Two perfectly executed trick plays gave the Josey Eagles a 20-7 halftime lead and took all of the momentum away from the home team as the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (1-5, 0-3 Region 3-AA) dropped their third straight region contest 41-23 Friday night.
Josey (3-3, 2-1)got on the board first, relying mostly on the legs of running back Charles Hankerson. Hankerson toted the ball five times on the drive for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Southeast Bulloch appeared to have the Eagles stopped bringing up 4th-and-6 from the SEB 34-yard line, but Josey went for it, and quarterback Brandon Brown connected with Patrick Meyers on a nine-yard pass to move the chains and keep the drive alive.
The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over on downs on their first possession, but three plays later, SEB defensive back/wide receiver Tony Raymond picked off a Brown pass and gave the Jacket offense the ball on the JHS 16-yard line.
Southeast quarterback Joe Wilson hit Raymond on a 14-yard third-down pass to put SEB up 7-6.
Josey would score two more times before the half, both times on trick plays.
“Our defense played well with the exception of those two plays,” said Southeast Bulloch coach John Kenny. “The toss pass and the double reverse pass. You play good, sound football on defense and then they run those two trick plays. They beat us on them.”
Five minutes into the second quarter, the jacket defense was playing tight and had the Eagles in another third down situation, when Josey fullback Robert Seymore took a handoff, sprinted to the sideline and let rip a 46-yard pass to Meyers to put JHS up 12-7. They failed on the two-point attempt.
Later in the quarter – on the first play after forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt – Josey ran a double-reverse play. The ball ended up in Meyer’s hands, and he was able to find his quarterback who hauled it in for a 45-yard touchdown play. This time, the two-point attempt was good as Brown ran a play-action bootleg and ran it in.
Having lost all of the first-half momentum, SEB never recovered.
The Jackets came out of the locker room and put together a 10-play drive that lasted 5:50. Wilson was 3-for-3 passing on the drive, which appeared to be stalled on 4th-and-1, but a Wilson keeper kept it alive. Three plays later, however, SEB caughed it up on a fumble recovered by the Eagles.
Despite the 88 second-half passing yards and touchdowns by Arsenio Wright and running back Tharon Davis, the Jackets could not mount the comeback.
Wilson finished the game with 134 yards and two TDs through the air and Davis rushed for 76 yards and a score.
“Coach (Terrence) Hennessy and coach (Sean) Coburn did a great job with the offense this week,” said Kenny, “getting them ready. I though they had a great game plan. We didn’t always execute perfectly but we had success moving the football.”
Southeast Bulloch resumes play when they travel to region foe Laney for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.