Photo Gallery | Lee shuts out Drury in football
LEE >> The Lee football team has dug itself out of an early-season hole, and are getting to where head coach Keith Thomson wants them.
The Wildcats (3-2, 2-0) picked up their third consecutive win — and third consecutive shutout — Friday night, beating Drury 40-0 in an Intercounty West game at John J. Consolati Field. The Blue Devils fall to 1-4 and 0-1.
"Our goal for this game was to come in and go 12 quarters without a score," Lee's Ryan Ruef said. "Obviously we did that.
"We executed our game plan very well. We came up with a diverse plan for this game, and we rolled."
The Wildcats scored on their first possession, and never looked back. Ruef, who had 182 yards in total offense, caught a screen pass from quarterback Homer Winston and burst through the Drury defense as he went down the left sideline on a 42-yard touchdown catch-and-run play. Ruef also scored on a 39-yard run in the second quarter. He ran the ball 14 times for 140 yards
All four Lee touchdowns in the first half came on big plays. In addition to Ruef's two scores. Mike Hurley broke at least six tackles on a 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and broke several more on a 38-yard catch-and-run pass play from Winston on the final play of the second quarter. Hurley finished up with 81 yards on four carries and 51 yards on two catches.
"We've been lacking big hard runs for a while. This is the first night that we've actually gotten big gains multiple times," Hurley said. "Most of the time, we're just getting four-to-five yard gains, moving it up the field.
"Tonight, we got those ... big plays. We needed those."
The Wildcats ran 46 offensive plays to 31 for the Blue Devils and 39 of them were running plays. Thirty-five of those 39 running plays went for positive yards.
"We want to wear teams out," Thomson said. "The running game is something that can break a team's will. If they know it's coming and you're still able to have success at it, sooner or later, you start to keep body language and you go after it."
Those so-called "big plays" were aided by Drury's tackling issues. The Wildcats are bigger and stronger and used that to their advantage. Drury coach Seth Shepard said he thought his team's discipline broke down.
"I told the guys at the beginning of the week the most disciplined team was going to win," Shepard said. "Lee was the most disciplined team. We know exactly what they're going to do. I told the guys where they're going to run, what they're going to do. We practiced it all week and it was execution."
Trailing 13-0 after one quarter, Drury hung around until the final two minutes of the first half. Sophomore quarterback Obilio Rodriguez had just completed a third-down pass to Hayden Bird for a first down. But on the next play, Lukas Loehr picked off a pass and returned it 20 yards to the Drury 45. Two plays later, Ruef took the handoff on a counter play and scampered 39 yards for the touchdown.
Lee held Drury to a 3-and-out, taking a punt at its 29 with 42.4 seconds left. Three plays later, after a Lee time out with 13.3 seconds to go, Winston dropped back to pass. He threw a shovel pass to Hurley on a screen, and Hurley went down the middle of the field 38 yards for the touchdown as time expired. The Wildcats led 26-0, and the rest was academic.
Drury tailback Jamal Beda had half of the Blue Devils' offensive output. He gained 49 yards rushing on 14 carries.
The Wildcats will look to make it four wins in a row next Friday, when Tri-County co-leader Ware comes-a-callin'.
"We can't let up. We have a big week next week against Ware," said Hurley. "We can enjoy this one for a little while now.
"We have a lot of confidence and I think we feel real good going into next week."
L—Ryan Ruef 42 pass from Homer Winston (Nico Chacon kick), 7::02.
L—Mike Hurley 61 run (Kick failed), 2:52.
L—R. Ruef 39 run (Chacon kick), 1:53.
L—Hurley 38 pass from Winston (Pass failed), 0:00.
L—Patrick Finnegan 1 pass from Winston (Run failed), 2:37.
L—Winston 2 run (R. Ruef run), 5:31.
RUSHING—Lee: Ryan Ruef 14-140, Homer Winston 6-10, Nick Castillo 4-20, Mike Hurley 5-81, Lukas Loehr 4-13, Omar Pichardo 2-6, J.J. Jiminez 2-(minus-1), Andrew Ruef 2-13. Drury: Hayden Bird 3-(minus-5), Jamal Beda 14-49, Obilio Rodriguez 3-4, J.J. Middleton 4-3.
PASSING—Lee: Winston 5-7-0 101. Rodriguez 2-7-2 26.
RECEIVING—Lee: Hurley 2-51, R. Ruef 1-42, Castillo 1-7, Patrick Finnegan 1-1. Drury: Bird 2-26.
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.