Lee County stays on top of scrambled Fab 5 Poll

Lee County QB Stephen Collier and the Herald No. 1 Trojans will have their toughest game of the season Friday against TCC.

Lee County QB Stephen Collier and the Herald No. 1 Trojans will have their toughest game of the season Friday against TCC.

Fab 5 Poll

  1. Lee County.......(6-0)

The Trojans are coming off a bye week and stay at No. 1 with a perfect record, but they face the biggest test of the season Friday night at home against state-ranked TCC.

Next: vs. TCC, 7:30 p.m., Friday

2. Westover..........(3-3)

The Patriots are playing as well as anyone in the poll right now and make the big leap to No. 2 after both previous No. 2 Bainbridge and No. 3 Americus-Sumter lost last week.

Next: at Americus-Sumter, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

3. Monroe.............(4-2)

The Nadas are back in the poll with some punch after knocking off No. 3 Americus-Sumter, 27-13, and now have a chance to win the Region 1-AAAA title.

Next: vs. Dougherty, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

4. Bainbridge.......(3-3)

The Bearcats lost their second heartbreaker in a row last week, falling to Harris County, 21-17, and dropping from No. 2 to No. 4.

Next vs. Hardaway, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

5. Early County...(4-2)

The Bobcats were off last week but lose ground to Westover and Monroe, which both moved up after impressive wins.

Next: vs. Thomasville, 8 p.m. Friday.

ALBANY — Lee County stayed perfect at 6-0 with a bye last week and stays atop The Herald Fab 5 Poll.

Everything else changed.

The Fab 5 Poll saw its biggest shakeup of the season as Bainbridge lost its second game in a row — a tough 21-17 defeat at the hands of Harris County -- and falls from No. 2 to No. 4, and previously No. 3 Americus-Sumter, which had won three in a row, falls out of the poll after losing to Monroe at home, 27-13.

Westover makes the biggest jump, moving from No. 5 to No. 2 in the poll. The Patriots have played a brutal schedule but are playing as well as anyone in the poll as of late.

They knocked Monroe out of the No. 1 spot to open Region 1-AAAA play three weeks ago and had an impressive win on the road at Crisp County last week. Their 31-7 loss to Cairo on the road was a much closer game than the score indicates. It was a close game until Cairo ran back two interceptions for touchdowns in the second half.

Westover will get the chance to prove it belongs this week when the Patriots travel to Americus-Sumter for a critical Region 1-AAAA game. Americus-Sumter can climb right back into the poll with a win on Friday. Americus-Sumter had been rolling past opponents and had scored 107 points during a three-game winning streak before Monroe held the Panthers to just 13 points.

Westover (2-1 in Region 1-AAAA) has to win Friday to keep its hopes for a region title alive, and Americus-Sumter (2-1 in Region 1-AAAA) can stay in the hunt for a region title with a win against Westover. That’s how big Friday’s showdown is to both teams. The loser will have two losses with three games left and would be all but out of the title chase.

Monroe, which started the season at No. 1 in the poll but was knocked out when Westover edged the Tornadoes, 17-14, to open Region 1-AAAA play last month, is back. The Nadas jump all the way to No. 3 after handling Americus-Sumter, which scored late in the game to make the final 27-13.

Monroe has homecoming this week at Hugh Mills Stadium against city and region rival Dougherty and is in position to win the Region 1-AAAA title. If Americus beats Westover, and Monroe keeps winning, the title will come down to a Nov. 2 showdown with three-time defending region champ Cairo, which is still unbeaten in the region but faces Americus on the road in two weeks.

If Westover beats Americus and runs the table, the Patriots will have cheer for Americus to beat Cairo in two weeks and for Monroe (you gotta love that irony) to beat Cairo in order to win the Region 1-AAAA title. In that scenario, Westover and Monroe would finish with one loss in the region, but Westover’s 17-14 win against Monroe to open the region season would give the Patriots the tiebreaker and the first region title in the school’s history.

Stay tuned.

Bainbridge slipped to No. 4 this week after suffering its second loss in a row, but stays ahead of Early County, because the Bearcats beat Early, 14-12, earlier this season.

Early County had a bye last week but plays Thomasville at home Friday in a big Region 1-AA game as everyone is fighting for a playoff spot behind Brooks County, which stayed unbeaten with a big win against Fitzgerald in a battle between two of the top AA teams in Georgia.

Brooks County, Fitzgerald, Cairo and Thomasville are not eligible for the poll because those schools are outside The Herald’s coverage area.