Steve Pennington put it best earlier in the week: “As long as we still got a breath, we still have a chance.”
Statesboro (7-3) was defibrillated back to life with Brunswick’s win over Effingham County last Friday. So despite losing 3 of 5 and dropping a potential region championship to Ware County at home on Senior Night, the Blue Devils, do indeed, have new life.
Now SHS must board the buses and travel to the other side of the state where a talented Bainbridge team awaits, the No. 2 seed out of 1-AAAA.
The Bearcats (7-3) were in town just two season ago, when SHS knocked them out of the first round by a 38-18 score a Womack Field. Bainbridge has since changed coaches and schemes.
Quarterback Nick Williams — a Georgia commit — leads the BHS attack. The tall and athletic QB is the focal point of an offense that likes to spread it around the field.
“It’s an option package without a lot of option,” said Pennington. “But the concept is still the same where we must play assignment football. If we get caught up in the all the motion and going the wrong places then we’ll give up the big play.”
Williams’ most dangerous aspect is the ability to throw the deep ball. The Statesboro secondary will be tested.
On defense, the Cats are allowing 18 points a game and have allowed at least 20 points in three losses.
“They do not appear to be as quick or fast as we’ve seen the last couple of weeks,” said Pennington. “Our challenge to our backs and our linemen is to move that front. They do a good job of allowing their linemen to stalemate the front, then allowing their linebackers and DB’s to make plays.”
Statesboro should expect to see Patrick Jenkins back in the lineup Friday night, while Nic Lanier is still banged up with a nagging hip injury. Running the ball, as always, will be key for SHS.
“There’s not a game that we go in to where we don’t think we can run the ball,” Pennington added. “This case is no different. But we may have to make a more concerted effort to try and hit the corner and get to the perimeter. We want to make their linemen run east to west, sideline to sideline and get them tired. If we can do that than that will certainly opens things up.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.