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Dublin heads to SEB

    BROOKLET — It’s the end of the road for Southeast Bulloch, and while this season won’t feature any playoffs, there is still one more game to play.
    Dublin (7-2, 5-2 Region 3-AA) comes to town tonight and will be looking to improve its seeding in the state playoffs as the Yellow Jackets (2-7, 0-7) try to put the brakes on a seven-game losing streak.
    SEB had high hopes of ending its slide last week, but a road trip to Dublin ended in a 28-6 loss to East Laurens.
    “It was a little disappointing for us last week,” said SEB coach Pat Collins. “I thought that our defense played a little better, but we gave up a few too many big plays and lost three turnovers. Those are things that you just can’t do and still expect to win ballgames.”
    This week, the challenge figures to be even greater as the Fighting Irish enters the game in a bad mood having lost two of its last three games and a chance to win the region title.
    Tonight will showcase two programs that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Dublin has reached the playoffs every year since 2004 – and shared a state title in 2006 – while Collins is hard at work trying to turn around the Jackets, who haven’t been to the postseason in five years.
    “We know that this is another tough game, but we aren’t interested in playing for moral victories,” said Collins. “We see this as a chance to test ourselves against a very good football team. We might not be going to the playoffs, but we’re still a work in progress and this is a chance for us to get better.”
    Despite its struggles in recent weeks, Dublin remains a very dangerous team. The Irish are putting up an average of 25 points per game and their immensely talented defensive front has held four opponents to single digits.
    “Dublin has a lot of size and speed,” said Collins. “Their abilities make it a lot harder to prevent those big plays that has cost us. We’re going to have to work hard and function as a team in order to execute well.”
    For the SEB seniors, tonight will be one last chance to strap on the pads. It has been far from an easy road for them the past four years, but they have stuck it out and now get one more run at a win.
    “I’m very proud of our seniors,” said Collins. “They haven’t won a whole lot of ballgames, but they have had the character and determination to finish what they started.”
    Tonight will also be the final game at Fred Shaver Field. After the season, work will begin to improve the athletic facilities at SEB. The current football field will be relocated to a larger stadium build on what is now the track and field complex.
    In its history, Fred Shaver Field has seen the Jackets compile a record of 120-114-2 on its turf. Most notable of all of those wins was a 21-7 win over Duluth in 1973 to clinch the Jackets’ second consecutive state title.

    Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.