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|Rebels open at Leesville|
After three consecutive weeks of shutouts by the West Monroe starting defense, things get going for real this week with a trip to Class 4A Leesville to begin the 2009 regular season.
West Monroe slammed Franklin Parish 20-0 and Bastrop 24-0 before beating the Rayville Hornets 23-0 in the second game of the St. Francis Bayou Jamb played at ULM's Malone Stadium on Saturday.
Still with all of the preseason success on the field, the Rebels are hard at work to get better this week.
"There was some good, some bad, and some ugly," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "Defensively, I did not think we played as good as we did last week (against Bastrop and Alexandria)."
West Monroe scored early in the game and often scored in just a few plays on each drive.
The offensive line will be the main focus in improving the offensive proficiency for the first regular season game this Friday at 7 p.m.
"We have some things to fix on the offensive line," Shows said. "Especially in pass protection. On defense, Jerry (Arledge) and them will want to do a better job of going three plays and getting the ball back."
Even without a point on the scoreboard, Rayville was able to complete a few long pass plays and move the ball into Rebel territory before stalling out short of the endzone.
Leesville is led this year by a new head coach in veteran David Feaster.
The team returns just six starters from a team that was walloped by West Monroe to open the season last year and now must replace the top two rushers from last season.
Levander Liggins will be rotating between quarterback and running back. Travante Stallworth (quarterback) and Michael Ford (running back) rushed the Wampus Cats to a 10-3 record last year and now have moved on to Auburn and LSU, respectively.
Jeron Hamm, a 6-4 reliever who had two touchdown catches as a junior has been the top receiver in each preseason meeting the Leesville team has played so far.
Leesville is coming into the game following a 42-13 scrimmage loss to Captain Shreve and a jamboree game against the LaGrange Gators of Lake Charles.