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Lee County’s Preston Simmons (center) runs during a 2019 state playoff game against Dacula.

Through six high school football games, Lee County has accomplished plenty.

The Trojans have a 5-1 record, No. 1 ranking in Class AAAAAA and a victory over another top-ranked team, Warner Robins.

None of that matters, though. The real season begins Friday with the Region 1-AAAAAA opener at home against 10th-ranked Houston County. The region, which has produced the state champion five of the last six seasons, is always difficult as teams jockey for a high seed in the state playoffs. All four state playoff qualifiers from 1-AAAAAA reached the quarterfinals in 2019.

“We know once region play starts there are no easy games in this region,” said Lee head coach Dean Fabrizio, whose team’s only loss is to Class AAAAAAA Lowndes. “We are expecting a tough game from HOCO this week.”

Houston is 5-2, and one of its losses is to a team that Lee defeated, Warner Robins. The Bears lost that game 44-10, but their defense has allowed just 9.5 points per game in their other six games.

They also rely on a strong running game led by Tyler Williams, who is second among region players in rushing yards this year.

Lee counters with a stout defense, led by senior Baron Hopson, and a powerful ground attack of its own. The Trojans boast the region’s top rusher, Caleb McDowell, and the third-leading rusher, Preston Simmons.

After Friday’s home game, the region road doesn’t get any easier for the Trojans, who travel to Northside-Warner Robins on Nov. 6.

They close region play and the regular season Nov. 13 at home against head coach Rush Propst and Valdosta, currently ranked third in the state.

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