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SEB hosts region's best

Pierce County (5-1, 3-0) at
SE Bulloch (3-2, 1-1)

7:30 p.m., Today
Fred Shaver Field

    BROOKLET — One week after Southeast Bulloch broke a 38-game region losing streak, the Yellow Jackets are looking become relevant in the 1-AAA title chase as they wrap up homecoming week against region leader Pierce County.
    The Yellow Jackets (3-2, 1-1) face an explosive offense from the Bears (5-1, 3-0) who are averaging 42 points per game through six games and are riding a 10-game winning streak in region play dating back to last year.
Southeast Bulloch Head Coach Pat Collins said the Bears offense can be difficult to defend.
    “I think when you’re playing a school that runs a spread offense and is going to pass the ball 65 percent of the time, you have to accept that they’re going to get some completions and get some yardage,” he said. “What you hope for in the process is that you can create a mistake due to pressure (on the quarterback) and that pressure results in a throw off target or the receiver dropping the ball.”
    In other words, Collins said, SEB will need to take a “bend but don’t break” philosophy on defense.
    While Pierce County is explosive on offense, defensively, they’ve struggled in surrendering 28 points per game, most in Region 1-AAA.
    To be successful, the Yellow Jackets will need to have long, sustained drives that end with points, preferably touchdowns. In SEB’s two losses, they have been able to move the ball but were unable to come away with points on their drives either due to penalties or turnovers.
    In last week’s win over Savannah High School, the Yellow Jackets were able to put the game away with a 13-play, 95 yard drive that ate up more than seven minutes off the clock. Those types of drives will be necessary for SEB to emerge victorious.
    “Perhaps the best way to defend them is to keep them at bay and not give them any opportunities with the ball.”
    Pierce County is coming off back-to-back emotional wins over Appling County and Tattnall County which could make them ripe for a letdown against SEB, Collins said.
    According to Collins, the team has been upbeat at practice coming off their win and he and the coaching staff have worked hard to keep them focused with all the homecoming festivities surrounding the game.
“Homecoming is a unique experience in high school and we want to embrace it for what it means for the students and the community and for the former students who are coming back,” Collins said. “It can be a balancing act with the kids being kids, but we’ve stressed to them the true meaning and importance of what they’re doing.
    “Our part is what we do in the ballgame and we’ve cautioned them about getting caught up in all the other things going on.”
    Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Fred Shaver Field.