A day before the region matchup between Statesboro High School and the Brunswick Pirates, Blue Devils' head coach Steve Pennington said his defense would get the chance to intercept some passes.
However, that wasn't the case as the Pirates' starting quarterback went down with an injury in the first half of a 7-6 loss against SHS.
The Blue Devils (1-3, 1-1 region) had their fair share of challenges to overcome in a region matchup Friday night at Glynn County Stadium.
Along with physical injuries to the offensive line, Pennington said his team had to overcome emotional challenges as well.
"I just have to get this off my chest," said an excited Pennington after his team's first win of the season. "You want to talk about adversity. Our offensive coordinator lost his grandmother and our wide receiver coach is in the hospital and he's been there for two days. I think the lesson is, in life, we're going to be faced with hurdles and conflicts and things that don't go our way. But we still have to rally together and do your best and our players gave their best."
The Blue Devils rallied together for a second half comeback, and Statesboro's defense stepped up to hold the Pirates to just six points on the night. SHS also overcame three turnovers in the game, including two interceptions in the second half.
Miscues, penalties and turnovers hindered the Blue Devils' offense all night.
Friday night, neither team could gain enough momentum to break a 0-0 tie, that is until the Pirates received a break on a roughing the kicker call on a made 11-yard field goal attempt with 3:30 left in the half.
Two plays later, Brunswicks' Shawn Smith would run in into the endzone from six yards out.
That would be the last time the Pirates would see the endzone. The Blue Devils defense gave up 125 rushing yards to Shaq Robinson, but only allowed 13 passing yards in the game.
"Well when their quarterback got hurt it really limited what they could do," Pennington said. "That's what they wanted to do. In one hand, it could have worked to their advantage because they're so big up front but our defense just made some adjustments and really did a good job."
It appeared as though the Blue Devils may be shutout for the first time all season, but senior running back Mahlon Williams was having no part of it.
Williams ran for 147 yards on 19 carries including a 50-yard touchdown with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter. The score would be enough for the Blue Devils to win their first region game of the year.
"All season we've talked about finishing. All week we talked about finishing and when we scored that touchdown we knew we had to finish. The defense held up and we had a complete game," Williams said.
Statesboro will try to keep up its positive momentum next week as the Blue Devils continue Region 3-AAAAA play with a home date against Coffee.
SHS 0 0 0 7 - 7
BHS 0 6 0 0 - 6
BHS_Smith 5 run (conversion failed) 3:21
SHS_Williams 50 run (Miller kick) 9:53
First downs 8 12
Total yards 192 176
Rushes-Yards 30-172 44-163
Passing 20 13
Comp-Att-Int 5-11-0 4-8-0
Turnovers 3 0
Penalties-Yards 5-25 2-10
RUSHING_SHS: Williams 19-147, TD; BHS: Echols 18-39
PASSING_SHS: Wiggins 2-4-20; BHS: Smith 2-5-15
RECEIVING_SHS: Lanier 1-12; BHS: McCloud 2-15