Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio and his Trojans went 3-0 against Albany city schools this season.
LEESBURG — Lee County has been more than impressive this season, sweeping three games against teams from Albany, and racking up 143 points in wins against Dougherty, Albany High and Westover.
This is not the first time the Trojans have pulled off a sweep against their neighboring teams from Albany. The 1999 Lee County team swept all four Albany teams, scoring 162 points in the four victories, beating Monroe, 48-3, downing Westover, 42-21, defeating Albany High, 31-27, and edging Dougherty, 31-27.
Lee County wanted to play all four Albany teams this season, but couldn’t find a date to play Monroe.
“We would have liked to have played them,’’ Monroe coach Charles Truitt said. “But we couldn’t work out a date to play the game.’’
The 3-0 start is one of the best in Lee County history. The Trojans have started 3-0 only five times, including 5-0 starts by the 2010 and 2005 teams.
RAIDERS ON THE RUN: Southland’s fast 3-0 start might be surprising to a lot of people, but not the kids and coaches at Southland.
“We had a young team last year and played a lot of guys,’’ Southland coach Tim Goodin said. “They have matured a little bit. We had a lot of returning starters, nine on each side of the ball, and we’ve had a lot of guys who have stepped up.’’
Dustin Shattles, a junior who started at cornerback and ran the ball some last season, ran for 276 yards on 26 carries (10.61 yards per carry) in Southland’s 47-25 win against Sherwood Christian on Friday night, and has rushed for 543 yards on just 52 carries this season, averaging 10.44 yards every time he touches the ball.
Goodin said several of his players are having big seasons, including quarterback John Adkins, who started in the secondary last year and has stepped in and taken over at QB.
“It’s definitely a team effort,’’ said Goodin, who is in his fourth year as the coach at Southland.
That team effort amassed 502 rushing yards against Sherwood on Friday.
“We have never done that at Southland,’’ Goodin said. “But this is my 37th year in coaching, so I’m sure it’s happened before. It doesn’t happen very often.’’
EARLY’S TOUGH LOSS: Early County lost a nail-biter Friday, 14-12, to non-region rival Bainbridge after losing to the Bearcats by four last season and by seven in 2010.
“We’re getting closer,” Bobcats head coach Trey Woolf said.
The Bearcats are almost there, beating Bainbridge nearly everywhere but the scoreboard, but the special teams battle cost Early. After scoring first on a 79-yard touchdown from Jacori Taylor and his electric yellow shoes to Martavius Allen, the Bobcats missed the extra point and led 6-0. That missed PAT would be costly after Bainbridge scored twice and Daniel Province hit both PATs for a 14-6 lead at halftime.
That lead held even after Taylor scored with 31 seconds to play when Early was forced to go for two because of the early missed PAT. Ladonis Bryant was stopped at the one on the conversion attempt, and Damian Bouie recovered the Bobcats onside kick to seal the game.
With Province and punter Paul Soden, Bainbridge has the special teams advantage every Friday. Soden punted six times for an average of 46 yards, including three bombs over 50 yards, and pinned Early inside the 10 twice.
“(Soden) came out two years ago as a sophomore and couldn’t kick it 25 yards,” Bainbridge head coach Ed Pilcher said of his punter. “He has worked and worked. He’s a weapon for us.”
Early County outgained Bainbridge by 169 yards on the night, but because of the Bearcats’ kicking advantage, the Bobcats average starting field position was their own 26, leaving a lot of field to cover.
Early County also had 10 possessions to Bainbridge’s eight because the Bearcats fumbled away the opening kickoff, the only Bearcats’ turnover of the night.
Herald staff reporter Matt Stewart contributed to this report