FOOTBALL: Fuller leads comeback as Lee downs Southwest




Southwest was halfway to its first 2015 win and the signs looked good, but there still was Kyle Fuller to reckon with.

The Dragons (0-3) controlled the ball while producing a strong first half Sept. 11 at Southwest Stadium. They led by a touchdown at intermission, but errors and penalties stood in their way in the second half.

“We did better,” Southwest coach Pete Wagner said, comparing the Lee game to the previous two. “They got ahead big, but we were able to come back and take the lead. But I don’t think we got a first down in the second half.”

The Dragons actually recorded three first downs in the second half, compared to . They got a first down from a Volunteers penalty in the third quarter, but didn’t earn one from their offensive efforts until Lee had scored its final touchdown in a 35-21 non-district win.

After halftime, Lee (3-0) rediscovered the offensive formula that led to two quick scores at the outset. A pair of long touchdowns led the Volunteers to victory.

“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Fuller said. “We just tried to find the (gaps) in their defense.”

In a tie game, Southwest got a temporary lift with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, when it blocked a 23-yard field goal attempt. On Lee’s next possession, Fuller (13 of 34, 245 yards) passed 44 yards to Mark Sullivan for a 28-21 lead.

Fuller passed for 88 yards on four fourth-quarter completions. Sullivan (112 yards, 3 receptions) hadn’t caught a pass since the first quarter under tight coverage from the Dragons.

“We just found some open field,” Fuller said. “We audibled to that play, and executed.”

Lee back Samuel Davis IV cemented the win with a 29-yard touchdown run with 2:08 remaining. Davis had tied the score with a two-yard run on the Volunteers’ first possession of the half.

The touchdown came after Southwest fumbled away the second-half kickoff, which foreshadowed a half in which the Dragons recorded three first downs.

“I like that we didn’t quit,” Wagner said. “But we fumbled the ball (in our territory) to start the second half. We didn’t execute very well in the second half. We’ve got to get better.”

There was a bit of tortoise and hare going on in the first half. Lee scored twice in the first four minutes, but the Dragons led 21-14 at halftime behind a ground game that was increasingly successful.

The Volunteers scored on an 18-yard run from Fuller and recovered the ensuing kickoff. Aerial-oriented Lee found the end zone again without completing a pass. Davis scored on an 11-yard run with eight minutes still remaining in the opening quarter.

Middleton cut Lee’s lead in half with four minutes later, when he glanced off right guard and dashed 17 yrds to the end zone. The senior back ran nine times for 107 yards in the second quarter. He had several helpers in th e ballcarrying department.

However, the North Texas commit wasn’t able to finish the game because of a shoulder injury. He finished with 161 yards on 23 attempts, but ran for just 10 yards in the second half.

Junior Marquis Jones bounced off two tackles to score on a 10-yard run with eight minutes until halftime. The Dragons were tied 14-14.

After stopping the Volunteers at their 20, Southwest generated a nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a two-yard touchdown run from Isaac Corral. It was the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior’s first carry of the game.

“They’re really good,” Wagner said. “I thought our defense played well after those first couple of possessions, but we lost our (middle) linebacker Juan Garcia. He got hurt, and he’s a big playmaker for us.”

Defensively, Southwest allowed Fuller to complete just three of 10 second-quarter passes. The senior quarterback threw 41 yards to Sullivan on the second play of the quarter, but that big play failed to generate any momentum. Lee mustered just two first downs in eight minutes, while penalties bogged them down.

“We know we’re able to beat teams,” Fuller said. “It’s just a matter of coming out here and executing.”

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