August 17, 2013 11:21:38 PM
By Logan Lowery
Special to The Dispatch
STARKVILLE - Trace Lee's senior year did not begin the way that he would have liked.
The Columbus senior quarterback's second pass Saturday afternoon bounced off the hands of his intended receiver and into the awaiting arms of a Grenada defender and returned 57-yards down to the 3-yard line.
The Falcons defense was able to stand strong holding Grenada to only a field goal.
Knowing his defense would take care of business the remainder of the two quarter jamboree , Lee shook off the turnover and went right back to work awaiting the opportunity to guide the offense into the end zone.
That chance presented itself midway through the second quarter.
Riding the momentum of a fourth down stop, Lee and the Falcons offense took the field and marched 64-yards in only four plays for the game's only touchdown and held off Grenada for a 10-6 win.
"Our receivers are real athletic guys and made good plays," Lee said. "Our offensive line gave me time and we drove the ball down the field. I thought we did really well and that was our best drive of the game. We moved methodically and big time players made big time plays."
Lee was 3-of-3 on the scoring drive completing a 28-yard pass to Marquavious Mitchell, a 24-yard pass to Rod Hogan and then connected with Alex Lipscomb on an 11-yard touchdown.
"Early in the season it's hard to get your rhythm going," said Columbus head coach Tony Stanford. "On that one drive we got it going. We found out early that their outside linebackers couldn't cover our slots on a seam route. That's what we hurt them with on that drive then Lipscomb caught a good out pattern then tip-toed down the sideline there for the touchdown."
Lee, the younger brother of former Mississippi State quarterback Tyson Lee, finished the afternoon 6-of-9 passing for 93 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
With Lee entering his third season as the Falcons signal caller, Stanford is building the offensive around his experience and skill set.
"He's got that ability and has a real good arm," Stanford said. "We are trying to get our better athletes on the field with him so he has better people to throw to. We are going to try to play some people both ways."
Not to be outdone, Columbus' defense also shined on Saturday keeping the Chargers out of the end zone despite four drives that ended inside the 10-yard line. Corey Brown and Kris Reliford each had clutch sacks during goal line stands for the Falcons.
"We felt like we would be pretty strong on defense," Stafford said. "We haven't looked too good in practice on defense so I was kind of worried about that but they played better than we have looked so I am pretty pleased with how they looked. I know we have a long ways to go but they are going to get there I believe."