The Lee County Trojans marched into Columbus with a perfect record to open their Region 1-AAAAA schedule against Hardaway at Kinnett Stadium on Friday night.
The Trojans are now also unbeaten in the region after blanking the Hawks 26-0.
The game featured two of the region's premier players in Lee County senior quarterback Stephen Collins and Hardaway junior running back Justin Crawford. Collins stole the show offensively, while the stout Trojan defense stymied Crawford all night.
Crawford entered the contest with 296 yards rushing, averaging 8.0 yards per carry and had scored four touchdowns in five games played. He was shut down and the Hawks shut out for the first time this season.
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The loss was Hardaway's fourth in a row. The Hawks won their first two games of the season, posting wins over Jordan and Columbus, before losing to Shaw, Lowndes and Newnan. Hardaway is now 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the region, while Lee County improves to 6-0, 1-0.
The Lee County win broke a two-game head-to-head winning streak by the Hawks. Hardaway posted wins in 2009 and 2011.
Collier helped with both his arm and legs, contributing to all three Lee County touchdowns.
The Trojans didn't take long to draw first blood. Lee County got good field position on the opening kickoff, starting in Hawks territory on the 46. It took only five plays to reach the end zone, though Collier got off to a slow start. His first two passes fell incomplete before finding JQ Quimbley for 21 yards and scooting 14 yards to set up first down at the 12.
Collier went to Quimbley again for the first score of the night. Michael Langston added the extra point and Lee County led 7-0 with the game only 1:19 old.
Langston accounted for six of the Trojans' points, scoring 3 PATs and a field goal. His 25-yarder with 1:40 remaining ended the first-quarter scoring. He missed another field goal, this one from 24 yards out late in the third quarter.
Collier scored on a nine-yard run in the second and Crawford was tackled in the end zone for a safety in the third to give Lee County a 19-0 lead entering the final quarter.
Collier and Quimby combined for their second touchdown of the night, ending the scoring with 8:37 to play.
Hardaway's defense came up with two big interceptions but the Hawks couldn't capitalize.
Early in the second quarter, with Lee County leading 10-0, Collier tried a quick jump pass on second down from the Hardaway 18 and Darius Green stepped in front of it to end the drive.
On the Trojans' first possession of the second half, Crawford took advantage of a deflection to pick off a Collier pass to halt a Trojans' drive at the Hardaway 26.
Friday at KinnettLee County 10 7 2 7--26
Hardaway 0 0 0 0--0First Quarter
Lee County--JQ Quimbley 12 pass from Stephen Collier (Michael Langston kick) 10:41
Lee County--Langston 25 FG 1:40
Lee County--Collier 9 run (Langston kick) 6:11
Lee County--Justin Crawford tackled in end zone. Safety. 7:26
Lee County--Quimbley 44 pass from Collier (Langston kick) 8:37
Records: 6-0, 1-0 Region 1-AAAAA, Hardaway 2-4, 0-1. Next: Hardaway, at Bainbridge, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.