Lee Academy’s successful season came to an end in the first round of the Class 4A MAIS playoffs with a 35-6 loss at Brookhaven Academy Friday.
Senior lineman Andrew Williamson had a neck problem that prevented him from playing.
“We got dealt a big blow with Andrew Williamson not being able to play,” said Colts coach Rick Johnston. “He’s one of our team leaders. We had to change up a lot of our stuff mid-week preparing for Brookhaven. I thought our kids fought hard, played hard. Some of them were playing out of position. I felt like they gave us a great effort.”
The Colts (4-6, 1-1) have won two consecutive district championships at the junior high level. The head coach is hoping some of those athletes can help Lee advance further in the playoffs next season.
“We’ve had back-to-back district championships at junior high,” Johnston said. “I think we’ve gone 15-1 over the last two years. Two really good classes. On the downside of it, going into next year, we’ll only have two senior football senior football. They just have a small class where there’s only five in the class and only two of them play football. That’s the reason, as a coaching staff, we played our younger guys, our sophomores to give them a ton of experience, so hopefully, they’ll be more than just juniors next year. They’ll be closer to seniors.”
Senior Luke Crumpton was the quarterback, while sophomore Bryan Ray was the backup. Ray and several others will be competing for the starting position in 2021.
“We’re probably going to start off with four or five kids in the quarterback room,” Johnston said. “Maybe somebody else steps up. We’ve got four names we’re going to start with. We’ll get them going next week.”
Lee’s one touchdown at Brookhaven Academy was a senior Russell Cook 5-yard run. The Colts did not create any turnovers on defense.
“They had a really good quarterback that had length, around 6-4 (6 feet, 4 inches),” Johnston said. “They had three receivers around 6-4. It caused us some problems. We couldn’t get him on the ground. We made them turn it over on downs early in the game, but it was a tough matchup.”
Senior cornerback Barrett Mitchell and Cook were some of the leaders on defense.
“It was one of those nights where it was just 7-0 and they scored and made it 14-0 and then we had a botched squib kick,” Johnston said. “They got it back and scored right before the half. It just all kind of fell apart on us the last three minutes of the first half.”
In a game during the season where Lee could have clinched the district championship at North Delta, the Colts lost 35-14. Three of North Delta’s touchdowns came within the first few minutes of the third quarter.
Lee lost its last four games of the season. The Colts also came from behind to win in their final two victories.
“That’s part of having a young team,” Johnston said. “Hopefully, we’ve learned from those mistakes. We’ve got a lot of film on them. We’ll be able to show them what we should have done week-to-week. That’s part of the growing pains so to speak, but like most people, at the end of the year, we were banged up, beat up. Some of our key people weren’t able to play. When you lose two, three key people on a 30-man roster, it tends to hurt you.”