Time to peak
There no doubt running back Jerry Pullum was the Yellow Jacket star in Lee County's 41-26 win at Terry Sanford last Friday night as he totaled 321 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Lee County head coach Burton Cates had plenty of accolades to go around though as a lot of Jackets made key contributions.
Quarterback Duane' Bland sparked the running game as well in the first half and receivers Kahlese Arnold and Keyonta McDougald made big catches - specifically Arnold with a 30-yard touchdown catch 1:35 into the game and McDougald with a 34-yard gain on a 3rd-and-long play in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jacket offensive line - seniors Austin Cotton and Asa Reid, juniors Ethan Lucas and Quinn Setzer and sophomore Alek Phillips, along with senior H-back Nolan Groce - paved the way for Pullum's huge numbers.
"The offensive line, what more can you say?" Cates said. "We had five new starters (starting this season) and we have (Pullum) who's got 1,300-plus yards in seven games."
On defense, Thomas Ferguson, Hampton Thomas and Brandon Prevatte battled on the line against Terry Sanford's strong running game and Patrick Foushee intercepted two passes in the second half.
After the Bulldogs scored a touchdown to close within 41-26 late in the third quarter, the Yellow Jacket defense came through on the last two Bulldog possessions. The Jackets stopped the Bulldogs on downs inside the Lee County 10, then Foushee's second pick, on a long pass at the Jacket goal line, gave the Jackets the ball for good with 3:15 remaining.
"There certainly are some areas we've got to improve in, but it's great for our team having a lot of guys coming up big and making big plays for us," Cates said.
The Yellow Jackets (7-2, 3-1) will be hitting the road tonight, going to Westover (0-9, 0-4), trying to build on back-to-back Cape Fear Valley wins. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Wolverines fell 31-6 versus Southern Lee last Friday.
"As a coach, you're always trying, or maybe hoping and praying, that a team peaks at the right time," he said.
That goal is there, Cates said, no matter the opponent each week and November is obviously the right time.