The Lely Trojans host East Lee tonight in a must-win Class 3A-District 12 contest.
Lely 1-1 in district play and 2-3 overall, faces a team in disarray. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
East Lee, 0-2 and 0-5 overall, can‘t seem to get an offense going and the defense has been manhandled against powerhouses like Barron Collier and Naples in district games.
Scotty Jones, is the head coach for East Lee, which is only in its second year with a varsity program.
Their best games were in losses to South Fort Myers, 28-27 and Lakewood Ranch, 23-20. The Jaguars lost to Naples, 33-0 and last week to Barron Collier, 34-6.
Marcus Simmons, a junior, started his first game at quarterback and accounted for the team’s score against Barron Collier.
“Naples and Barron Collier manhandled us,” Jones said. “Physically, we are not very strong. It takes three to four years of building a weight program to be able to compete with those teams.”
Former quarterback Dakota Curran is now at tight end. Running back Kyandre Smith has shown signs of getting back to where he’s been, but the other running back, James Holland, is out for the season due to a knee injury.
While Lely coach Dave Miller thinks East Lee has a strong defensive line, Jones notes that he only has two returners on defense. He also says his defense is on the field too much.
“We are only averaging 170 total yards a game on offense,” he says. “A year ago we were more like 380. Our offensive line just hasn’t helped us enough to keep drives going.”
Lely knows about offensive woes. An inexperienced line hasn’t been able to hold back the defensive pressure. Lely only had 156 total yards in its loss to Lehigh.
“We should have had more points against Lehigh, but our offense committed penalties that killed drives,” Miller said. “Our defense has played well, but it seems we give up two or three big plays. Hopefully, we can put together a full game with few mistakes.”
Safety Jhony Faustin, who also runs back punts and kicks, is doubtful. He injured his back on a punt return late in the fourth quarter against Lehigh.
If he doesn’t go, running back Darion Hall will join Makinton Dorleant, who had a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Lehigh.