By Wil Crews
A four-interception display by the Lee-Scott defense helped the Warriors close out their regular season with a road 31-17 victory over the Morgan Academy Senators on Friday.
While the contest was not officially put to bed until a fourth quarter rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Jonathan Meyers, the Warriors got on the board first and never trailed thanks to the momentum-stunting performance by the Warrior defense.
The game started slowly as, Lee-Scott was only able to inch to a 14-0 lead with 2:41 remaining in the second quarter. The Warriors offense was able to capitalize on good field position thanks to back-to-back interceptions by a defensive unit that looked to put its stamp on the game early. Meyers and senior quarterback, Tate McKelvey, were responsible for the touchdowns — a short rush on second and goal and a 37-yard QB keeper, respectively.
On the ensuing Morgan Academy drive, the Senators responded just before the half with a 40-yard passing TD and Lee-Scott went into the break with a 14-7 lead.
Coming out of the halftime team talk, the third quarter was an even affair, with both teams registering one touchdown apiece.
Morgan Academy struck on its first drive with a 60-yard pass that fell into the Senator receiver’s hands after the Lee-Scott defense collided with the ref, allowing the pass catcher to waltz into the end zone untouched.
With the game tied 14-14, Lee-Scott hit back with its own big play as sophomore receiver Andrew Hahn took a tipped McKelvey screen pass 52 yards down the sideline, beat the final defender with a juke move and left all Senator defenders in his rear view vision as he scampered into the end zone with 6:13 in left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing Morgan drive, the Lee-Scott defense would force a turnover on downs and Warriors defense began to imposed their physicality on the Senators.
As the game moved into the fourth quarter, after moving the ball past half field, the Lee-Scott offense was halted in field goal range before Matthew Rolader drilled a 37-yard kick to give the Warriors a 24-14 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Morgan Academy swiftly answered with a field goal of its own to bring the deficit back to one score with 7:11 left in the game.
Next, the Lee-Scott offense limped off the field with a short drive, giving the Senators the ball again with a chance to tie the game. Meyers had other plans, however, as the linebacker picked off the Morgan Academy quarterback for the fourth Lee-Scott interception of the night.
Meyers then put the metaphorical cherry on top when he found pay dirt on a 1-yard touchdown, securing the win for the Warriors with his second TD of the game.
Offensively, McKelvey led the way for Lee-Scott with 154 rush yards, 15 reception yards and 52 passing yards with two total touchdowns. Meyers finished with 88 rushing yard and two touchdowns; Hahn led the pass catchers with 52 yards and added 44 rushing.
Defensively, Dalan Bush recorded a team-high eight tackles; Ryan Dearing had six, Meyers had five and Pete Lanier had four. Landry Cochran, Lanier Meyers and Dearing each had an interception.
Lee-Scott will now prepare for its next game, a home playoff contest against Bessemer Academy on Friday at 7 p.m. CST. For a more in depth look at the matchup, visit https://opelikaobserver.com/area-football-roundup/.