LEONARD — In the opening game of the season, the Leonard Tigers took an early double-digit lead over the Community Braves, but the Braves reeled off 27 unanswered points to defeat the Tigers, 27-13, on Friday night.
The Tigers put together a 67-yard drive with a six yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Hart to Michael Shulze for a 7-0 lead with 7:49 remaining in the first quarter.
A few minutes later Hart connected with Chance Sanderson on a three-yard touchdown pass. The point-after failed, but Leonard led 13-0 in the middle of second period.
Hart led the Tigers with 11 carries for 95 yards and was 13-of-21 for 95 yards with the two scores and an interception. JJ Brian chipped in 48 yards on 10 carries and Shulze led Leonard with seven receptions for 37 yards.
With just seconds left in the half, Justin Ebarb took it in from the 14-yard line to get Community on the board and Leonard took that 13-7 advantage into the half.
The Braves took the lead when Colby Warren threw a touchdown pass to Justin Maxey.
Savon Mack scored from one-yard out early in the fourth quarter to end Community’s 61-yard drive for a 21-13 lead. Runs by Mack and the passing of Warren were instrumental in the drive.
Leonard looked like they were coming back in the fourth period but a fumbled stall the drive after Hart broke free on a 50-yard run.
With three minutes left in the contest, Community sealed the win with a 12-yard TD pass from Warren to Maxey and then recovered the ensuing kickoff to seal the victory.
Leonard will host Celeste this week.