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Blue Devils back on the road

    The Statesboro Blue Devils learned a lot about their team after a 39-20 loss to Coffee County, a team with one of the best defenses in  Region 3-AAAAA football.
    The loss brought Statesboro’s overall region record to 1-1 with a 1-4 overall record.
    Unfortunately, the Blue Devils had to work on a short week as SHS will travel on the road to face Richmond Hill (2-3, 1-3) today for a 7 p.m. start time.
    Statesboro High School also had to face the challenge of players being out of school for fall break.
    However, head coach Steve Pennington said his team came into the week to work and had solid practice sessions leading up to today’s game.
    “Being that we had fall break, it really worked out. Being on fall break and out of school, the change up kind of gives you something else to look forward to in the week,” Pennington said. “It gives us an opportunity to play a very meaningful game and have some time (for the players) on their own to enjoy fall break like everyone else.”
    As the Blue Devils try to move to 2-1 in the region, here’s a couple of things to take note of for today’s action.
    What to watch: Outside run/pass
    It’s no secret what the Blue Devils like to do on offense, and Coach Pennington knows that. His team likes to establish the run on the inside and against Richmond Hill SHS will try to establish its inside run.
    However, Pennington said Richmond Hill’s defense may present some opportunities the Blue Devils can take advantage of.
    Against Coffee County, SHS was not able to get the outside run, but against the Wildcats, expect to see a few runs on the perimeter.
    “Richmond Hill gives us some opportunities that maybe Coffee (County) didn’t. Our whole philosophy is to work the power game, but we feel there are opportunities to attack perimeter,” Pennington said. “Whether it’s with the option or the sweep, we’re just looking for a little variety and we’re going to try to go into the game and put the ball in the air some.”
    Who to watch: Mahlon Williams
    If it’s no surprise how the Blue Devils like to run, then it should be no surprise as to who will be getting the majority of the carries.
    Mahlon Williams has scored six touchdowns for the Blue Devils in the last three games, including a three-touchdown performance against Coffee County.
    Williams also had a season-high in carries with 34.
    “On one hand you have to give credit to Mahlon (Williams) and our offensive line,” Pennington said. “They were able to sustain and preserve in such a physical ball game.”
    Williams will certainly get his touches today, and has the potential of being an influential game changer with his legs.
    Key factor: supporting roles
    There’s no doubt considering Williams’ play as of late that teams will try to key in on the senior running back. Which is why coach Pennington wants to get other players more involved with the offense.
    Starting quarterback Davis Wiggins, and running backs Tupac Lanier and Tyler Gordon can have a big impact on today’s game. A solid performance can yield positive results for Statesboro High School.
    “The beauty is we scored 20 points without doing a lot. If we see we can do some other things as far as getting some other players involved, then it puts more pressure on the defense,” Pennington said. “For the betterment of the team, we need to get more people involved. One, to keep him (Williams) as fresh as we can in the game, and two, to keep him fresh for the remainder of the season.”