After a rocky first half the Statesboro Blue Devil offense and defense got thing rolling in the second half outscoring the Bradwell Institute Tigers 20-0 as they went on for a 20-6 victory in Hinesville to improve to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in region play.
The Blue Devils wakeup call started on the first play of the second half as running back Jordan Lovett took a handoff up the middle, broke a couple of tackles and went 64-yards for the score. Michael Crews extra point gave Statesboro a 7-6 lead which they’d never relinquish.
In the first half the Blue Devils managed just three first downs and 42 yards of offense. The Statesboro offense had 251 yards in the second half and did not have to punt. The Bradwell offense never mounted a serious threat to score the entire second half.
“There was no yelling and screaming at halftime,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “We just told our guys we had to make a few adjustments. I think our offense after last week’s loss to Brunswick forgot our identity a little bit. We run the football. We couldn’t do it in the first half, but we regrouped at halftime and I’m proud of the kids for calming down and realizing there are 48 minutes in a football game.”
After their initial score in the first half the Blue Devils marched right downfield on their next possession as Jaylin Mikell capped a 52-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14-6.
The Statesboro defense once again forced the Tigers to punt on their next series and Statesboro got the ball down to the 10-yard line before fumbling and giving Bradwell the ball back.
The game remained 14-6 until midway through the fourth quarter when Jaylin Mikell broke up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown run. The extra point failed to leave the score 20-6.
The Tigers then mounted their only drive that got them into Statesboro territory in the second half. At the Statesboro 35 Bradwell quarterback Armando Hall rolled left and his pass was intercepted by the Blue Devils A.J. Eason at the Statesboro 35-yard line.
The Blue Devils eventually drove down to the Bradwell 4-yard line but rather than attempt another score the Blue Devils let the clock run out to end the game.
The first half saw the Tigers score on their opening drive on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hall to Elijah Melford. The two-point conversion failed for a 6-0 Bradwell lead. The Blue Devil offense was held to just three first downs the entire first half and Statesboro was also penalized eight times for 95-yards in the first half.
“They came out in something we haven’t seen, and we were a little soft,” said Kaiser. “Once we made some adjustments up front and got some pressure our kids answered the call the rest of the way. A.J. Eason sealed the deal with the interception in the fourth and that’s what we needed.”
“We were a little down after the Brunswick loss,” said Kaiser. “I think our kids came back Monday and realized we may have gone into that game thinking we weren’t good enough to play with the No. 4 team in the state. We came out of that game realizing we can play with anybody.”
Up next, the Blue Devils return home to Womack Field for a 7:30 kickoff next Friday against South Effingham.