recovery for the Lions.

Leander was incredibly efficient on its first two drives of the game.

The Lions went just over half the field and scored on a 30-yard pass from Landry to Dotson on their first drive. The senior running back caught the pass from the backfield, made a nice cut to shake off a Weiss defender and sprint to the end zone.

"We started pretty fast," Price said. "Everybody had a good idea of what the game plan was."

The Leander defense, meanwhile, forced Weiss to go three-and-out on both of their first-half possessions.

The Wolves got a sustained drive to end the first quarter and found the end zone with a one-yard rush by Devin Cross. They took advantage of their first turnover of the game and scored to take the lead just before the half.

Landry connected with Will Loofe for a 27-yard pass on fourth down to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Perrott that cut the lead to just three points in the second half. But Weiss speedster Tavian Cord got behind the Leander secondary to score a 61-yard touchdown just two plays later.

"I was happy with the way the kids fought," Price said. "Defensively, there were several times that (Weiss) was inside the red zone. We did great fighting towards the end. Offensively, there was a lot of new stuff we threw at them and made some timely plays."

Price said his first game as a head coach was a great experience and it was great to see his team execute in all three phases after working so hard on it before the game kicked off on Thursday.

Leander wraps up non-district play next week when the Lions take on Pflugerville Thursday night at The Pfield. They begin the District 13-6A season on Sept. 13 against Stony Point at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.

"We're just focused on ourselves," Price said. "We've got to understand that the game gets a lot harder when you have penalties and you make those kinds of mistakes. If we can correct those things, I think we'll be ok."

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