After starting the season with an impressive 21-7 win over Wayne County the Statesboro Blue Devils took a small step backwards as they allowed Swainsboro to come back from a 10-7 deficit and the Tigers scored the game winning touchdown with just 37 seconds left in the game.
The difference in the game was a pair of Statesboro turnovers that Swainsboro was able to turn into two touchdowns. Blue Devil head coach Jeff Kaiser was proud of the clean game Statesboro had in their opener yet disappointed the problems Friday night proved costly.
“I was proud of the effort I team gave but the bottom line is we put the ball on the ground twice and both of those turnovers led to points for them,” said Kaiser. “The second one was really disheartening as we felt if we could get one first down, we could have run the clock out and won the game. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over and they won the game.”
“The only stat that really matters is whether it was a win or a loss,” said Kaiser. “That is true, but the second most important thing is the turnover ratio, and we were minus two in that area. We turned it over and they didn’t and that was the difference in the game.”
Kaiser felt the defense played pretty well overall with the exception of the Tigers final drive, and also had praise for some things on offense.
“You may not see it from watching from the stands, but our offensive line is playing pretty well,” said Kaiser. “We did some good things with our backs running the ball. We have to be able to execute throwing and catching the ball. We had a few drops and when the other team sees that they load the box and stop what you are really good at.”
Kaiser says he feels the team has done a good job of putting the loss behind them and are concentrating on their game Friday at Houston County.
The Bears come in with a record of 1-2 with 27-24 win over Crisp County sandwiched between a 36-13 loss to Perry and a 34-10 loss to Coffee County.
“They are a massive team far as their size on both sides of the ball,” said Kaiser. “We tell our kids we aren’t like a lot of other places every time we strap it up it is against a good opponent.”
The Bears are led by a huge front line on offense and defense and among the players to watch are freshman quarterback Antwann Hill and running back Simeon Askew who leads the team in rushing.
“They are a strong inside zone team running the ball,” said Kaiser. “They have a freshman quarterback who could play his way into being a five-star athlete. They are just a solid well coached football team. Special teams is something you notice when you turn on the tape. Their top running back goes about 225 pounds. Their interior defensive line averages 320 pounds.”
In order to win we are going to have to execute and do what we do on offense,” said Kaiser. “We have to be able to get outside on the perimeter and the number one thing is to not turn the ball over and we will be okay.”