Lee County junior Marquiz Williams runs the ball against Effingham in last week’s opening-round playoff game. Williams and the Trojans host the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs tonight against Mundy’s Mill. (Staff photo: John Millikan)
LEESBURG — The 2013 football season has been one of historic proportions for the Lee County Trojans.
Their 10 wins ties the school record for single-season victories, matching the 2005 squad.
And Lee’s 17 wins in the past two seasons is the best two-year stretch.
However, you won’t hear Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio talk about his team’s success this season. He’ll save that for another day and time.
Instead, he wants his team to focus on tonight’s Class AAAAA second round opponent in Mundy’s Mill. A victory would send the Trojans into the quarterfinals for the first time in school history against either Gainesville or South Paulding. A victory coupled with a South Paulding win would allow the Trojans to host. However, if Lee and Gainesville win, a coin flip would decide the host, considering both were region champions and top seeds.
“We haven’t talked about a whole lot of that stuff,” Fabrizio said of Lee County’s achievements.
“There’s enough already on the line for them to worry about. They don’t really need any extra incentive. There’s plenty to be motivated about.”
Mundy’s Mill will present a challenge to Lee County’s defense, which has allowed just 6.8 points per game during its four-game winning streak. The Trojans must figure out a way to contain running back Rodney Smith, who rushed for more than 300 yards in the Tigers’ 33-13 victory over Houston County last week.
Fabrizio compared Smith to Harris County running back Esaias Chapman and Hardaway running back Justin Crawford, two backs who gave the Trojans a challenge this year. Chapman has rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season.
“We feel like we’ve got a pretty good defense,” Fabrizio said. “Our guys are ready for the challenge. We’ve had a good week of preparation. Mundy’s Mill has a lot of speed and athleticism, but our kids are excited about the challenge.”
It’s also been a history-making season for the Tigers, who opened in 2003. The team’s seven wins is the most they’ve had. After starting the season 0-4 and playing powerhouses Lovejoy, Whitewater and Coffee, the Tigers haven’t been seriously challenged since they lost by a point to McIntosh on Sept. 27.
This will be just the third time Mundy’s Mill has ventured outside of Clayton County. Mundy’s Mill coach Greg Manior knows tonight’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Trojan Field is going to be tough.
“Our guys usually play well away from home,” Manior said. “I think our guys are ready. We have faced the same type of atmosphere at Coffee that we will see at Lee County this weekend.”
But Manior is also impressed with Lee County’s speed. He said his team will have its hands full slowing down the Trojans on offense. Mundy’s Mill has not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points during its winning streak.
“They are fast, very fast,” Manior said.“They are a lot like some teams we have faced with talent and speed. Obviously at this stage in the playoffs, everyone is good.”