RED SPRINGS — When scanning the football field on Friday nights, Lee McLean is particular in where he places his focus.
“I try to see nobody,” said McLean, a sophomore running back for Red Springs. “The first hole I see, I try to take off in it and get the score.”
On Friday night against West Bladen, McLean was zoned in, scoring a trio of rushing touchdowns to lead the Red Devils to a 27-14 win over the Knights.
It was the first Three Rivers Conference win for first-year coach Lawrence Ches, who was cooled off after the game when his players dumped ice water over his head to celebrate the victory.
“Lee McLean is the truth, man,” the Red Springs coach said. “He’s the workhorse. He’s a 20-to-30 carry (running) back. He knows his blocking assignments, holds on to the football and he’s a 15-year-old sophomore.”
Racking up 166 yards on 26 carries with scores of 1, 3 and 8 yards, McLean was indeed the feature back for a Red Springs team that, despite five turnovers, was in charge for a majority of the night.
McLean scored both of Red Springs’ first-half touchdowns, giving the Red Devils (3-1, 1-1 TRC) a 14-7 advantage over the Knights (2-2, 0-2) at the break. The only scare of the night came late in the second quarter when McLean went down with what appeared to be a minor leg injury.
But he returned in the second half, rushing for 33 yards on his first carry out of the half, racking up 102 second-half yards.
Denym McKeithan connected with Traveze Billinger on a 35-yard touchdown to join McLean in the scoring column. Red Springs took its biggest lead of the night, 27-7, after McLean’s 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.
Tyre Boykin accounted for both of West Bladen’s touchdowns, finding B.J. Drake on an 8-yard pass in the second quarter and finding the end zone on a 12-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter for the final tally.
The Knights finished with a pair of turnovers.
Boykin was 8-for-14 for 58 yards through the air, as West Bladen was held to just 122 rushing and 180 total yards in the game.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.