Lee football team runs by Drury, 44-0, to stay perfect

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CAROLINE BONNIVIER SNYDER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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LEE — Beef and aggression are what fuel the Lee football team.

The Wildcats exercised their two main strengths to perfection Friday night at home, beating Drury 44-0.

For the second straight contest — and now for 11 consecutive quarters — the Lee defense didn't allow a point. For the first time this season, though, the other side of the ball caught up.

"We're just rolling. We're moving and we feel like we're not going to let up any more touchdowns the rest of the year," said junior linebacker Garrett Hopkins. "Our D-line, we got a lot of beef up there, and we can get penetration from all across the field. I was just firing off the ball, hitting the A gap."

While Lee (3-0, 1-0 Intercounty South) coach Keith Thomson was quick to mention that it didn't hurt to have his first possession of the day start on the Drury 1, Lee's offense was able to sustain drives and put points on the board early.

A missed snap on a Blue Devils (1-2, 0-2) punt attempt gave Lee the ball just inches from the end zone. Senior quarterback Homer Winston got the scoring started on his first snap, heading off the right tackle just one minute, 14 seconds into the game. That began a night of enviable field position for the hosts.

Lee's next possession started on the Drury 28. Despite the Blue Devils coming up with big tackles for losses by Alan Marceau and Frankie Cooper, the visitors were pinned to their own one-yard line on a punt.

Obilio Rodriguez took the first snap in his end zone and looked up to meet nearly the entirety of Lee's front seven. He went down for the safety, and Lee accepted the kick-off at Drury's 45.

"We've got a lot of aggressive kids. That's kind of been our calling card down here. We like to play aggressive," said Thomson. "We want to dictate to the offense. We've got some experienced kids playing linebacker, the front seven's been great and the guys in back were terrific tonight."

Senior running back JJ Jimenez missed Lee's first two games, but was welcomed back into the offensive fold with the first two carries of a possession that ultimately ended in a four-yard Andrew Ruef touchdown run, and 16-0 lead. Jimenez got his, though, scoring three times later in the game.

His first came on a three-yard dive after Winston converted a fourth-and-five by breaking two tackles at the line of scrimmage on a seven-yard pickup.

The Wildcats had four rushers carry seven or more times. Ruef was the top man with 40 yards on the ground, but there just wasn't much turf available.

Jimenez's second score came just over a minute after his first and was the lone play on a six-yard scoring drive. Drury was whistled for a personal foul on the kick return, dragging its offense back to the seven. On the second play, Hopkins and the defensive line got through and forced Rodriguez to throw off his back foot. Tag Roosa swooped in for the interception, and a late hit by Drury gave Lee possession on the Blue Devils' six.

The toss went to Jimenez, who cranked up his speed down to the right pylon.

Ahead 30-0, and with his defense providing another three-and-out, Thomson gave Winston the green light to throw. Starting on his own 46, the senior signal caller hit Ben Harding for a short gain. After taking a sack, he dialed up a long one, connecting with Cole Redstone about 30 yards down field. The junior tight end made a couple defensive backs miss before finishing out a 50-yard touchdown catch.

"Our defense is probably a little ahead of our offense, was good to see them start clicking this week," said Thomson. "JJ back tonight was a good spark for us. We've got a lot of weapons, good problem to have, trying to utilize them all. O-line continues to grow, communications get better. Real happy with where we're at."

The Blue Devils mixed in a good play for every few that went south. Evan O'Dell did some damage on the defensive line, and Rodriguez hit Tim Brazeau for a 24-yard gain that brought Drury to midfield. Beyond a roughing the passer penalty that preceded a Harding interception from the Lee 42, that was as close as Drury got to the end zone Friday night. Lee forced Rodriguez into a 2-for-14 night with a pair of picks and the Blue Devils rushing attack averaged just over one yard-per-carry.

Drury drops to 1-2 and will welcome Amherst to North Adams next weekend.

The Wildcats are 3-0 for the second straight year, but a big game looms next week. Mount Greylock knocked the Wildcats from the unbeaten ranks in Week 4 of 2017 in Lee. Next week, Thomson's crew heads north to Williamstown. Greylock beat Belchertown 18-7 on Friday to move to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the division.

———

Drury     0     0     0     0     —     0

Lee     16     20     8     0     —     44

First Quarter

L —

L — Garrett Hopkins sack safety, 6:08.

L — Andrew Ruef 4 run (Consolati kick), 2:36.

Second Quarter

L — JJ Jimenez 3 run (Consolati kick), 4:47.

L — Jimenez 6 run (Consolati kick), 3:21.

L — Cole Redstone 50 pass from Winston (kick blocked), :26.

Third Quarter

L — Jimenez 12 run (Winston run), 2:04.

———

Team Statistics     D     L

First Downs     4     12

Rushes-yards     15-17     37-157

Comp-att-int     2-14-2     4-6-0

Passing yards     33     71

Fumbles-lost     0-0     0-0

Penalties-yards     8-17     3-30

———

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — D: Frankie Cooper 8-6, Obilio Rodriguez 2-4, David Delisle 2-17, Dante Woodson 2-0; L: Jack Purcell 8-25, Andrew Ruef 7-40, JJ Jimenez 7-32, Homer Winston 7-16, Nick Nicotra 4-27, Max Brighenti 3-15, Jimmy Purcell 1-2.

PASSING — D: Rodriguez 2-14-2 33; L: Winston 3-5-0 57, Ji. Purcell 1-1-0 14.

RECEIVING — D: Tim Brazeau 1-24, Woodson 1-9; L: Cole Redstone 2-64, Ben Harding 1-6, Ruef 1-1.

Mike Walsh can be reached at mwalsh@berkshireeagle.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.


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