For the second week in a row the Lee Academy Colts took on a bigger team -- and won.
The Colts tripped up Kirk Academy 28-22 Friday night after stopping Tunica the previous Friday, 25-22.
In both games Lee saw hard-hitting defense and hard-running offense prompt the victory.
“This was a huge win for our program and we beat a good team tonight,” said Lee coach Rick Johnston. “We didn’t have a good week of practice, but when we turned the lights on, they got after it.”
Lee got behind early and didn’t take the lead until mid-way in the third quarter.
“We fought back,” said Johnston. “I was pleased with the results.
“Our backs ran hard and found holes,” said Johnston. “We kept them in front of us for the most part on defense. We made some plays.”
Kirk took the opening possession and marched 67 yards in eight plays to score.
Lee drove 62-yards on 12 plays to get to the Kirk 4, but couldn’t punch it in. Field goal kicker Michael Basha was called on and split the uprights to get Lee on the board.
Kirk’s running back found a hole on the right side on the fourth play of the Raiders next possession and raced 41 yards for the score. The PAT was good and Kirk led 14-3.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Lee’s Nicko Nolan turned on the after-burners and raced 73-yards straight down the left side for the score. Basha’s extra point was good and Lee trailed 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Both Kirk and Lee found the going rough in the second quarter with neither team able to score. Kirk unveiled their passing game and stuck with it the rest of the night.
Lee got the second half kickoff and had to punt, but the funny-shaped ball bounced out of the Kirk punt returner’s hand and Lee’s Andrew Williamson recovered at the Kirk 19.
Nolan ran right for three yards and senior running back Russell Cook ran four straight plays behind solid blocking. Cook scored on a one-yard run to the left.
The PAT was no good but Lee led 16-14 mid-way in the third.
Lee stretched the lead to 22-14 in the fourth quarter on a four-yard run by Cook straight up the middle. The drive covered 60-yards on 12 plays, with Cook getting six rushes for 23-yards.
But just like the previous weekend, this game went to the wire. Kirk’s air game produced a four-play drive that covered 57-yards with a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie it up 22-22, with 6:27 to go.
And the Colts, again like the previous weekend, found a way to carry the contest down to the final minutes and secure the win.
Nolan took the first play from scrimmage for two yards and Cook got the next five carries. Cook broke a big 37-yarder to set up his two yard run into the end zone.
The two-point conversion was no good, but Lee led 28-22.
Kirk was down but not out and passed heavily on their last two possessions.
Lee’s Bryan Ray intercepted a deep pass at the 53-second mark to seal the game.
This was a conference victory for the Colts.
“The young guys keep growing and we’ve got solid team leadership,” said Johnston. “We head on the road now and these guys know where they want to end up.”
Lee is 4-2 overall and 1-0 in district and has won the last four games. The Colts play a non-conference game at Indianola Academy (4-3, 3-1) Friday. Indianola is 4-3 and beat Benton Academy last week, 31-12.
The Colts have a conference game with North Delta on Oct. 16 and finish up with Marshall Academy Oct. 23.
Lee stands atop the MAIS 4A, 1 District, with Kirk (2-4, 0-1) and North Delta third at (4-2, 0-0).