Hall of Fame football coach and Florida State legend Bobby Bowden said: “I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty.”
Tyrone Rogers and the Robert E. Lee Generals took Bowden’s words to heart on Friday, beating Sidney Lanier 14-0 to tally their first win.
“By no stretch did we play a great game, but there’s no such thing as an ugly win,” Rogers said. “A win is a win. We’re just glad to be in the win column, and we can try to start some things from here and get something positive going.”
It took the Generals (1-2, 1-1 Class 6A, Region 3) until their third game of the season to get their first win, something Poets coach C.J. Harris is still seeking.
“We just have to continue fighting and going hard every day,” Harris said. “We’ve just got to work hard and do the things that we have to do. I tell them, ‘How you start your week is how you’re going to end your week.’ If we go hard in the beginning of the week, we’ll be able to get what we want at the end of the week.”
The game’s fast-pace start came to a halt quickly. Lee jumped up 7-0 after a seven-play drive capped off by a Jaylin Dailey touchdown run helped the Generals cash in on a Lanier fumble.
Anthony Hooks scrambled in for a six-yard touchdown to go up by two scores heading into the break.
Both teams took turns stalling offensively in the second half. The teams combined for 11 penalties, two turnovers, 3-for-9 passing, four punts and two failed fourth-down attempts in the final two quarters. Lee managed just 89 yards of offense in the second half, and Lanier mustered just 61 yards.
“We just couldn’t get in rhythm,” Harris said. “We’re not bad, but we’ve just got to continue working. We’re young, but at the same time, that’s no excuse. We’ve just got to continue and get better.”
Despite the lack of flash on the field, the Generals were all grinning as they gathered in front of the student band to listen to the alma mater after the game. Rogers said he’ll be quick to remind them to enjoy the win, but not too much.
“Any time that you get the relief syndrome, like you arrived, that’s when you’re not able to continue to go forward. So, we just need to understand the 24-hour rule. We’ll enjoy this for 24 hours and just celebrate, but then we still have a long season ahead of us. Sunday, we’ve got to get ready to work and rock and roll.”