No. 1 Lee County stays perfect, rolls past No. 2 Westover


Stephen Collier

LEESBURG -- Any other challengers?

The Herald No. 1 Lee County Trojans discarded of a No. 2-ranked team Friday for the second straight week with a 24-6 win against Westover, solidifying their spot as the top team in Southwest Georgia.

The victory came one week after Lee County defeated then-No. 2 Albany High, 42-12, giving the Trojans a clean sweep of the three Albany city schools on its schedule, which doesn’t include No. 3 Monroe.

Dynamite Dozen quarterback and Ohio State commit Stephen Collier was the star again on Friday and ran his season touchdown total to 14 with three TD passes to JQ Quimbley. Collier finished the night 21-for-45 for 256 yards and also ran for 70 yards.

“I am just taking this all in,” Collier said after the game. “You only get one senior season, and I will be gone to Ohio State in three or four months, so I am trying to enjoy it and take it all in. I am just enjoying the ride.”

Collier jumped on the Patriots early with a 21-yard TD pass to Quimbley just over two minutes into the game and then hit Quimbley again for a 65-yard TD pass with 3:56 left in the first quarter. Quimbley, a junior, had a breakout game and finished with nine catches for 173 yards.

“(Collier) reads the field pretty well,” said Quimbley, who now has five TD catches this season. “He is going to one of my favorite colleges in Ohio State, and it’s pretty awesome being one of his receivers.”

Lee County increased its lead to 16-0 with 5:23 left in the first half with a 31-yard field goal from Michael Langston, but Westover responded with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Christopher O’Neal, which was set up by a 42-yard pass from Ta’Keevian Harris to Jaquri Shingles.

The Trojans went into halftime ahead 16-6 but forced an immediate Westover three-and-out in the opening seconds of the third quarter and then marched down the field on their first possession and scored on an 18-yard pass to Quimbley.

And as much as Lee County’s offense shined, the Trojans’ defense sparkled even brighter.

They held a tough Westover running game led by Shannon Saunders in check, sacked Harris four times, tackled Saunders in the end zone in the fourth quarter for a safety and finished the night with three interceptions.

“We have a lot of confidence in this defense,” Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio said. “A lot of these guys have been playing for a while and have really grown up. We are just really proud of the way they played this season. A lot of people like to question our defense, but when you play fast-paced like we do it puts more pressure on your defense. We feel like our guys are up for the challenge.”

Senior Jalen Bush had two of Lee County’s three interceptions, including a pick in the end zone that stole six points from the Patriots.

“It was all about intense focus (Friday),” Bush said. “We stayed focused and stayed in the game and played hard. We went hard every play and never stopped.”

Nobody was catching Collier, Quimbley or the Trojans on Friday night as they ran away from a Westover team that shut out a tough Jonesboro team on the road last week. The Trojans, who have now started 3-0 for a second straight season, have three more weeks before Region 1-AAAAA play begins. Lee hosts Class AAAAA Morrow next week and Class AAA Dodge County on Sept. 27 before back-to-back road games against region foes Hardaway and Thomas County Central.

Westover (1-2) starts Region 1-AAAA play next week with a game against Monroe in Hugh Mills Stadium.