The Gainesville Leopards let the game against Iowa Park get away from them Sept. 22.

To their credit, the Leopards regrouped and came back to make a contest of it. The Leopards, 1-3 on the season, fell 36-24 to the power-running Hawks.

“We let it get away a little bit,” Coach Matt Young said Wednesday morning. “When it got to be 14-6, we calmed down a little and got back into the game.”

Young stressed the purpose of non-district games is to get better. “We did that in the second half,” he said.

“The defense came back and played really well,” Young said. “At halftime, we challenged each other, the coaches and the players, to do better and get back into the game.”

Part of the problem was that punter and place kicker Casey Martin, who also starts at defensive back, suffered a concussion during the game.

“He (Martin) will be limited to punting and kicking duties the rest of the year,” Young said. “It’s the third concussion he has had. He had two in soccer last year.”

The Leopards coaching staff will choose between Da’Ron Calhoun, Trey Blaylock or Dante Goree to replace Martin.

Young said that Tyler Haywood, with two long touchdown receptions from quarterbacks Zach McFarlin and Collin Sikes, played well.

“Collin continues to make good decision at quarterback,” Young said.

Alex Overstreet, Jerome Franklin (who Young said was unblockable in the second half), Dawson Royal and DeShaun Franklin drew praise from the Leopards’ coach.

The Leopards are off this week. The travel to Abilene on Thursday to take on Wolfforth Frenship at 6 p.m. Oct. 5 at Shotwell Stadium.

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