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  • Greg Wille

Academy staves off rival Rogers 20-15 on road to begin Lancaster era with season-opening victory

ROGERS – Academy made head coach Chris Lancaster a winner in his first game with the Bumblebees, riding a strong defensive performance to a season-opening 20-15 win over rival Rogers on Friday night at Merk Field.

The Bees snapped their two-game losing streak against the Eagles and defeated them for the fifth time in seven years. The Eagles lead the all-time series 66-22-2.

Academy trailed 7-0 early but led 13-7 by halftime, then traded touchdowns with Rogers in the third quarter. A year after coach Charlie Roten's Eagles produced 55 points in a 10-point shootout win over the Bees at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Academy's defense pitched a fourth-quarter shutout to preserve the victory.

Bees quarterback Jerry Cephus threw touchdown passes of 15 yards to fellow senior Jaylin McWilliams and 60 yards to junior running back Darion Franklin, who had an 8-yard TD run.

Rogers' touchdowns were junior quarterback Riley Dolgener's 2-yard run in the first quarter and freshman running back RJ Cook's 46-yard rush in the third.

Academy will shoot for a 2-0 start when it plays next Friday at Clifton (0-1), which lost 25-14 to Sanger. Rogers aims to even its record when it travels Friday to San Saba (1-0), whose Armadillos pounded Eldorado 56-14.

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