Emanuel Davis had a breakout game for Monroe on Friday, despite the loss to Cairo.
LEESBURG — It was Senior Night at Lee County, where the Trojans played their last home game of the year.
It was one to remember.
They put up a school record 70 points and drubbed Northside Columbus 70-19 to clinch a playoff berth on a night when everybody played and nine different players carried the ball.
”It was probably the last game for our seniors at home and they went out on a good note,’’ Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio said. “This senior class has done a lot for this program.’’
Dynamite Dozen tailback Kenneth Hurley had only five carries (57 yards) and had three receptions for 139 yards and two TDs before sitting down after halftime.
QB Stephen Collier completed 8-of-9 passes for 177 yards and three TDs, and rushed for 24 yards on two carries and scored on both of them. Matt Mears completed 5-of-9 passes for 137 yards and two TDs, and he also ran for a touchdown.
Lee racked up 647 yards of offense, and it was a pretty good split: 333 on the ground and 313 in the air.
Lee County (7-2 for the season and 2-2 in Region 1-AAAAA) is in the playoffs, and plays at Bainbridge next week. The winner will be the No. 3 seed out of the region and the loser will be No. 4.
”This win clinches a playoff berth for us,’’ Fabrizio said. ‘It was one of our goals in the summer. We made the playoffs two years ago and missed it last year, so we wanted to get back to the playoffs. It’s a real good accomplishment. We hope we have a lot of football left to play.’’
Northside Columbus fell to 0-4 in the region and 6-2-1 overall.
MONROE FINDS NEW WEAPON IN LOSS: Even in defeat, Monroe found yet another weapon on Friday night.
Herald Dynamite Dozen quarterback Charles Stafford completed 25 of 39 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for a 2-yard TD in a 28-20 loss to Cairo.
But Stafford found a new target in Emanuel Davis, who made nine receptions for 123 yards. His favorite target, Kevin Williams had eight catches for 107 yards, and both Davis and Williams caught TD passes.
Davis actually caught back-to-back passes to score his touchdown. He had a 20-yard catch to move the ball from the Cairo 40 to the 20, and then on the next play, Davis caught a 20-yard TD pass to help Monroe come back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to close to within eight points.
“Yes, it was my best game,” said Davis a junior. “We made too many mistakes and they capitalized on our mistakes and that’s what hurt us. We got too far behind. We need to learn from our mistakes. We will go back to practice and get better.’’
Davis’ emergence as a threat comes on the brink of the playoffs, which begin in two weeks. Monroe will likely be the No. 3 seed out of Region 1-AAAA and be on the road. Monroe can nail down the No. 3 seed with a win against Worth County on Friday. Worth (3-3) could force a tie with Monroe (4-2) with a win, and the Rams would take the No. 3 seed because the first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition. In that scenario, Monroe would enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
If Worth County loses and Americus-Sumter beats Crisp County on Friday, then Worth and Americus would finish with 3-4 records in the region in a tie for the final playoff spot. Americus-Sumter beat Worth, 40-14, on September 28 and would win the tiebreaker. .
WESTWOOD 48, TERRELL ACADEMY 30: The Wildcats closed out the regular season with an easy win against its rival thanks to two rushing scores from Mitch Good, two more from Chason Worsham, one from J.T. Edore and one from Dylan Smith.
Westwood (8-2, 4-1), the two-time defending state champ, finishes second in the region behind Valwood and will host the first round of state next week against Briarwood.
No final stats from Terrell Academy were available.
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN 35, FIRST PRESBYTERIAN 14: Matt Kendrick rushed for 286 yards on 30 carries and scored twice, while Logan Eubanks, Trey Goree and Blake Lamb each found the end zone and the Patriots (5-4, 2-2) set up a showdown for either the No. 3 or 4 seed next week against Crisp Academy.
Owen Deal, Drew Weathersby and Shaad Johnson led the way on defense.
EARLY COUNTY 41, PELHAM 20: The Bobcats crushed the Hornets on Friday to lock up a spot in the state playoffs thanks to Ladonis Bryant’s 75-punt return for a TD that swung the momentum early in the Bobcats’ favor. Bryant added a 5-yard rushing score and Jacori Taylor found Laron Randall from 38 yards out and Jatvius Lyles from 43 yards away. Antonio Jackson returned an errant Pelham pass 53 yards for a score and Early’s scoring was capped in the fourth quarter by Tyrek Lyles with a 12-yard run.
Pelham got scores from C.J. Drake (int. return), Clifford Stewart (37-yard pass from Jimmy Fackler) and Jonathan Brown (10-yard run).
Early (6-3, 3-2) will close out the regular season next week against Cook to decide the No. 3 and 4 seeds in the state playoffs, while Pelham (1-8, 0-5) will finish at Thomasville.
VALWOOD 48, SGA 7: Will Warren’s two-yard touchdown run provided the only highlight for the Warriors on Friday as the Valiants clinched the GISA Region 2-AA title, while SGA settles for No. 3 seed when the state playoffs open next week. The Warriors will travel to face Gatewood in the first round.
TERRELL COUNTY 44, STEWART COUNTY 6: The Greenwave (4-5, 2-3) cruised to another region win Friday nigh, as they rolled over visiting Stewart County as Jerkerious Scott led the way with three rushing touchdowns. The Greenwave next play host to Randolph-Clay next weekend in their regular-season finale.
RANDOLPH-CLAY 20, CALHOUN COUNTY 18: Cornelius Bennett and Don Bolden combined for 46 carries, 243 yards and three touchdowns between them in the victory. The Cougars actually drove the ball to the red zone with time winding down, but a contested pass was ruled out of bounds as time expired, giving the Red Devils a much-needed region win. Bennett led the way with 32 carries, 173 yards and two touchdowns, while Don Bolden added 70 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Randolph-Clay travels to Dawson to take on Terrell County in its regular-season finale, while Calhoun County (1-8, 0-5) will close out its disappointing year at Stewart County.
CRISP COUNTY 21, ALBANY HIGH 6: Thanks to a few crucial Indian turnovers, the Cougars (2-7, 2-4) broke into the win column for their second victory of the season in a 21-6 stunner Friday night. Though Crisp held a shaky 14-6 lead at the half, two Emanuel Byrd interceptions killed their momentum. Whit Campbell hit Landon Whitman for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Albany (2-7, 1-4) answered with a Byrd sneak, but Campbell answered with a sneak of his own. The most crucial turnover of the game, however, was a blocked punt, which was recovered by Elijah Lee and returned for a touchdown to give the Cougars the lead for good. Crisp will travel to face Americus-Sumter next week, while Albany suits up against Westover as both teams close out their regular seasons. Neither will make the playoffs.
BAINBRIDGE 34, DOTHAN (ALA.) 7: In a non-region game, the Bearcats flexed their muscle in high-scoring Dothan team with multiple Division-1 prospects. Dothan’s Tremayne McCray led the way with 24 carries for 160 yards and two touchdowns, while Herald Dynamite Dozen selection Terry Lewis and Damian Buie shouldered the load. Lewis and Buie carried the ball for 78 and 49 yards, respectively, with Lewis adding two scores and Buie adding one of his own. The Bearcats’ defense held Dothan’s offense to a mere 140 total yards of offense. This win moves Bainbridge to 6-3 on the season and 2-2 in the region. They’ll host Lee County in the season finale next Friday night.
BROOKWOOD 40, SHERWOOD 19: Sherwood Christian’s playoff hopes came to an end Friday night at home at the hands of Brookwood, which beat the Eagles handily. Turnovers and missed opportunities crippled the offense all night long, and while Dalton Todd threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns, crucial mistakes like a fumble in the red zone and a failed onside kick proved to be too much for the Eagles’ offense to overcome. In a losing effort, Todd accounted for 387 total yards. Chandler Tabb caught 7 passes for 108 yards and a score. Eagles linebacker Kenny Brown added 14 tackles in the loss. Sherwood finishes the season 3-8 overall, 0-4 in the region.
BULLOCH 31, SOUTHLAND 6: The Raiders dropped to 6-4 overall and 1-3 in region play, and the lone score came from Andrew Alexander. Southland, which had hopes to win region when the season began, will close out the year at home against region champ and bitter rival Deerfield next week.
ROBERT TOOMBS 47, CRISP ACADEMY 14: The Wildcats’ lone highlights in the game were a Jake Smith 1-yard TD run and a Hunter Chambers 5 rushing score as Crisp fell to 2-2 in the region and will face Randolph Southern next week to decide the No. 3 and 4 seeds for the state playoffs.
WESTOVER 32, WORTH COUNTY 22: Zytavious Anderson finished with 122 yards rushing, Lavonte Robinson scored twice and Kyle Evans caught a TD pass from Eli Reddell in the losing effort for the Rams, who fell to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in Region 1-AAAA. The Rams just need to beat Monroe on Friday to get into the state playoffs.
No final stats for Westover were available.
Herald sports editor Danny Aller, along with staff sports writers Mike Phillips and Timothy Threadcraft, contributed to this report