Lee varsity beats Marshall Academy, ties Delta Streets Academy in home jamboree

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By Josh Troy

Clarksdale Advocate

Lee Academy’s rushing attack helped the Colts overcome rust and mistakes in their jamboree to open the football season recently.

The Colts hosted a jamboree with other MAIS schools and played against Delta Streets Academy and Marshall Academy. The varsity team tied Delta Streets Academy 8-8 and defeated Marshall Academy 14-0 with 20-minute running clocks. The B team defeated Delta Streets Academy 14-0 and Marshall Academy 12-0 with 12-minute running clocks.

“We set out to run the football tonight, and we’ve been working big time with our linemen,” said Colts coach Rick Johnston. “We wanted to see exactly where our offensive line was. I thought that in the first game (for the varsity), we were knocking off a little rust. I wasn’t happy with the turnovers, the missed tackles, and the overall aggression level ‚Äď I wasn’t happy with any of that.”

Johnston was happier with the varsity‚Äôs performance against Marshall Academy. “We came back and battled, and we had a better game,” he said. “I think we have some holes. Like I told them a while ago, we have some holes to fill from last year. We had some really good players who left here.”

The only touchdown the varsity team gave up was on Delta Streets Academy’s opening drive. The Lions threw a 70-yard touchdown pass and made a 2-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead.

Colts senior Montavian Artis came back with a 70-yard touchdown run of his own with 13:40 on the clock. Senior Sandy Tillis ran in the 2-point conversion to tie the score at 8-8.

The Colts had a chance to take the lead against the Lions thanks to a 28-yard Artis run and a 10-yard Tillis run with less than 6:00 remaining. However, Tillis lost the fumble.

An Artis tackle on Delta Streets Academy’s ensuing drive led to an 8-yard loss and a third-and-18 situation in Lions territory. Third-year starting quarterback senior William Walker ran the ball into the red zone on the final play, but the clock ran out, and the contest ended in a tie.

Senior Will Moser got things going for Lee in the varsity matchup against Marshall Academy. Moser ran the ball to the Patriots’ 25-yard line, setting up an Artis 6-yard touchdown with 15:40 remaining in the contest. Walker ran in the 2-point conversion to give Lee an 8-0 lead.

Junior Darren Williams intercepted a pass for the Colts on the ensuing drive, giving Lee possession at its own 46 with 10:39 remaining on the clock. Artis scored again on a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:49 remaining. The 2-point conversion failed, but Lee led 14-0.

In the B team game against Delta Streets Academy, Williams ran for a 10-yard touchdown with 7:53 to play. Payton Burton ran in the 2-point conversion. Desi Monix also ran for a 20-yard touchdown to extend Lee’s lead to 14-0. Junior Will Yara recovered a fumble in the win, and sophomore Brayden Antici was the quarterback. Sophomore Bram Harris scored two touchdowns in the B team’s win against Marshall Academy. One was on a run, and the other was a pick-6 for 40 yards on the final play of the game.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Johnston talked about some of the voids on the roster that need to be filled. “We have some skillful people back, but it’s our line that we’ve lost ‚Äď a couple of really key players,” he said. “(Luke) Agostinelli at center is going to be hard to replace. You’ve got Aidan Byrd and Sam Stonestreet; those guys are really, really good players. Those are the people we’ve got to replace, and these guys have to grow up in a hurry.”

Johnston saw positive things from linemen and skillful athletes on Friday night. “I thought that (junior lineman) Ben Pennington got better in the second game,” Johnston said. “We’re going to need him to play. Sandy Tillis is coming back and hasn’t played football in two or three years. I thought we put the ball on the ground in the first game, but after that second game, we ran the ball hard. So he’s a work in progress. I thought Williams was steady at tailback. I thought Montavian was steady at the fullback spot. Overall, our linemen, if I were to give them a grade, it would probably be a B-, somewhere in that neighborhood.”

Lee opens the season at Pillow Academy in Greenwood at 7 p.m. on Friday. “Pillow has a really good football team,” Johnston said. “They’re a bigger school, so we have to go to their place. We need to put in a much better effort, I think.”

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