What a Night It Was For Lee County
The Lee County Yellow Jackets (15-0) won the Eastern Final Friday night at Paul Gay Stadium 34-9 over 2017 Champion New Hanover (13-2) and have advanced to next Saturday’s 7:00 pm game at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. Lee County continues to get better defensively every game and totally shut down the Wildcat run game to get the win. AJ Boulware finished with 247 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets into the finals against defending champion (15-0) Weddington – a 49-14 winner over Watauga in the Western Finals.
Lee County fans came out – and came out early – to support the Yellow Jackets in this battle of #1 & #2 seeds. The crowd was loud from the outset and no question there was a “home-crowd feel” that fed the players on the sidelines all night long. Two long runs by Boulware ignited the crowd with impressive scores, but it may have been the Jacket defense that got the fans the most involved. Play after play in the 2nd half, Lee County caused havoc defensively for New Hanover with tackles behind the line of scrimmage and physical play. There was no question who was winning the line of scrimmage and for that to be happening in the 4th round of the playoffs is huge.
The crowd hung around to the end and many enjoyed a huge celebration on McCracken Field afterward for pictures with the Eastern Regional trophy. Former players, parents, and friends of the program filled the entire left half of the field with many already making plans for going to Raleigh next Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets have taken a beating in the media all year for a soft regular season schedule and doubters have projected an early loss in the playoffs for this Lee County team. It hasn’t happened. The Lee County defense has put up better numbers against playoff teams than it did in the regular season. This includes offensive powerhouses Cleveland and New Hanover. There is no doubt these doubters have given this Lee County team something to prove. They did it for 11 games in the regular season. They’ve done it for 4 weeks in the playoffs. They have one more to go.
The local football fans should be proud of the support at the recent games. The crowd has helped the Yellow Jackets reach a State Championship game. Let’s continue the support and head to Raleigh next Saturday at 7:00 pm for the 3AA Championship. Go Jackets!!!!