INDIANOLA — Lee Academy saw its four-game winning streak broken in a drizzling rain at Indianola Thursday night.
And while it was a miserable night for players, coaches and fans, the Colts have turned their attention to a big district game with North Delta this weekend. A win against North Delta would give Lee the district championship.
“This kind of game hurts,” said Lee Academy coach Rick Johnston. “We had a poor week of practice and never seemed to get going tonight. These are the kind of games you put behind you and move on.”
Class 3A Indianola (5-3, 3-1) is ranked sixth in the state MAIS standings. The loss dropped 4A Lee (4-3, 1-0) to eighth in the MAIS Polls. Class 4A North Delta (5-2, 0-0) is ranked fourth, but Lee will be their first district opponent.
Lee got behind early against the Indianola Colonels, but showed bright spots throughout the game.
The Colts’ first glimmer was an interception by Aiden Byrd to end Indianola’s first possession.
The Colts were unable to capitalize on their good fortune and played four downs and punted. Indianola drove 49-yards on five plays, but the Colt defense stiffened and they had to settle for a field goal.
The kickoff to Lee was deep and flags pushed the Colts even deeper. Then the Colts fumbled and the Colonels recovered at the Colt 15.
Four plays later, Indianola junior running back Leland Selby ran right for the score.
The Colts were behind 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Lee put together a strong drive with an 11-play 40-yard drive to the Indianola 35, where it stalled.
The Colonels bounced back with a 65-yard, 10-play drive that saw Selby run left for the score.
Indianola came back and scored again on their next possession with a nine-play drive covering 89-yards.
But the Colts may have been down, but not out.
Lee got good field position on their next possession with kick returner Nickos Nolan bringing it out to the Indianola 46. The third play from scrimmage saw Lee quarterback Luke Crumpton find running back Russell Cook sneaking out of the backfield. Cook grabbed the pass and raced 42-yards down the far side for the score.
The PAT by Colt kicker Michael Basha was good and the score stood 24-7 at the half.
The Colts got the ball twice in the third quarter and drove into Indianola territory before the drives stalled.
Indianola added another touchdown midway in the frame to carry the score to 31-7.
The Colonels scored their final touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Both teams began putting in young talent at that point and the game ended, 37-7.
Lee has not beaten Indianola since 2012, with the closest contest in that stretch being a 17-12 loss last year.
“Indianola has a good program and a very good quarterback that ran the offense well,” said Johnston. “We got beat mentally and physically and that is what really hurt tonight.”
Johnston said the Colts are a little dinged up, but that can be expected at this point in the season.
“We’re going to have to see some guys step up against North Delta,” said Johnston. “We’ve got some leaders and some kids that have matured this season. It will be a big game for us.”
Johnston urged fans to make the 40-minute drive Friday night to the school west of Batesville.
Lee is ranked No. 1 in MAIS 4A, District 1 and a win this week would give them a strong showing heading into the playoffs two weeks from now.
Lee’s final regular-season game is a non-conference contest at Marshall Academy in Holly Springs on Oct. 23.