ENGLAND: Lions’ sights set on 2A championship

Conference: 5-2A
Coach: Terry Farmer
’15 Record: 13-1

The England Lions gave fans an all-time type of season in 2015. An explosive offense led to a perfect regular season, home playoff games (the first in almost 30 years) and a trip all the way to the 2A semi-finals.

The Lions’ No. 1 ranked offense returns nearly intact this fall, led by senior quarterback and 501 Football Team honoree Brayden Brazeal. Last fall, Brazeal completed 65 percent of his passes for more than 2,800 yards and 40-plus touchdowns. “Brayden had the best quarterback ranking in the state 2A through 7A,” said Coach Terry Farmer.

Senior Simeon Brooks starts at fullback, clearing the way for all-conference senior running back Malik Coleman. Junior Darrius Clarkson and senior Marc Westbrook lead the receivers. Senior BJ Thompson returns at tight end after earning all-state honors last fall. Projected starters on the offensive line include senior Nigel Scaife (left tackle), junior Mikey Dillon (left guard), senior Brock Miller (center), senior Trey Hobson (right guard) and senior Synquan Hollis (right tackle).

England returns nine starters on defense. Thompson, Miller and senior Spencer Apel man the defensive line in England’s base 3-4 defense. Coleman and Brooks start at the outside linebacker spots, while Hobson and junior K.J. Davis hold down the inside linebacker positions. Senior Jaylin Lawrence (cornerback), Demarcus Houston (cornerback), Clarkson (safety) and Westbrook (safety) start in the secondary.

“Offense and defense should both be solid this season, returning nine starters on both sides,” Farmer said. “We run multiple formations on offense and defense and give a lot of different looks that best fit our kids. We expect to have a good season and a good playoff run.”