Lee Academy split its preseason football jamboree games Friday at North Delta School with an 18-6 victory against Washington School and an 18-0 loss to Indianola Academy.
It was a 20-minute running clock when the Colts faced the Generals and a 25-minute running clock when Lee faced the Colonels.
Senior Nickos Nolan got things going for the Colts against Washington School with a 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.
Nolan, also a defensive back, made mistakes on the other side of the ball according to coach Rick Johnston.
“You’ve got to be able to play on both sides of the ball,” Johnston said. “You just can’t play on one side. He missed two big plays in the same game that were going to be big defensive plays for us. He’s got to be able to play on both sides of the ball.”
Following Nolan’s touchdown, the Generals held the ball for 12 plays and drove inside the Lee 10-yard-line, but turned it over on downs.
The Colts started with the ball at their own 30 on the ensuing drive, but senior quarterback Luke Crumpton fumbled the snap giving Washington School possession. The Generals responded with a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie things up at 6-6. He also threw an interception with 5:27 remaining, but the Generals could not capitalize.
Lee was able to secure the victory with some of the younger athletes on the field the final three minutes of the game.
Sophomore running back James Chicorelli broke a 62-yard touchdown run with 2:51 remaining to put Lee ahead 12-6.
Sophomore linebacker Justice Duraj had an interception for a touchdown with 1:33 remaining. His pick-6 increased the Colts’ lead to 18-6.
“I thought that we competed well in the first game,” Johnston said. “We’ve just got to get in better shape. We played a bunch of people in the second game. We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got to get a lot better quick.”
Sophomore Bryan Ray played the quarterback position during the time underclassmen were on the field for Lee.
In Lee’s game against Indianola Academy, the Colonels held the ball for 13 plays on the opening drive and scored on a 7-yard quarterback keeper with 16:04 to play.
With the Colts still trailing 6-0, senior running back Chandler Wells ran for 7 yards to give them a first down at the Colonels’ 42-yard-line.
Nolan fumbled a pitch the following play. He recovered how own fumble, but it resulted in a 10-yard loss for Lee and the Colts were unable to score on the possession.
Indianola Academy scored on a 14-yard keeper with 7:05 remaining to extend its lead to 12-0.
A 23-yard completion to the Lee 29 set up the score. Sophomore defensive end Watkins Fyfe made the tackle on the completion preventing the touchdown on that play.
The Colonels scored their final touchdown on a 27-yard pass with 1:20 remaining on the clock.
Johnston did not make about who would start in the season opener immediately following the games. However, the jamboree gave him film to look at before Friday night.
“We’ll look at the film and we’ll go from there,” Johnston said. “I can’t see a whole lot sitting over here, so we’ll watch the film and we’ll go from there.”
Lee opens the season at Magnolia Heights School at 7 p.m. Friday.
While the games are expected to look very different in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic with all of the social distancing, one tradition will remain the same for the fourth-year Colts coach.
Johnston wears shorts on the sideline every game, regardless of how cold the weather is.
When asked if he would continue his tradition of wearing shorts every game in 2020, Johnston replied, “Who knows? Probably so.”