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Devils no match for Ware County
Statesboro no shadow W

WAYCROSS - Early on, it appeared as though the weeklong Homecoming festivities were a distraction for the Ware County Gators in a subregion Friday night game at Memorial Stadium in Waycross.

In the first quarter, the Gators had four penalties for 25 yards, turned the ball over on an interception and had a holding penalty that negated a 73-yard touchdown run.

However, the second quarter would be all Ware County as the Gators piled on 39-unanswered points to take home the Homecoming win, 39-3.

Before the game against Ware County, the Blue Devils - statistically - were still able to control their own destiny for a shot at the region playoffs. Statesboro (2-6, 2-4 Region 3-AAAAA) will now have to regroup for a home matchup against Glynn Academy next week.

"We got whooped. We got whipped by a better team, and we're struggling. We've had to piece together offensive and defensive schemes due to injuries, but we're not making any excuses," Statesboro High School head coach Steve Pennington said after the game. "We have to look at the small victories within the game."

SHS started the game strong. The Blue Devils were able to get on the board against the Gators early. After an interception from Statesboro's Chris Wilcox on the Gators' 25-yard line, SHS was able to capitalize on their field position.

Statesboro ran three plays for negative seven yards on their first drive of the game after the interception, but Ryan Miller was able to nail a 38-yard field goal to give his team an early lead.

On the second drive for the Gators, a holding penalty negated a Gary Williams' 73-yard touchdown run for Ware County (6-2, 4-2). Statesboro would take advantage, stopping the Gators on the drive.

Ware County wouldn't be held down for long, however. Jaquez Bolds would give the Gators the lead on a 3-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter. Mills would score the first of his three touchdowns just four minutes later. The Gators completed a two-point conversion to lead 15-3 midway through the second quarter.

On offense, the Blue Devils just couldn't get anything going. Ware County's big, physical defensive line stopped Statesboro from getting the inside run game started.

"Well, honestly, we struggled mightily in the run game. They just overpowered us at the line of scrimmage," Pennington said. "It wasn't a case of us being forced to throw the ball. That was just what was working for us and we had some success with it."

Not only did the Blue Devils' banged-up offensive line prevent a Ware County sack on starting quarterback Davis Wiggins, but Wiggins was able to throw for a season high 114 yards on 26 attempts.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, Wiggins also threw two interceptions.

"We made some good throws in the game, and we made some bad ones," Pennington said. "Every time we dropped back against this Ware County team, not just Davis (Wiggins), but a lot of our other guys are developing poise. And that's going to help us in the future."

In the third quarter up 25-3, Mills scored his third touchdown of the night on a 23-yard run. After the game, Pennington complemented Mills on his size, speed and defensive ability.

Ware County took their starters out with 3:41 left to play in the third quarter.

"I like how our younger guys played against their younger guys. That's a positive that we can take away," Pennington said.


Box Score

SHS 3 0 0 0 — 3

WCHS 0 0 25 14 — 39 


First Quarter

SHS_Miller 38 field goal 7:54

Second Quarter

WCHS_Bolds 6 run (Sheppard kick) 11:54 

WCHS_Mills 3 run (two-point conversion good) 7:57

WCHS_Sheppard 23-yard field goal 2:36

WCHS_Mills 7 run (Sheppard kick) :49

Third Quarter

WCHS_Mills 23 run (Sheppard kick) 9:27

WCHS_Lincoln 2 run (Sheppard kick) 5:37



First downs 6 14

Total Yards 146 417

Rushes-Yards 32 370

Passing 114 47

Comp-Att-Int 8-26-2 7-10-1

Turnovers 2 1

Penalties-Yards 3-25 5-35



RUSHING_SHS: Lanier 5-13, Gordon 3-14, Wiggins 3-6; WCHS: Mills 13-203, Williams 5-37, Bolds 4-25, Taylor 1-29

Passing_SHS: Wiggins 8-26-0-2-114; WCHS: Lincoln 7-10-0-1-47

Receiving_SHS: Hunter 1-44, Lanier 3-17, Roberson 1-15, Wright 1-10; WCHS: Bolds 2-13, Williams 1-10, Mills 1-5