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FAB 5 POLL: Despite loss, Lee County still No. 1

It may be confusing to some, but Lee County remains the top team in The Albany Herald’s Fab 5 Poll despite the Trojans’ 45-14 loss at Thomas County Central last week.

In fact, the poll remains unchanged with Seminole County, Westover, Monroe and Crisp County ranked 2-5, respectively.

Lee County got hammered by a team that ran the option as precise and accurate as any high school team in the state. The Trojans were also undone by six turnovers, including five that led directly to points.

“We moved the ball on them,” Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio said. “They did a good job of protecting the football. We didn’t.”

The Trojans (6-1) still have a lot of football to play with three games remaining. Lee County is still in the running for the playoffs. While making the playoffs is a goal, the Trojans would like to host a first-round postseason game in the state playoffs that begin on Nov. 15.

Lee could do that. However, the Trojans must win their final three games, starting with Harris County on Friday night.

“We can’t let (last week’s) game get us down,” linebacker Dextric Green said. “We’ve still got a lot more football to play.”

Seminole County (7-0) remained unbeaten and secured the No. 2 spot with a 31-6 victory over Calhoun County in a game the Indians didn’t play very well in the second half. Seminole is off to its best start since the team went 10-0 in 1973.

The Indians haven’t been challenged since they began Region 1-A play. The defense has allowed just 14 points. However, the schedule is expected to stiffen as the team plays Randolph-Clay and Miller County before the regular-season finale at home against Mitchell County.

Barring any upsets in the next two weeks, the Seminole-Mitchell game on Nov. 8 will decide the Region 1-A champion.

Westover continues to win in Region 1-AAAA and needs just two more victories to capture its first region football title in school history. The Patriots have had to rely on their defense a lot in their last two games to beat Crisp County and Americus-Sumter.

The Patriots (5-2) should be heavily favored in their last three games against Dougherty, Worth County and Albany.

“I told the guys that we have the region championship in our hands … we’ve just got to guard it against our last three opponents,” Westover coach Octavia Jones said. “Those teams are going to be trying to take it away. We can’t get caught looking ahead. We’ve got to play four complete quarters of championship-style football every week.”

Monroe was off last week and faces its most-difficult stretch of the season. If the Tornadoes (4-3) can knock off Crisp County this week and Cairo can beat Americus-Sumter, Monroe’s game next week at Cairo would be for second-place in Region 1-AAAA and the No. 2 seed.

That would be a strong turnaround, considering how Monroe started the season.

Crisp County maintains its footing at No. 5. The Cougars used a strong performance from quarterback Witt Campbell to topple Worth County and remain in the postseason chase. The Cougars could make things in Region 1-AAAA interesting this week by beating Monroe.

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Herald Fab 5 Poll

1. Lee County (6-1)

The Trojans were dismantled at Thomas County Central last week. TCC has dismantled just about everybody they’ve played. Lee could get the positive spotlight back this week against Harris County, the defending Region 1-AAAAA champion.

Next: vs. Harris County, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. Seminole County (7-0)

The Indians are cruising and likely won’t be slowed down any time soon. The Indians have thumped Region 1-A foes Terrell County, Stewart County and Calhoun County. They have Randolph-Clay and Miller County before a big showdown against Mitchell County. Keep an eye on this team.

Next: vs. Randolph-Clay, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. Westover (5-2)

The Patriots continue to play well. The combined record of their last three opponents is 4-17. Unless the Patriots find a way to lose, the Region 1-AAAA title will be theirs.

Next: vs. Dougherty, Saturday, 7 p.m.

4. Monroe (4-3)

Monroe controls its own destiny as far as the postseason is concerned. Win out, and the Tornadoes will host a first-round playoff game at friendly Hugh Mills Stadium.

Next: vs. Crisp County, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. Crisp County (4-3)

Perhaps the most-improved team in Region 1-AAAA. The Cougars have been playing well. But they want more than just a berth in the playoffs.

Next: at Monroe, Friday, 7:30 p.m.