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Devils make it two in a row
Statesboro High football coach Jeff Kaiser, left, joins daughter Kasey (and a monsoon) at midfield of Friday's game at Tattnall County High School in Reidsville. Kasey - a student at TCHS, where her father previously coached - was crowned Homecoming Queen. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

Statesboro High head coach Jeff Kaiser had two reasons to be proud Friday night.  First, his Blue Devil football team notched their second straight win of the season by a count of 27-6 over Tattnall County.  Secondly, his halftime escort, daughter and TCHS student Kasey, was crowned homecoming queen.
 Kaiser who spent the past 11 seasons as Tattnall County head coach was torn about having to face his old team, but was all smiles when daughter Kasey was crowned queen during halftime homecoming festivities.
 "This has been a tough week for me personally,” Kaiser said. "I'm super proud of Kasey. It's been a tough year being away from her, and my wife, and then having to face off against some of my best friends on the other side of the field." Kaiser added, "I never want to have to play these guys again."
Tied at 6-6 late in the first half the Blue Devils (2-3) grabbed the momentum as Davis Wiggins hit a wide open Ryan Lindsey on a 20-yard touchdown pass to give Statesboro a 13-6  halftime lead.
 "We threw Ryan a curveball this week," Kaiser said. "We had him practicing three positions all week, but he worked his butt off and was ready when his time came."
 The much-maligned Statesboro defense also stepped up Friday night.  After allowing over 34 points per game, the Devil defense held the Battle Creek Warriors to a season-low six points.
 "The guys on defense finally said enough is enough." said Kaiser, "Our defense needed a pick me up.  The offense has had the train rolling for three or four games, and it was good to see tonight our defense said we are gonna make plays and get out of this thing."
 The game was played in a heavy downpour from about the middle of the second quarter until about the middle of the fourth.  The conditions made it difficult to throw the ball, resulting in a running game battle which the Blue Devils won easily, paced by the one-two punch of Stacy Fleming and Tupac Lanier who combined for over 200 yards on the ground. Fleming inflicted the heaviest damage on Tattnall, gaining 137 yards and finding the end zone twice.
 The second half saw Statesboro start off much the same way it did in the first quarter as the Devils marched downfield, capping a 73-yard drive with a 2-yard Fleming touchdown to make it 19-6 as the extra point failed.
That score held up until, with just under three minutes left in the game, Fleming broke free down the sidelines for his second score of the night, going 30 yards for the touchdown.  The Devils elected to go for two and gave the ball to Lanier who powered in for the final points of the game,
 The Blue Devils and Warriors traded touchdowns in the first quarter.  Statesboro started the scoring on a 50-yard pass from Wiggins to Cory Gibson.  The extra point failed to give Statesboro a 6-0 lead.
The Warriors answered.  First, quarterback Andre Johnson ripped off a 50-yard run down to the Statesboro 23 yard line.  Then, with 6:30 left in the first quarter, Javon Sallie fought his way in from 15 yards out.  The extra point failed and the game was tied 6-6.
"I'm so proud of the effort of our kids showed. "said Kaiser, "The work is there, the passion is there and tonight they were rewarded for that effort."
Statesboro will get a chance to even its overall record next week at New Hampstead. More importantly, it will be a chance for the Devils to start 1-0 in Region 2-AAAAA play and - because of the small region size - put itself in position to return to the state playoffs for the first time since 2013.