The Dutchtown Bulldogs have statistically been one of the top defenses in the state. Friday night in Hampton the Statesboro Blue Devils got a first hand look at how tough the Bulldogs are in the opening round of the state AAAAA playoffs. Dutchtown held Statesboro to only 11 yards rushing and 72 total yards of offense as they defeated Statesboro 20-0, ending the Blue Devils season at 5-5.
“It was disappointing, I felt like our older guys may have thrown in the towel a little there in the second half,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “Dutchtown is a fine football team, and they will probably go far in the playoffs.”
Statesboro has ridden their defense through most of the season, but Friday they ran into a Dutchtown team that has given up just over 10 points per game. That coupled with the fact that the Blue Devils have struggled at times offensively made for a tough matchup for Statesboro.
“We couldn’t get anything going offensively, and our defense was on the field too long,” Kaiser said. “Our defense played well for most of the first half, but they wore down there in the second half, and our offense never got going.”
The Dutchtown offense came in averaging 30 points per game, and for most of the first half the Statesboro defense held them in check. Dutchtown had one drive in the first quarter where they got inside the Blue Devil 15-yard line, but special teams came through with a blocked field goal attempt from 27 yards away and the game remained scoreless through the first quarter.
The Blue Devil offense managed just 31 total yards of offense in the first half, leaving the defense on the field for the majority of the half, and they held up well until the Bulldogs final possession of the first half. Quarterback Arendez Fedd helped move the Bulldogs downfield with his arm and his legs. A few scrambles for first downs, combined with a couple passes to Taurean Johnson helped get Dutchtown to the Statesboro 14.
With only eight seconds to go until halftime Fedd scrambled around and then took off around the left sideline, at about the seven-yard line it appeared a couple Blue Devils had him stopped short, but as the horn blew to signal the end of the half, Fedd dove across the goal line for a touchdown. The extra point gave Dutchtown a 7-0 halftime lead, and more importantly some momentum going into halftime.
The Bulldogs continued their momentum into the third quarter as they took the opening kick-off to the Statesboro 43-yard line. They would then cap off the six play drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Fedd to Nate Mccollum for a 14-0 lead with 10:04 to go in the third quarter.
The Blue Devil offense continued to go three and out, leaving the defense on the field for most of the second half as well. Early in the fourth some frustration from the Statesboro defense helped get the Bulldogs in position for their third and final score of the game. Three personal fouls extended the Dutchtown drive, that was capped off by a three-yard Fedd touchdown run for a 20-0 lead.
Statesboro did not cross midfield until the final play of the game which was a 37 yard pass play from Drake Horton to Will Yawn, accounting for 37 of Statesboro’s 72 total yards.
“We took a step in the right direction this season,” Kaiser said. “We are going where we need to go. We still have to work on us more than anything else. I’m disappointed for our kids because they played so hard this year, but our seniors have to do a better job when we lose.”
Statesboro ends the season at 5-5 which is their first season at 500 or better since going 10-2 in 2013.