Brunswick freshman quarterback Randon Jernigan easily played beyond his years in leading the Pirates to victory. Jernigan ripped off five runs of 10 or more yards and totaled 202 yards on the ground, capped off by an 8 yard touchdown.
BHS 7 14 0 7 — 28
SHS 0 7 0 0 — 7
BHS_Jernigan 8 run (Mitchem kick), 7:45
BHS_Grant 3 run (Mitchem kick), 9:13
BHS_Smith 32 run (Mitchem kick), 4:49
SHS_Davis 3 run (Miller kick), 1:12
BHS_Smith 10 run (Mitchem kick), 3:05
First downs 17 8
Total Yards 373 146
Rushes-yards 58-348 34-76
Passing 26 70
Comp-Att-Int 5-11-0 4-12-0
Turnovers 1 2
Penalties-Yards 6-43 0-0
RUSHING_BHS, Jernigan 28-202. SHS, Davis 18-73
PASSING_BHS, Jernigan 5-11-0-26. SHS, Williams 1-1-0-44
RECEIVING_BHS, Smith 3-19. SHS, Osborne 4-70
Three keys to Brunswick's victory over SHS...
KEEPING A HANDLE ON THINGS: Statesboro’s defense didn’t make things easy for Brunswick, but the Pirates’ ability to hang on to the football made all the difference on the scoreboard. Brunswick took advantage of some short fields to build a lead it didn’t surrender and its sole turnover came after the game was well in hand.
BIG PROBLEMS: The offensive and defensive fronts for the Pirates dictated the pace for much of the night. When the Brunswick offensive line wasn’t clearing running lanes, the defensive front was getting penetration to shut down the SHS rushing attack.
DOING SOME HEAVY READING: Jernigan spent the majority of Friday’s game running the read option from his spot in the shotgun. More often than not, Jernigan made the right choice and constantly found plenty of room to run.
Friday night featured the 50th anniversary of Statesboro’s ‘homeless’ 1964 squad finally making its first appearance on Womack Field.
By the end of the night, it was a 14 year old who stole the show.
Brunswick freshman quarterback Randon Jernigan racked up 202 yards on 28 carries and passed for 26 more yards in leading his Pirates to a 28-7 victory to spoil the Blue Devils’ homecoming.
No matter what Statesboro (0-4, 0-2 Region 3-AAAAA) tried, the 5-foot-8 Jernigan was able to shift or power his way out of to keep Brunswick (3-2, 2-1) moving.
“He plays beyond his years,” SHS coach Steve Pennington said. “Some of that is good coaching by the Brunswick staff. But give a lot of credit to (Jernigan). He’s going to be good for a long time.”
Whatever Jernigan couldn’t do to hinder the Devils was covered by bad luck.
The Devils were all set to receive the game’s opening kickoff, but Timmy Wilson couldn’t handle a short kick and the Pirates pounded on the loose ball on the SHS 30.
Statesboro’s defense slowed the Pirates to a crawl, but could never fully stop the attack. Jernigan finished off the nine-play opening drive, slicing into the end zone from 8 yards out.
The Devils ran just two plays before disaster struck again — this time via a fumble by Jaylen Davis.
Brunswick couldn’t capitalize a second time as the Devil defense started a long night of bend-but-don’t-break tactics.
“Other than the score, there is plenty to be proud of,” Pennington said. “We kept fighting. We made some good plays. We just still haven’t put it all together.”
The Pirates threatened to run away in the second quarter as John Grant (22 carries, 89 yards) capped a long drive with a touchdown run.
After a three-and-out by the Devils, Shawn Smith went untouched through the middle for a 32-yard scoring run and Tyler Mitchem’s extra point made it 21-0.
Statesboro’s offense finally responded, launching a 12 play, 78 yard drive that culminated with a 3 yard plunge by Davis just before halftime to keep the Devils within 21-7.
The Devils’ best chance to rally came at the beginning of the second half.
The defense held Brunswick to a three-and-out and the offense once again found some traction.
Runs by Mahlon Williams and Davis got the Devils into the red zone, but Statesboro turned the ball over on downs at the Brunswick 6 when Davis was stopped just short on 4th-and-2.
Statesboro’s defense continued to hold the line and killed one Brunswick drive as Jordan Wright dove on a fumble at the SHS 8, but the Devil attack couldn’t threaten the scoreboard again and Smith added his second scoring run — this time from 10 yards out — to ice the Pirate victory with 3:05 to play.
“We need to realize what we’re facing,” Pennington said. “Plenty of years, we’ve been 4-0. Now we’re 0-4. There are obviously things we need to improve upon, and we have to continue to work at that.”
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-4904.