Squeaker: Lee County edges Bainbridge, 28-27, in final minutes

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

BAINBRIDGE -- Lee County survived, 28-27, against Bainbridge on Friday night when Bainbridge gambled and lost as Steven Bench's two-point conversion pass fell just short with 1:04 left in the game.

Instead of kicking an extra point to send the game into overtime, Bainbridge, which had just scored on Bench's 51-yard TD pass to Quincy Fortson, went for two points and the win.

"We broke the pass up,'' said an elated Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio, whose team locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 2005 in just Fabrizio's second season as coach.

That's what Friday night's victory means for Lee County (7-2 and 5-2 in Region 1-AAAA), which has only had six winning seasons in its history.

"It was a big win, because we clinched a playoff and in this region that's a big accomplishment, '' Fabrizio said. "At the start of the season, everyone picked us to finish last in the region, so for us to make the playoffs, I couldn't be prouder of our kids.''

Nothing comes easy for the Trojans, who trailed 14-0 at halftime, and took their final lead when Denzel Eckles, who had more than 100 yards combined rushing and receiving, made two huge plays on the winning drive.

Facing a second and 28, Justin Walker hit Eckles with a first-down pass to keep the drive alive, and then Eckles scored on a 9-yard run with 1:18 left to give Lee a 27-21 lead. Mike Bacon kicked the biggest extra point of his life to make it a 28-21 game.

Walker completed 27-of-45 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns -- both to James Terrell, who finished with eight receptions for 74 yards. He also ran for a 10-yard TD to get Lee County on the board.

Bainbridge took a 7-0 lead on Jamario Brown's 3-yard run, and went up 14-0 when Bench, who also punts, faked a putnt on a fourth-and-17 play and hit Shawn Samuels with a 39-yard TD pass.

Bainbridge fell to 1-5 in Region 1-AAAA and 3-6 overall.


Bainbridge Post Searchlight sports editor Joe Crine and Herald sports writer Mike Phillips contributed to this report