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Playoffs on line for SEB

SE Bulloch (4-4, 2-3) at
Tattnall County (4-4, 3-2)

7:30 p.m., Today

    BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets continue their quest for the state playoffs tonight as they travel to face the Battle Creek Warriors of Tattnall County tonight at 7:30 p.m.
    “They’re a very solid team,” said SEB Head Coach Pat Collins. “(Head Coach) Jeff Kaiser has done a good job of providing solid leadership, toughness and consistency for that program since he’s been there.”
    The Yellow Jackets come in to tonight’s ballgame at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in Region 1-AAA. They have the same region record as both Beach and Johnson, but have losses to both of those teams during the regular season.
    “Mathematically, we’re still in the thick of it,” said Collins. “But we’re not thinking about that. We’re focused on our team playing better.”
    Tattnall County, meanwhile, enters tonight’s contest with an identical 4-4 record, but are 3-2 in region play and currently hold the third spot in the standings.
    The Battle Creek Warriors are led offensively by senior quarterback Brandon Purcell, who Collins said may be the best quarterback in Region 1-AAA.
    “He’s the complete package. He has great leadership qualities as well as being able to run the football. He also throws it very well.”
    Collins said the defensive gameplan to slow down Purcell and the Tattnall County offense is to keep everything in front of them and to make tackles so they have to drive the length of the field.
    The important thing, Collins said, is to prevent the big play and make them execute play after play and sustain drives.
    “If you give up the big play, they don’t have to execute, but if you can make them work their way down the field, there’s a chance for mistakes,” he said.
    Much like last week, the Yellow Jackets will be battling injuries on both sides of the ball. While Collins didn’t release specifics, running back Corey McCollum has missed several games and despite playing some the last few weeks, Antonio McMillian hasn’t been at 100 percent. Collins also said injuries on the offensive line and on the defense have rendered the Yellow Jackets at less than full strength.
    Despite the injuries, Collins said the team has had a good week of practice and have shown resiliency after last week’s disappointing 27-7 loss to Beach.
    “We were disappointed with how we played, but our boys have come out and had a as good a week of practice as we’ve had in some time,” Collins said.
    Offensively for the Yellow Jackets, Collins said the Yellow Jackets need to be dependable in executing their offense and grinding out long drives.
    “Our Achillies’ Heel all year has been being consistent on offense. At times we’ve been picture perfect and at other times we leave something to be desired (offensively),” he said.
    To be successful, SEB needs to avoid penalties and negative plays as the offense has struggled when facing second or third-and-long situations.
    A win this week would be big for SEB as they chase a playoff spot. The Yellow Jackets close out the season facing Appling County, who currently has only one loss all year to Region leader Pierce County.