By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
SEB, Jenkins in pivotal sub-region battle

 BROOKLET – For the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets, it’s déjà vu all over again.
    Last season, SEB got off to a slow start before catching fire during the final two months of the season and highlighting 2014 with a win over Jenkins to clinch its sub-region championship.
    This time around the Jackets (4-3, 3-0 Region 1-AAA) dropped three of their first four games, but have again turned things around during the sub-region schedule. And once again, it’s a date with the Jenkins Warriors (5-2, 3-0) that will decide the sub-region champion.
    If last season’s result repeats itself, the Jackets will be thrilled, but also clutching the edge of their seat. Southeast Bulloch trailed for much of last season’s game, scoring in the final minutes of play. An extra point split the uprights to draw even, but the Jackets elected to take the point off the board to accept a Jenkins penalty. The ensuing two-point conversion succeeded – barely – giving the Jackets a 22-21 win.
    Regardless of how the game plays out, Southeast Bulloch will approach things knowing that just as much is on the line tonight at Fred Shaver Field.
    “It’s a very similar situation,” SEB coach Pat Collins said. “I wish we were as healthy as were for this game last year, but we have guys who are stepping up. Jenkins is a very good team and this should be a heck of a game once again.”
    The driving force for the Yellow Jackets all season has been their punishing rushing offense.
    Chase Walker (177 carries, 944) leads the way for a ground game that is already over 2,000 yards for the season. While Walker is a shade behind last year’s pace, but that has less to do with his individual effort than the emergence of other SEB talents as Michael Davis, Cecil McCollum, Jaylen Wells and Slade Burgin have all contributed more than 100 yards to the team total this season.
    “For the style of offense we run, we’re scoring a bit more this season,” Collins said. “We’re averaging about 36.1 points per game this season and a lot of that has to do with getting great efforts from our runners as well as the line that is blocking for them.”
    Defensively, the Jackets’ biggest concern is Warrior quarterback Javonte Middleton. Just a sophomore, Middleton has thrived as Jenkins’ offensive leader, connecting on 60 percent of his throws for 1,041 yards and 12 touchdowns so far this season.
    Much like Southeast Bulloch, Middleton and the Warriors have been particularly dangerous since sub-region play began. The Warriors haven’t been challenged over the last three weeks, winning their games by a combined score of 117-19.
    “Jenkins is a talented team, but they also have stability,” Collins said. “When you have the same coach for 10 years, you have everyone bought in and you start to play at a high level.”
    The winner of tonight’s game will clinch the top seed out of the sub-region going into the Nov. 6 region play-in. On that night, teams from the two sub-regions will compete in a win-or-go-home contest to gain entry into the state playoffs.
    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.