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Backs against the wall, Devils travel to Brunswick

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    All of a sudden, the Statesboro Blue Devils find themselves with their backs against the wall heading into tonight’s contest with Brunswick. With two region losses, in a four-way tie for second place and a home finale against region front-runner Ware County looming — the Devils are in a must-win scenario.
    “Our goal is to win every game that we play and we’re only playing one game this week,” said SHS coach Steve Pennington. “We’re still fighting for a region championship which is still very, very alive.”
    For the first time since 1998, Statesboro (6-5, 5-2) has lost two of three. Both games the SHS offense has failed to score and turnovers and penalties at inopportune times have doomed the Devils.
    The fast and furious Pirates (6-2, 5-2) have speed at all places on both sides of the ball. Brunswick has won two straight and its two losses are a combined four points.
    “Brunswick gives us something that we really haven’t seen,” said Pennington. “They have the power game, they have the passing game and they have the perimeter. So they have all three facets.”
    The Pirates have thrown for 937 yards led by quarterback Jonathan Dixon. They’ve racked up 1458 on the ground Richard Cash and Darius Slay. Brunswick has 10 different receivers who have caught a pass. Wesley Smith has 387 yards to lead the bunch.
    On defense, BHS is a blitzing, aggressive force.
    “The most aggressive defense we have faced,” said Pennington. “It’s a challenge to our offensive line because they pin their ears back and we must stop penetration.”
    Thus, the Devils will look to counter, trap and mis-direct the Pirate defense, and may even look to get the short passing game going to try and spark the offense.
    “The beauty of it is — if you do stop (penetration), and hit the hole right — then you end up with big yardage,” Pennington added. “And we really got to get our short passing game going as well. They play man coverage and that’s an opportunity to take advantage of that.
    Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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