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Old rivals collide as Screven County visits SEB
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The quest for Southeast Bulloch’s first state playoff win since 1974 begins anew tonight as the Yellow Jackets take the field for the first time under new head coach Barrett Davis.

Tonight’s season opener for the Yellow Jackets will be a test as they face perennial power Screven County. The Gamecocks are coming off a season in which they went 11-1, losing in the second round of the state playoffs to Rabun County.

Screven County (1-0) enters tonight’s game ranked seventh in the GPB state rankings.

“Screven has a great program,” Davis said. “(Head Coach) Ron Duncan does a great job of getting his players ready for games. They lost a good bit, but they reloaded in certain spots and they’re looking to work out the kinks in a non-region game like we are.”

The Yellow Jackets return an experienced roster, including 19 seniors on a team that went 6-4 during the 2017 regular season before losing in the first round of the state playoffs. Southeast Bulloch will be looking for its offensive line to quickly gain experience as the Jackets will be without Chase Walker for the first time in four years.

“We’ve got a lot of youth on the offensive line and in certain positions, but we’ve told the guys they’re coming out of the shadows. It’s time to get on the field and shine,” Davis said.

The offense will continue to be run out of the familiar wishbone, but fans can expect SEB to throw the ball a bit more than past iterations of the Yellow Jacket offense.

Quarterback Blaize Minick will lead the offense with running back Jontrell Wells and wide receiver Tyler Bailey expected to play key roles for the Yellow Jacket attack.

While tonight is the first game of the season, the Yellow Jackets did have a scrimmage last week that allowed Davis and the coaching staff to see his team get some live snaps and to evaluate areas that need to be addressed.

“We’ve got to cut out the penalties,” Davis said. “We had a lot of those, but those guys haven’t played a game since last year. “I thought it was good for us and there were things that should be easy to fix.”

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets will line up in a 3-5, which Davis said will allow for pressure from all areas of the field. Logan Gomez, Jabari Daniels and Rashode Hobbs will be leaned on to guide a defense that found its stride in the second half of the season in 2017.

While Screven County’s defense was one of the best in the state last year, Davis said the Yellow Jackets don’t have anything special planned for how they will attack the Gamecock defense.

“We’re going to do what we do regardless of who we’re playing,” he said. “We may look to add a few wrinkles here and there but we’re going to look at what our opponent is giving us both on offense and on defense.”

Davis said he’s expecting a great atmosphere at Fred Shaver field tonight for the season opener.

“We like playing teams that challenge us and get us ready for region play,” he said. “Our two schools not being far apart should lead to an exciting time.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Fred Shaver Field in Brooklet. The game will be streamed live on beginning at 7:20 p.m.