BY NOAH GRIFFITH / FOR THE OBSERVER
Rebounding from a loss the prior week is something Lee-Scott Academy had not done since week four of 2021, but senior Jake White and the Warriors got back in the win column on Friday after a loss to rival Glenwood the week before.
Behind five scores and 215 all-purpose yards from White, Lee-Scott got the bad taste out of its mouth by channeling its energy into a dominant 56-7 win over Macon-East Academy. The win on homecoming night over the winless Knights helped the Warriors improve to 4-1 and reestablish themselves as AISA powerhouses.
“Man, we were really angry this week,” White said after Lee-Scott lost its first game in two seasons the prior week. “We wanted to come out and show everyone, like, ‘Hey, we’re a dominant football team and [last week’s performance] was a fluke.’ I think we’re going to see [Glenwood] again in state and we’re going to take it and win state.”
Head coach Buster Daniel said his team had a rough first practice following the loss on Monday but that the team has responded with much better energy and cohesion since then.
The Warriors’ energy resulted in their second-biggest win this season. They held a 42-0 lead at halftime, and after White returned the kickoff back for a touchdown to begin the second half, he and starting quarterback Pelzer Reeves — along with many other starters, did not return to the game.
But that wasn’t until White had trotted into the end zone five times. He ran for TDs on both of the Warriors’ opening drives — the latter a 57-yard run on the first play of the second drive. He also caught a 22-yard TD pass from Reeves, the lone score through the air, and returned a kickoff to the house to give Lee-Scott a 49-0 lead to open the second half.
“What’s not to say [about White]; he’s a special young man, and he’s a special player,” Daniel said. “He’s just … he’s really good, and he’s fun to coach.”
The starting defense also had two interceptions in the first half, including a 20-yard pick six from junior Tripp Vaughn. Reeves also threw one INT, but the Warriors ended up winning the turnover battle 3-1. The only Macon-East score came on a kickoff return score in the second half directly after White began the half by returning one of his own.
The Warriors, without junior running back Parker Wright and senior receiver and defensive back Miles Zachry due to injury, saw a variety of players touch the ball in addition to White. Jonathan Myers had several long carries (and got to show off his leg on the final kickoff), junior Tyler Kennedy ran for a nine-yard TD in the first quarter, junior Banks Sims got a few carries and freshman RB Braxton Cox capped the win off with a rushing TD.
The second half was all about the underclassmen and getting young guys in the game. Sophomore QB Ethan Hardee led a TD drive, capped off by Cox, and Lee-Scott sealed the deal with an interception in the end zone.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been on the L side, but it’s great to get back, and we’re happy to win again,” Daniel said. “I just enjoy watching the young guys get a chance to play.”