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Coffee jolts Blue Devils

Box Score
SHS     0    0    0    7 —  7
CHS    14    7    7    7 — 35

First Quarter
CHS_Fussell 33 pass from Paulk (Lord kick), 11:20
CHS_Sears 5 pass from Paulk (Lord kick) 3:05
Second Quarter
CHS_Davis 1 run (Lord kick), 7:32
Third Quarter
CHS_Davis 21 run (Lord kick), 6:49
Fourth Quarter
CHS_Swinson 5 run (Lord kick), 11:04
SHS_Gordon 7 run (Miller kick), 0:29

    SHS    CHS

First downs    13    20
Total Yards    182    397
Rushes-yards    45-178    35-287
Passing    4    110
Comp-Att-Int    1-6-0    9-18-0
Turnovers    0    0
Penalties-Yards    1-10    6-58

RUSHING_SHS, Davis 19-65. CHS, Davis 10-87
PASSING_SHS, Williams 1-6-0-4. CHS, Paulk 6-9-0-70
RECEIVING_SHS, Osborne 1-4. CHS, Fussell 3-45

The Trojans' Demetrius Davis hit the ground running for Coffee, ripping off a long run on the first play of Friday’s game that set the tone for the rest of the night. Davis finished with 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Three keys to Coffee's victory over the Statesboro Blue Devils...
    Statesboro did its best to limit the powerful Trojan offense, but Coffee simply had too many weapons. While the Devils didn’t allow many big plays, they were rarely able to get the Trojan offense off the field.
    When the Devils were able to gain yards on offense, the Trojans answered by dialing up the pressure. Several well-timed blitzes led to big SHS losses to stop any momentum that the Devils were building.
    With Kleinlein out of the lineup, Juhwan Osborne — Statesboro’s biggest receiving threat — was largely neutralized. Williams looked for Osborne on multiple occasions, but was unable to produce a big play.

DOUGLAS - An already rough season for Statesboro sustained another body blow Friday night as No. 5 Coffee dismantled the Blue Devils by a count of 35-7.

The Trojans (5-1, 3-1 Region 3-AAAAA) showed exactly why they entered the game averaging north of 38 points per game, failing to meet that mark mostly because they emptied the bench in the second half.

Coffee covered 62 yards in just 40 seconds to get things started. Demetrius Davis (10 carries, 87 yards, 2 TDs) ripped off a 28-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. On the next play, Tyreek Paulk hit Anthony Fussell on a quick screen and Fussell went 33 yards for the touchdown.

"We knew that it was going to be a huge challenge to stop that very good offense," SHS coach Steve Pennington said. "Sure enough, Coffee showed the talent that they have. In most of our games, we've had trouble at the start. Coffee caused some of that, but we definitely need to start games better."

Statesboro (0-5, 0-3) drove to midfield on its first possession, but was forced to punt.

Coffee went right back to work, converting a pair of third downs as the Trojans stormed down the field again.

At the SHS 5, Paulk faked an option run to his right, then slipped a shuttle pass to Lacarius Sears, who trotted into the end zone.

Coffee forced a three-and-out on Statesboro's next possession and took advantage of a short field to keep its foot on the gas. Davis capped off the 40-yard touchdown drive by diving in from a yard out for the first of his two scoring runs.

Statesboro was finally able to hold the Trojans on Coffee's final drive of the half. The Devils gave ground, but forced a turnover on downs at their own 13 to go into the locker room down 21-0 at halftime.

The Devils couldn't build on that bit of hope as they quickly were forced to punt on the opening drive of the second half.

Davis removed any doubt that might have remained about the outcome of the game when he highlighted Coffee's first drive of the third quarter with two crafty juke moves and a 21-yard touchdown run off an option pitch from Paulk.

"I don't think it was a lack of effort or hustle on our part," Pennington said. "Coffee was just better than us. They've got so many different ways to hurt you, and we just couldn't get them off the field."

The Devils were forced to change things up a bit on offense as starting quarterback Austin Kleinlein sat out with a bad back. Mahlon Williams entered the game as Statesboro's leading rusher, but assumed quarterbacking duties while Jaylen Davis (19 carries, 65 yards) handled the majority of the running.

Statesboro managed 13 first downs on the night, but didn't penetrate into Coffee territory until the third quarter.

Inside runs were able to gain minimal yardage, but Coffee was able to pin its ears back and pressure the offense in every long yardage situation.

The Devils claimed their only points in the waning seconds of the game as Statesboro's reserves quickly drove down the field, and Tyler Gordon notched his first career touchdown on a 7-yard run.

With any hope of making the postseason fading fast, the Devils must now deal with a short week. Statesboro will return to the practice field Monday with just three days to prepare for a Thursday night showdown with Richmond Hill at Womack Field.

Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.