Statesboro’s football team lost more than just a sub-region game against Richmond Hill Friday. The Blue Devils, who struggled on both sides of the ball against the Wildcats, were without the efforts of their star running back Mahlon Williams due to an injury.
On the first play of the game for the Blue Devils, Williams tried to run up the middle. He was dropped behind the line of scrimmage for a safety and later limped off the field on his own will. Williams would not return to the game.
Williams wasn’t the only member of the Blue Devils to go down with an injury against Richmond Hill. Offensive lineman Connor McBride and defensive end DaVontae Bush both went down with injuries in a 39-14 loss to Richmond Hill.
Injuries have plagued SHS since the beginning of the season. Before Friday’s game against Richmond Hill, the Blue Devils were down three offensive lineman.
The Blue Devils athletic training staff will be busy preparing players for the homecoming sub-region contest against Bradwell Institute.
While the Blue Devils weren’t able to pull out a victory, Southeast Bulloch and Bulloch Academy kept rolling.
position yield results
For the second week in a row, the Yellow Jackets of Southeast Bulloch won the field position battle. Not by coincidence, SEB also picked up their second consecutive win. The Yellow Jackets dominated Savannah High School by winning the turnover battle and field position battle.
Head coach Pat Collins said SEB’s victory in the field position battle had a direct effect on the team’s 41-7 win over the Blue Jackets.
Collins said SEB won the field position battle 82 percent of the possession changes.
In a 42-7 win over Beach, the Yellow Jackets won the field position battle 80 percent to 20 percent.
The Yellow Jackets’ defense also stepped up. Cecil McCollum had two interceptions and Jontrell Wells picked off a pass in the third quarter and returned it 75 yards for a score.
DeAndre Boyle also had an interception for the Yellow Jackets against Savannah High School.
SEB won the turnover battle 4 to 1. The Yellow Jackets are undefeated in 1-AAA sub-region at 2-0 and improved their season record to 3-3 on the year.
It appears as though the Yellow Jackets' difficult non-region schedule is paying off late in the season.
Olliff on target
In his second year of a new system implemented by second-year head coach Terence Hennessy, starting quarterback Lanier Olliff seems to be easing right in.
In a 32-13 win over Edmund Burke, Olliff threw for four touchdowns against the Spartans. Olliff finished the game with 123 passing yards, completing eight out of 11 pass attempts.
Hennessy said he was impressed with his quarterback’s play against the Spartans. Olliff was able to throw around four defenders in his second touchdown pass to BA’s leading receiver Hunter Perry. Olliff wasn't shy spreading the wealth in the passing game.
Davis Childs nabbed the first touchdown of the game on a 9-yard strike from Olliff.
Bulloch Academy's Nathan Rice also caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Olliff in the third quarter.
This season, Olliff is on pace to throw for 1,250 passing yards. With three games left in the regular season for the Gators, Olliff has 940 passing yards and 12 touchdowns.
On average, Olliff throws for 118 yards per game.
struggles in loss
The Portal Panthers dropped to 1-1 in region 3-A football after a 21-14 loss Savannah Country Day. Despite moving the ball well on offense, the Hornets’ read-option proved to be too much for Portal.
The Panthers (1-5, 1-1) couldn’t slow down SCD starting quarterback Bryce Dunn. Dunn ran for 160 yards and gashed Portal’s defense all night with his reads.
In the fourth play of the game for the Hornets, Dunn sprung free for 55-yard touchdown.
Portal Interim head coach Matt Smith said his team worked all week on containing the quarterback in the option, but against the Hornets, nothing on defense seemed to be working.
Offensively, the Panthers were able to move the ball but were stopped on fourth down on several occasions in the game.
Smith said his team needs to focus on the basics in preparation for a Friday night road matchup with Calvary Day.
Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.