The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets were just over a minute from seeing any chance at hosting a state playoff game go up in flames. Savannah High had just scored, and was successful on an ensuing 2-point conversion with 1:04 left in last Thursday's game to take a 22-21 lead with just 64 seconds remaining.
The Yellow Jackets proceeded to march downfield and Jacob Sandhagen connected on a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give Southeast a 24-22 victory and keep the Yellow Jackets' hopes of hosting a state playoff game intact.
“It was a game we needed to win in more ways than one,” said Southeast Bulloch head coach Steve Pennington. “We needed the victory to keep our momentum going from the past few wins, and we also needed it because we are continuing to try and develop confidence. This was the first game in which our backs were against the wall and we had come back and executed the gameplan for the victory.”
That come-from-behind victory will also give the Yellow Jackets something they can fall back on, and remember, should they face a similar circumstance later in the season.
“I’ve said over the years you can learn more from winning than losing,” said Pennington. “When we go back and review the film coaches and players alike can see how close we came to losing the ballgame, and so by winning you are in a position where the mistakes are a little easier to see and adjust so we can be better in the future.”
This week, the Yellow Jackets head back to the Savannah area for a matchup with the winless Groves Rebels (0-7, 0-4) in Garden City. Groves comes in having scored a total of six points in their four region games for a difference of 153-6, but coach Pennington knows better than to take a team for granted.
“It’s fair week and Fall break," said Pennington. “Those are two big distractions we have to deal with, and Groves — like a lot of other teams in the region -—have a few athletic players who are capable of making big plays.”
This game could also give the Yellow Jackets the luxury of resting some players and getting some younger players playing time especially with only two games remaining after this before the state playoffs.
“We are pretty banged up right now,” said Pennington. “Several of our players are not practicing full speed this week. And we really need to get healthy.”
The Yellow Jackets and Rebels are scheduled for a 7:30 kick-off at Garden City Stadium.