The No. 3-ranked Lee County Yellow Jackets will try to close out an undefeated season with a win over cross-town rival Southern Lee Cavaliers tonight at LCHS’ Paul B. Gay Stadium (kickoff 7 p.m.). Below are five things you need to know heading into the annual Brick City Bowl:
1 — This is the 12th one.
Southern Lee’s football program joined the varsity ranks in 2006, and since then, the Brick City Bowl has had a back-and-forth history of close games and ass whippings. Lee County owns the series, 6-5, but Southern Lee has taken the brick home three straight years despite being the underdog in all three contests. Last year, the Cavs knocked off a state-ranked, undefeated Lee County squad, 16-13, holding star LCHS running back Jahmir Smith to just 3.2 yards per carry in the win. Southern Lee won on a 37-yard field goal from star kicker Richard McCollum, who also hit kicks from 24 yards and 46 yards out in the win.
Here’s the rundown of the previous 11 games:
- 2016: Southern Lee, 16-13
- 2015: Southern Lee, 21-20
- 2014: Southern Lee, 14-3
- 2013: Lee County, 23-9
- 2012: Lee County, 49-0
- 2011: Lee County, 51-13
- 2010: Lee County, 48-0
- 2009: Lee County, 55-7
- 2008: Southern Lee, 24-6
- 2007: Southern Lee, 32-17
- 2006: Lee County, 56-33
2 — Lee County is good. Really good.
When Triton scored a second-quarter touchdown against the Jackets last week, it became only the second team all year to score on Lee County. They still lost, 44-7.
Lee County has outscored its 10 opponents by a whopping 485-34 margin this season. In four homes games so far, the Jackets own a 213-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
Not only would a Southern Lee win tonight be a major, major upset; a touchdown or a field goal would be a major accomplishment for the Cavs.
3 — Southern Lee owns the Brick.
Then again, Southern Lee wasn’t expected to upend its rival in any of the previous three match-ups. As The Sanford Herald noted this week: “The Cavaliers have spoiled an undefeated record, potential home playoff games, a senior night and an undefeated conference title for the Yellow Jackets — doing so with blocked punts and kicks, interceptions, an overtime … and a wide receiver-to-quarterback Hail Mary.”
4 — This one’s for the conference title.
Despite the overall record discrepancy (Lee County is 10-0, Southern Lee is 5-5), Southern Lee is 3-1 in the Tri County 6 standings, a game behind the Jackets (4-0). A Cavalier win tonight puts both teams at 4-1, meaning Southern Lee would finish as co-champions and would take away a No. 1 seed from the Jackets. Should Southern Lee lose, they’ll likely be in a three-way tie for second with Triton and Union Pines and will have their fingers crossed for a playoff bid.
In other words, there’s a lot riding on this one.
5 — There’s a little Rant history to the Brick trophy.
The idea of a Brick City Bowl trophy was the brainchild of Rant co-founder and former Herald news and sports editor Jonathan Owens and former Herald sports editor Alex Podlogar. Back in 2006, before the first game, the two were sitting in the Herald newsroom talking about the potential rivalry that could blossom on future Friday nights. Initially, the two agreed on a smaller brick that would have an iron handle, but the idea grew into a large trophy featuring a giant brick donated by Lee Brick. Podlogar and former Herald publisher Bill Horner III awarded the first Brick City Bowl trophy to Lee County in 2006.
And now you know … the rest of the story.