Douglass Defense Dominates while Offense was Outstanding
In the first ever Frederick Douglass High School Football competition, George Rogers Clark (GRC) came to Lexington for what would eventually be the first football victory in school history. Head Coach Brian Landis (Frederick Douglass) and Head Coach Dr. Oliver Lucas (GRC) take over for the first year at their respective programs. In the end, it was athletes making big-time plays at the right time for Douglass that would lead to victory.
The format for this scrimmage was four 15-minute quarters, the last being Freshman-only. Douglass captains Dayton LeBlanc (55) and Jefferson Harkless (25) walked out to midfield for the coin toss. These boys in orange won the toss and elected to receive the ball, then the duo rallied with their team. Coach Landis gave them a final word of inspiration, and finally after exactly 193 days from the first-ever team workout – it was game time!
After a couple of third down conversions and a great 4th down Monteveon Bean 40-yard quarterback keeper, it was Jefferson Harkless that scored the first touchdown in the history of Douglass football. Harkless broke a few GRC cardinal tacklers on 19-yard unforgettable rush. “I can’t believe it,” Harkless recalled his touchdown run during halftime.
Following a GRC fumble at their own 45, the Douglass defense recovered and was poised to drive down the field again. The crowd went wild when Monteveon Bean (13) connected on a deep strike to wide receiver Hayden Hunt (8) in the end zone. These two are very familiar with one another, as they are both two sport athletes that also compete together on the baseball diamond. Sophomore Ryan Leigheb (99) added an extra point kick and made it 14-0. In all, Leigheb went 5-5 on extra points.
Early in the second quarter, Harkless tried to punch one in again but came up short. Monteveon Bean finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown around the left side. After a Leigheb extra point, Frederick Douglass took a commanding 21-0 lead. The following Cardinal drive showed promise. GRC drove down the field and had an opportunity to cut into the lead. However, a 32 yard field goal attempt came up short. Douglass drove down the field, but came up short on converting a 4th down play. With good field position, GRC again showed promise with a strong drive. The Douglass defense again forced a turnover, this time on a 4th down stand at the GRC 11 yard line.
Douglass went into halftime up 21-0. Offense and defensive made halftime adjustments with their coordinators and position coaches. An excited group of players donning white helmets, orange jerseys, and white pants returned to the field to continue one more quarter of varsity competition. To open the third quarter, GRC threw a deep pass right into the hands of Frederick Douglass’ Devin Neal (33), who returned the interception 20 yards to the Douglass 30. After a trade of turnovers that included a Douglass fumble recovery, FDHS had the ball 1st-and-10 from its own 28 yard line.
Sophomore quarterback Jaylin Bybee (28) replaced Montaveon Bean, and on Bybee’s first play he took the ball 28 yards to the house. This Douglass touchdown made the score 27-0. This wouldn’t be the last score for the night for Frederick Douglass. With 2:39 left in the 3rd quarter, Darius Neal (39) ran the ball 50 yards down the left sideline all the way to end zone to make the score 35-0 after a Leigheb extra point. Neal brothers Darius and Devin came up big for Douglass on both sides of the ball.
The game ended with a Frederick Douglass interception that nearly turned into a pick-6. The two programs shook hands and Coach Brian Landis gave his remarks to the team. “I’m proud of the way you all battled. Be humble about this win. We have a lot to improve.”
Frederick Douglass will play at Danville High School at 8pm on Saturday August 19 for the first regular season game.