Jackets meet Terry Sanford again

Oct. 25, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

The last time Terry Sanford and Lee County met on a gridiron, both were 4A programs trying to advance in the state playoffs last November.

The host Yellow Jackets scored in all sorts of ways for a 57-35 win over the Bulldogs to reach the second round of states. Now, tonight in Fayetteville, the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets clash as county rivals and the stakes aren't quite survive-and-advance, but they're pretty big within the Cape Fear Valley Conference and for how the 3A state playoff brackets will shake out in a little more than two weeks.

With Douglas Byrd sporting a 4-0 league record and wins versus Lee County and Terry Sanford, the Jackets and Bulldogs will likely decide second place in the CFVC tonight - with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. in Fayetteville. Following tonight's action, Lee County has a game at Westover then will host Southern Lee in the Brick City Bowl the last two Fridays of the regular season.

The non-conference portions of the Yellow Jacket and Bulldog seasons have been different. Lee County, as head coach Burton Cates was building after the loss of 28 seniors from the 9-4 2012 Jackets, went 4-1 with four one-sided wins. Terry Sanford went 0-5 versus five Fayetteville neighbors.

The tough slate has paid off for the Bulldogs now that conference play is here. The Bulldogs nearly claimed the conference lead but fell, 29-28, to Douglas Byrd two weeks ago.

Terry Sanford rebounded with a 28-14 win at Gray's Creek last Friday. Sophomore quarterback Jordan McRae carried for 205 yards, at 13.7 yards per carry, as the Bulldogs totaled 361 yards and all four touchdowns on the ground. McRae was 4-for-7 passing for 62 yards and an interception.

The Yellow Jackets totaled 526 yards of offense in last year's playoff victory over the Bulldogs. After a 7-6 Bulldog lead early on, Lee County led 34-14 at halftime and 50-14 late in the third quarter.

Lee County comes into tonight off its only bye week of the season, and a 56-13 win over Union Pines two Fridays ago. The Yellow Jacket defense has held opponents to 9.2 points per game in the six Jacket wins. The Vikings had some success on the ground but the Jackets completely styimed Viking passing to the tune of 18 yards allowed and an interception each by Nolan Groce and Pressley Hales, which he took 70 yards for a touchdown.

Junior running back Jerry Pullum leads the Jacket offense with 1,041 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing.