Lee County vs. Jacksonville – By The Numbers

The Lee County Yellow Jackets will host the Jacksonville Cardinals this Friday in Sanford in a 3rd Round matchup in the 3A State Football Championship.   Below, WFJA Sports takes a look at all the numbers for this matchup and some thoughts on what Lee County must do to win.


Lee County 9-3 Overall, 4-2 in the Sandhills 3A/4A Conference

Jacksonville 9-2 Overall, 4-2 in the Coastal 3A/4A Conference

NCHSAA 3A East Tournament Seed

Lee County #5

Jacksonville #13

Maxpreps Ratings

Lee County – Maxpreps Team Rating 24.8, Schedule Strength 8.4, State Ranking #57, 3A East Ranking #2****Simmons Ratings 3A- #3 with a team rating of 135.7 with 7th toughest 3A Schedule

Jacksonville – Maxpreps Team Rating 24.8, Schedule Strength 5.9, State Ranking #56, 3A East Ranking #3****Simmons Ratings 3A – #6 with a team rating of 130.9 with 16th toughest 3A Schedule

Team Scoring & Defense

Lee County – Scores 34.2 ppg, gives up 15.9, margin of +18.3 ppg

Jacksonville – Scores 34.8 ppg, gives up 16.5, margin of +18.3 ppg

                                 Rushing                      Passing

Offense                  Att/Yards                   Comp/Yard            Total Offense

Lee County             331/1966                   151/1981                  3947                                                                                                   

Jacksonville           409/3121                   51/884                      4005                                                                                                

Leading Rushers

Lee County – BJ Brown 167/1260, Kendall Morris 45/340

Jacksonville – Damon June 93/769, Josh Benton 102/712

Leading Passers

Lee County – Will Patterson – 146 comp, 224 attempts, 1947 yards, 17 TDs

Jacksonville – Josh Benton – 40 comp, 104 attempts, 694 yards, 12 TDs

Leading Receivers

Lee County – Tyric McKendall 50/694/8TDs, Kenyon Palmer 29/584/8TDs, Eli Garrison 20/263/2TDs

Jacksonville – Shawn Jones 21/374/7TDs, Tristin Shapiro 26/471/5TDs

Leading Tacklers

Lee County – JoJo Jennings 74, TJ Johnson 62, Tyric McKendall 48, Landon Johnson 37, Mark Schlesinger 37

Jacksonville – Tackle Stats unavailable for Jacksonville


Lee County (9-3) – Schedule consisted of five 4A teams, 6 3A teams, and one 2A team.  Lee County has played 6 games against teams in the top 100 in NC with a 3-3 record.  Lee lost to #7 Glenn, #24 Richmond, and #43 Pinecrest – while beating #75 Southern Nash, #76 Scotland, and #88 Fuquay-Varina.

Jacksonville (9-2) – Schedule consisted of three 4A teams, seven 3A teams, and one 2A team.  Jacksonville has played 4 games against teams in the top 100 in NC with a 3-1 record.  Jacksonville lost to #84 Rose – while beating #31 New Bern, #82 Hunt, and #91 Havelock.   Jacksonville also lost to #147 DH Conley.

With identical Maxpreps team ratings, these two line up on paper as an even match.   Most prognosticators think the homefield advantage gives the edge to the Yellow Jackets and could be the difference this Friday.   Jacksonville travels well and filled the bleachers at Wilson Hunt last Friday night, so hopefully the Lee County fans will do the same and be the boost that the players need to beat Jacksonville.

As far as Xs and Os, Lee County must stop or slow down the ground game of Jacksonville, and the Yellow Jackets have proven they can stop the run.   The key may be Cardinal QB Josh Benton, who has passed for nearly 700 yards on the season but has run for more.  Benton must be contained, a dimension Lee County didn’t see against Southern Nash, as he can hurt the Yellow Jackets more with his feet than his arm.

Offensively, Lee County has turned into a big-play offense.   The Yellow Jackets have speed, plenty of weapons and continuing to spread out the defense will be key.   Getting the ball into the hands of playmakers is key as Lee County has proven they can score from anywhere on the field.   The Jacket offensive line has improved tremendously throughout the season and the running numbers of late will bear that out.  If they can continue to give BJ Brown holes to get through and Patterson time to throw, it will be hard to keep Lee out of the end zone.  Brown has averaged 105 yards per game on the season, but just over 160 per game since the Scotland Co game, to indicate the recent improvement of the running game.

As always, taking care of the ball is key – Lee has a +10 turnover margin on the season – and if the crowd can be a difference, WFJA Sports likes the Yellow Jackets chances and moving on to round #4.  

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