BROOKLET — After consecutive wins to start the season, Southeast Bulloch has now slipped back to the .500 mark.
The Yellow Jackets will try to get back on the right track and notch their first region win tonight as they travel to Augusta for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Laney.
While the past two weeks have been rough for SEB, these are the obstacles that were expected to come along as the Jackets break out of the slump that they have been mired in for the past few years.
“Obviously, we don’t like losing and we’re a little frustrated,” said SEB coach Pat Collins. “But we also realize that this is a long process and we weren’t going to turn things around overnight. We’re working on building a good program, not just a team for this season. Our players have bought into that and are working hard every day at practice to keep improving.”
SEB faces another tough challenge tonight against Laney.
Coming off a loss of their own last week — Jefferson County slipped away with a 29-26 win — the Wildcats are also looking to rebound.
Key for the Jackets will be stopping a very potent Laney attack. The Wildcats like to spread out opposing defenses and have no shortage of talented backs and receivers that can rattle off big plays and put up points in a hurry.
Although Laney has suffered losses at the hands of Strom Thurmond, S.C. and Jefferson County — both undefeated teams — it has forced opponents to rack up the points. The Wildcats are averaging 29.3 points per game and will look to take advantage of an SEB defense that has surrendered 69 points in the last two weeks.
“I think that, man to man, Laney is going to be a little more athletic than we will,” said Collins. “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t compete. We just have to make sure that we play a solid game and avoid the mistakes that have hurt us in the previous two weeks.”
SEB will try to counter with its bruising rushing attack. With the speedy Dee Odum and powerful David Johnson pounding the ball on the ground, the Jackets hope to eat up clock and keep the ball out of Laney’s hands for as long as possible.
“It’s not a very different game plan from previous weeks,” said Collins. “We are very aware of the offensive ability of Laney and you want to keep them off the field as much as you can. That’s inherent to the style of football we want to play regardless of our opponent. We need to execute with our blocking assignments, move the chains and keep from hurting ourselves with mistakes.”
A win tonight would be big for SEB as the games only get tougher from here. The Yellow Jackets still have dates with Swainsboro, Jefferson County and Dublin — all undefeated and ranked in the top-10 — remaining on their schedule.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.