The Southeast Bulloch flag football team kept their win-streak alive and in the process advanced to the Elite-8 of the state tournament as they knocked off Spencer 40-0 and then defeated New Hampstead 19-0 in game two Tuesday night at Fred Shaver Field.
“We put up a bunch of points in the first game but against a little better team in the New Hampstead game it took our offense a bit to get going,” said SEB coach Marci Cochran. “The good thing was our defense played consistently the whole time and our offense finally got rolling. We watched what New Hampstead did to Lowndes and knew it was going to be a big step up in competition and I think we rose to the occasion.”
The Jackets had no problem with Spencer in the opening game as they raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead and were able to play most of the junior varsity players in the second half. Ansleigh Littles opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Thames, that was followed by a touchdown pass from Littles to Alex Odom for a 14-0 lead.
A Thames interception helped set up the next touchdown as Kaylee Haas ran one in from seven yards out to make it 20-0. The Jackets closed out the first half scoring as Haas hit Thames with a short scoring strike to extend the lead to 27-0 at halftime.
Korine Talkington started the second half scoring with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Thames for her third touchdown of the game. Saniyah Woullard helped set up the Jackets final score with an interception. The final touchdown of the game came on a Jaci Kitchens touchdown run as the youngsters were able to get some important playing time.
“These kinds of games are fun when everyone is able to contribute,” said Cochran. “I feel like it’s important to be able to get the underclassmen some playing time especially in the state tournament so hopefully they will have an idea of what that is like in the future.”
The nitecap saw the Jackets taking on an athletic New Hampstead team who came int the game with a record of 12-1 and had just beaten Lowndes 33-0 in the second game of the night.
The Jackets opening drive ended in an interception by the Phoenix, but the Southeast Bulloch defense forced a punt and then SEB had a nice offensive series. After a couple first down passes, Littles rolled to her right and threw across her body, lofting a high pass to the back of the end zone where Thames leapt over two defenders and pulled it in for a touchdown.
“That touchdown by Delaine was huge,” said Cochran. “It takes so much pressure off you to finally get some points on the board especially against a good team like New Hampstead.”
The Jackets got close late in the half but were unable to punch it in and the game remained 7-0 at the half. In the second half Littles found Lauren Erickson for a crucial first down on fourth and 10. Littles then hit her sister Addie Hood for an eight-yard score to push the lead to 13-0.
The defense kept their streak of six-straight shutouts going and the offense brough the fanes to their feet with an incredible play moments later. Littles through the ball to Lauren Erickson down the near sidelines. The pass was a little high and tipped by Erickson and defender Promise Cooper and the Jackets Alex Odom grabbed it against her own head and then transferred it to her arms and ran it all the way inside the Phoenix 10-yard line. Two plays later Littles hit a diving Hood in the end zone for the final points of the game.
“We are so happy to be able to play another game at home in front of our home fans who have been great all year,” said Cochran. With only eight teams left we know everyone is really good and have to take our games to another level.”
The win puts the Jackets into the Elite-8 where they will play Northside Columbus Thursday at 5:30 at Fred Shaver Field.