A clap of thunder and one bolt of lightning sent players to the locker rooms, but before the thousands of people in the stands at Albany State University’s Coliseum could find cover a torrential rainstorm engulfed the stadium and ended the second annual Hamp Smith Classic between Dougherty and Lee County high schools Saturday evening in Albany.
The game ended with 8:43 remaining in the second quarter with Lee County firmly in control with a 28-0 lead.
“It was a great crowd,” said Lee County head coach Dean Fabrizio. “I was very happy with the turnout from the community. I hope we can continue this each year.”
That big crowd created a long wait for some fans to get into parking places causing a lot of fans to miss the first of the game. About the time the stadium got near capacity, the lightning and rain ended the game.
Before the downpour, Lee County quarterback Kyle Toole was having a perfect night. He was 7 for 7 for 109 yards and a touchdown.
That touchdown pass came in the first quarter on a circus catch by senior James Hopson. It was a one-handed grab that brought an audible gasp from the crowd and would have certainly landed Hopson on the highlight reels of ESPN. The Hopson catch put Lee County up 14-0 on the second drive of the game. The first drive ended with a run by Preston Simmons.
In the second quarter, Toole connected with David Goodwin for a nice gain, then Caleb McDowell took a big gain down to the five-yard line. From there, Simmons again busted into the end zone for the Trojans. The final touchdown before the rain hit was set up by a punt return by McDowell. McDowell took a punt from Dougherty all the way down to the 12-yard line, then a penalty moved the ball to the six.
Christian Frazier then went straight through the middle of the Dougherty line on run into the end zone.
The Dougherty Trojans didn’t get a lot of offense going against the Lee County defense. In fact the Trojans amassed only 32 yards against Lee County. But head coach Johnny was encouraged after his team played.
“We missed some blocks, we missed some tackles, but I really liked the effort our guys made,” Gilbert said after the game. “We have some work to do, but I think things are moving in the right direction for us.”
Running back Keonte’ Turner and quarterback Justin Moore were usually the ones with the ball for Dougherty and Gilbert liked their efforts.
Next week, Dougherty will host Americus-Sumter Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium. Lee County will host Life Academy from Virginia in Leesburg.