Looking at its 1-4 record, the assumption might be that the Lee High Lancers are a poor football team this year. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Lee, which a year ago had a terrific season and was one of the better Northern Region Div. 5 (smaller schools) teams around, is younger, although still quite talented, this season.
“The record says 1-4 but this is a really good football team,” said Lancers’ head coach Rob Everett. “We have a lot of juniors playing on both sides of the ball and had to replace some pretty big playmakers from last season.”
Lee, as a member of the Patriot District – which happens to be made up mostly of larger enrollment schools – is at a numbers disadvantage. The Lancers would probably be better suited in the Div. 5- heavy Liberty District – where they used to be.
“We are a Division 5 team playing in a Division 6 district and putting a quality product on the field each week,” said Everett. “I am very proud of this crew and the progress they have made in the first half of the season.”
Lee, which won its season opener game, 41-13, against visiting Wakefield High on Sept. 2, has lost four straight since, including a 26-16 district setback at Annandale last Friday night.
The Lancers were right with Annandale most of the game. They led 3-0 after one quarter, thanks to a 24-yard field goal by junior Teddy Guilliams, and still held a 10-9 advantage at halftime. The lead extended to 16-9 in the third quarter when quarterback Quinntez Diggins (7-of-14, 144 yards) connected with Kyon Taylor for an 85-yard touchdown pass play.
Annandale, however, scored the game’s final 17 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter, to earn the comeback win.
Lee’s offensive line played a terrific game and opened up holes for running back Donovan Taylor, who took advantage by accumulating 139 yards on 13 carries on the night. His biggest breakaway gain came on a 50-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Taylor, with over 800 yards on the ground this season, is one of the leading rushers in the Northern Region.
<b>LEE’S EARLIER</b> losses this fall came to Hayfield, 28-0, Woodson, 27-20, and Westfield, 37-14. In the non-district home loss to Westfield on Sept. 24, the Lancers fought back hard after falling behind 28-0 in the first half.
“We were down 28-0 in the second quarter and fought back to two yards [away] from making it 28-21 in the fourth quarter,” said Everett. “That is something that doesn't show up in the box score.”
There is still a half season left of the regular season and the Lancers are hoping to get on a win streak. But Lee is hosting defending Div. 6 region champion Lake Braddock this Friday night at 7:30. The Bruins (4-1) lost for the first time this season when Robinson knocked them off last week.
Everett still believes his team could hold some surprises the remainder of the way. With eight teams qualifying for the Div. 5 playoffs, the Lancers are still playing for a playoff spot.
“Our goal all season was to make it to the postseason healthy because no matter what the seed, we can compete with any team,” he said. “We have a lot of talented players who are still finding themselves in the scheme.”