Lee County seeks breakthrough vs. Colquitt; other top games of Week 4

High school football

Credit: For the AJC

Credit: For the AJC

High school football

Lee County and Colquitt County have been two of the most successful programs in south Georgia over the past decade.

Since the start of the 2014 season, Lee County is 96-22 (81.4%) with two state championships, a runner-up finish and two other trips to the quarterfinals. Colquitt County is 105-18 (85.4%) in that same stretch, with two state titles, two runner-up finish, a semifinal appearance and two trips to the quarterfinals.

What Lee County hasn’t been to accomplish in its football history that dates to 1971, however, is claiming a victory against Colquitt County. Lee County is 0-11 all-time against the Packers but will get another shot at a win when the teams meet Friday night in Moultrie.

It’s worth noting that 10 of the previous 11 games came before Lee County truly established itself as a state power with its first championship in 2017.

The only meeting since then came last year, when Colquitt County won 48-27. Lee County was within 21-20 midway through the third quarter, but Colquitt County scored 27 consecutive points to put the game away.

Colquitt County finished with 569 total yards in last year’s game. Neko Fann passed for 236 yards, and Landen Thomas had five receptions for 148 yards. They are joined in the Packers’ passing attack by Ny Carr, a five-star wide receiver who has committed to Georgia. The Packers are 3-0 this season and ranked No. 2 in Class 6A.

Lee County (3-0, No. 4 in Class 6A) is led by junior running back Ousmane Kromah, who had 202 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving against the Packers last season. Kromah is a four-star recruit who has received offers from Florida State, Georgia, Alabama and many more.

Devin Collier, who has committed to Georgia Southern, has 176 yards rushing this season and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

“First off, they are exceptionally well coached on all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams,” Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio told the AJC’s Todd Holcomb. “They have so many weapons that it would take too long to list them all. Their quarterback is playing like Kyler Murray. Landon Thomas is the top tight end in the country. They have a host of fast and talented wide receivers. They do a great job making you defend the entire field. In addition, Mack Tharpe Stadium is a very tough venue to play in. That being said, our team is excited about the challenge and looking forward to Friday night.”

Here are some of the other top games this weekend involving Class 6A teams. All games are Friday unless noted.

*Baker County, Fla. at Glynn Academy (7:30 p.m. Thursday): Glynn Academy is one of seven Georgia teams participating in the three-day Georgia vs. Florida Border Classic at Glynn County Stadium. The Red Terrors (2-1) will face a Baker County, Fla. team that was shut out 12-0 two weeks ago in its only game. The other Class 6A team in the event, co-host Brunswick, will close things out at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against St. Augustine, Fla.

*Gainesville at Clarke Central: Gainesville is playing as a No. 1-ranked team this week for the first time since 2013. Gainesville and Athens High (Clarke Central’s predecessor) were longtime rivals, but they’ve met less frequently since Clarke opened in 1970. Gainesville has won nine of the 13 meetings, including 43-20 last year. Red Elephants QB Baxter Wright threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns in that game. Clarke Central is 2-0 and ranked No. 9 in Class 5A.

*Milton at Roswell: These two north Fulton rivals will meet for the 69th time in a series that began in 1950. Fifth-ranked Roswell (3-0) leads the series 38-29-1, but Class 7A No. 8 Milton (1-1) has won the past four meetings, including 14-7 last year. Roswell dominated that game statistically but failed to take advantage of six trips into Milton territory on its final eight drives. Milton’s Luke Nickel passed for 173 yards and rushed for 32 in last year’s win.

*Paulding County at East Paulding: The winner will take the early lead in Region 5, which won’t have a full schedule of region games until next weekend. Paulding County beat the Raiders 41-21 last year and went on to earn its first playoff berth in five years. This year, the Patriots are looking to shake off an 0-3 start in non-region play. East Paulding 1-2 after consecutive close losses to Class 7A North Paulding and 5A No. 7 Hiram.

*Woodward Academy at Marist: This game matches two 2022 Class 6A region champions, Woodward Academy of Region 3 and Marist of Region 4. Ninth-ranked Marist lost its season opener to Gainesville 34-26 but has rebounded with victories over Pike Road (Ala.) and Savannah Christian. No. 7 Woodward Academy is 1-1, with its loss coming against McCallie of Tennessee 41-21 two weeks ago. Marist leads 28-25-1 in a series that began in 1922.