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Jackets host region foe Beach

Beach (1-6, 1-3) at SE Bulloch (4-3, 2-2)
7:30 p.m., Today

    BROOKLET — One week after a big region win over Brantley County, Southeast Bulloch faces another crucial matchup tonight as they host the Beach Bulldogs with both teams battling for a playoff spot.
    The Yellow Jackets (4-3, 2-2) are currently alone in the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 1-AAA but have games remaining against tough region foes Tattnall County and Appling County, who each have only one loss in region play this year.
    “The winner of this game will greatly enhance their chance of being in the state playoffs while the loser won’t be eliminated but will drastically reduce their chances of making it,” SEB Head Coach Pat Collins said. “It’s obviously a very big game.”
    Beach comes into the game with a 1-6 record overall and are 1-3 in region play, with their three losses coming against Tattnall, Appling and Pierce County, who sit atop the region standings.
    Coming into the year, the Yellow Jackets had three goals. First was to win a game. Second was to win a region game and third was to be relevant in the region with regards to the state playoff race.
    “For us to attain our third goal, we have to beat Beach,” Collins said.
    On offense, the Bulldogs will run a wing-T very similar to what the Yellow Jackets run on offense. Those similarities make it easier for the SEB defense to prepare, but also make it easier for the Bulldogs’ defense as well.
    “What it’s going to boil down to, for us defensively is to not give up the big play and to make them earn every yard,” Collins said. “They’re tough and athletic.”
    “It comes down to us taking proper angles, getting the proper leverage and being smart football players,” he said. “And then we have to do the most basic of fundamentals which is getting off blocks and making tackles.”
    For the Yellow Jacket offense, Collins said they’ll need to go on long, sustained scoring drives if they expect to come away with a victory.
    Against Brantley County, the Yellow Jackets rushed for more than 350 yards, but were only able to come away with two touchdowns as two “unforced, self-inflicted fumbles” kept SEB from winning by a larger amount.
“We played really well, but we have to eliminate the mistakes that could have cost us,” Collins said.
    If there’s one area Collins is confident in an advantage, it’s special teams, where he believes the Yellow Jackets will kick, punt and snap better than the Bulldogs.
    Cole Carter, the SEB punter, has played exceptionally well this year with several punts going for more than 60 yards.
    “I think this is a going to be a good, tight football game where special teams could come in to play,” Collins said.
    Tonight is also Senior Night as SEB will recognize its seniors from not just football, but all Fall sports and activities on campus.
    “These seniors are worthy to be honored with their parents or guardians in front of a few thousand people,” he said.
    Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Fred Shaver Field.