Westover’s Kel Miller tries to shake off a tackle from Dougherty’s Jared Kiser on Friday night in the Patriots’ 41-32 victory.
Fab 5 Poll
1. Lee County.......(6-2)
The Trojans, who have lost their last two games by a total of 10 points, fell to Harris County in the final seconds, 35-31.
Next: vs. Northside Columbus, 7:30 p.m., Friday
The Patriots hung on to beat Dougherty, 41-32, and must win out and hope Monroe beats Cairo in a high-scoring game to have a chance at a Region 1-AAAA title.
Next: at Worth County, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
The Nadas gave up just one first down in a 28-0 shutout against Crisp and now play the biggest game of the year in a showdown with Cairo that will likely decide the region title — one way or the other.
Next: vs. Cairo, 7:30 p.m., Friday
The Bearcats beat up Northside Columbus, 48-7, and play Dothan, Ala., before the big finale at home against Lee County.
Next: vs. Dothan, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
5. Early County...(5-3)
The Bobcats lost a heartbreaker on a missed field goal to state-ranked Fitzgerald, 17-14, and must bounce back quickly.
Next: vs. Pelham, 8 p.m., Friday.
ALBANY — It was a brutal week for the top and bottom of the Herald’s Fab 5 Poll, where No. 1 Lee County lost, 35-31, on the road to Harris County, which scored with 40 seconds left. The Trojans drove to the Harris 29 in the closing seconds before the final pass of the night fell incomplete in the end zone.
The bottom of the poll was just as painful as No. 5 Early County played state-ranked Fitzgerald on the road about as tough as anyone before losing, 17-14. Early had a chance to tie the score but missed a field goal attempt by about a foot as time expired.
Lee County (6-2) has now lost two Region 1-AAAAA games in a row by a total of 10 points but stays atop the poll based on the degree of difficulty in the schedule.
The Trojans probably lost their chance at playing host in the opening round of the playoffs when they fell to Harris, and they need to nail down a playoff berth with a win against Northside Columbus at home on Friday.
It’s Senior Night, and it looks like the last home game of the year for Lee, so it should be packed for a farewell to one of the best Lee County teams in the school’s history.
Westover (5-3) hung on to beat Dougherty, 41-32, in a game that showed have far the Trojans from the East Side have come this season.
Dougherty is the youngest team in the area, and first-year coach Corey Joyner has brought his kids a long way this season. They’re still looking for their first win, but they led Westover and showed a tremendous amount of character in the loss. QB Michael Whatley, who missed some time this season with an injury, had his second 300-plus yard night passing.
Westover lost its chance to win the Region 1-AAAA title outright when Cairo beat Americus-Sumter, 29-20, on Friday.
The Patriots have to hope Monroe not only beats Cairo, but wins a high-scoring game, because if Monroe wins Friday against the Syrupmakers, and Westover beats Worth on the road, there would be a three-way tie for first place with Monroe, Cairo and Westover. The tiebreaker is points allowed in games between the three teams.
Westover beat Monroe, 17-14, and lost to Cairo, 31-7, and would need both Cairo and Monroe to have a total of at least 46 points to win the region title.
Cairo, which hasn’t lost a region game in more than three years, can take care of the confusion with a win against Monroe.
That would leave Cairo at 6-0 in the region with the finale against Dougherty at home on Nov. 9.
Monroe (6-2) stays at No. 3 but is making noise about moving up after winning its fourth game in a row. The Nadas tossed their second shutout in five region games and were impressive in a 28-0 win against Crisp County in which backups played most of the second half for the second week in a row.
Monroe put up 56 points two weeks ago in a 56-26 win against Dougherty and rested starters in the second half of that game, and the Nadas looked like the best team in the region when they beat Americus-Sumter on the road three weeks ago, 27-13. Monroe led the entire night and was dominating on defense. It was a 27-7 game when Americus scored a late touchdown.
Cairo beat Americus, 29-20, on Friday, and it took a last-second 34-yard pass for Westover to beat Americus, 19-14, two weeks ago. If Monroe beats Cairo on Friday, the Nadas would have a pretty good argument to moving up in the poll, despite losing to Westover, 17-14, in September.
Bainbridge (5-3) suffered two heartbreaking losses to state-ranked Thomas County Central and Harris County, but came back to crush Northside Columbus, 48-7, last week. The Bearcats meet Dothan (Ala.) in a non-region game at home this week. Bainbridge is pointing toward the season finale against Lee County, which will likely decide the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds from Region 1-AAAAA.
Early County (5-3) almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the state last week, before falling, 17-14, to state-ranked Fitzgerald on a missed field goal attempt at the end of the game. The Bobcats have played a brutal schedule and have lost to two state-ranked teams (Brooks County and Fitzgerald) and dropped a 14-12 game to Bainbridge.
Americus-Sumter, which was previously ranked in the Fab 5, stays behind Early County because the Panthers lost their third game in a row this week.
The Bobcats also stay at No. 5 in the poll because they own a 21-6 win against Miller County, which is 8-1 and receiving votes in the Class A state Top 10 poll, and on the bubble to make it into the Fab 5 Poll.
The other team on the bubble to crack the poll is Deerfield-Windsor, which is 8-1 and the No. 1-ranked team in the GISA Class AAA state poll.