Dominique Lynch, Athens Drive squeeze by Lee County

mblake@newsobserver.comSeptember 7, 2013 

— On the back of four touchdown runs from running back Dominique Lynch, Athens Drive held on to defeat Lee County 28-26 Friday at McCraken Field at Paul B. Gay Stadium.

“This is a tough place to play,” Athens Drive coach Chris Martin said. “Our kids, the past couple of weeks, have really fought through.”

Lee County scored on its first possession of the game, culminating the 10-play, 81-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run from quarterback Duane’ Bland.

Lynch didn’t play a down in the first quarter, but scored on a 8-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second.

He added a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 10.4 seconds left before halftime to give the Jags a 14-7 edge.

Lee County’s Jerry Pullam scored on an 11-yard run on Lee’s second drive of the third quarter to tie it up at 14.

The Jackets alternated between Bland and Pullam at quarterback and running back.

“We’ve got some talent. It’s young talent, but I think it’s going to get better each week,” Lee County coach Burton Cates said. “Both of them are good athletes and they’re best of friends. They’ve bought into it too, so that’s a good thing.”

Pullam pulled the Jackets even on a 11-yard run in the third quarter, but Lynch added touchdown runs with 2:01 left in the third quarter and 7:55 left in the fourth quarter.

Lee’s extra point was blocked after Bland had scored with 20.3 seconds left in third quarter, preventing the Jackets from tying the score.

Pullam’s 62-yard touchdown run 25 seconds later put Lee to within striking distance, but the two-point conversion was incomplete.

Lee had two more chances, but a 33-yard field goal was just perhaps just one yard short. After forcing an Athens Drive 3-and-out, the Jackets had one more chance with 17 seconds left, but couldn’t move the ball.

Matt Alexander, Jackson Wetherby and Tyrin Anderson each had interceptions for the Jaguars, which were huge given how well the Jackets moved it on the ground.

Pullam and Bland each had 11 carries and two touchdowns. Bland ran for 105 yards and Pullam ran for 109.

Athens Drive quarterback John Politis was 26-of-32 passing for 207 yards and no interceptions.

“We had to have him come around. If he didn’t, our offense was going to really struggle,” Martin said. “He was calm, relaxed and made some good decisions tonight throwing the ball.”

The former conference foes in the Tri-9 Conference are now in different classifications, with Lee County (2-1) grouped in 3A.

“We can take a lot of good things away from it,” Cates said.

Athens Drive (2-1) has a new name for its old league, the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference.

Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps

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