SE Bulloch (0-1) at South Effingham (0-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday
HOLD THE BACK LINE: South Effingham has no shortage of receivers and tight ends and won’t hesitate to spread the field. With Pullum ready to pull the trigger and look downfield, SEB defensive backs like veteran starters Justin Youmans and Klayton Carter will need to step up and limit the Mustang aerial game.
PICK ‘EM UP, SIT ‘EM DOWN: Michael Davis burst onto the scene with 199 rushing yards and a touchdown in SEB’s opener. If the Jackets’ line can create running lanes against South Effingham’s big defensive front, Davis and fellow RB Chase Walker can do plenty of damage.
GET IN THE GROOVE: Thanks to Labor Day, a huge Tuesday thunderstorm and more heat, the Jackets’ game week routine was thrown into a bit of flux. Solid opening series on both sides of the ball will go a long way towards getting the Jackets to settle in.
BROOKLET — Southeast Bulloch will try to break into the win column tonight as the Yellow Jackets travel to Guyton to take on South Effingham in a non-region matchup.
The Mustangs (0-1) figure to be a big obstacle for SEB (0-1) in more than one way.
South Effingham plays in Class AAAAA — two classifications above the Jackets. The Mustangs figure to dress over 100 players and will challenge SEB in the trenches with hulking 300-pound linemen.
“They’re big,” SEB coach Pat Collins said. “There’s no denying that. We’ve got some sizeable players, but South Effingham has some that are bigger than us. That’s certainly something we have to account for.”
Sound blocking and technique will be required from the linemen and wing backs in SEB’s running scheme to negate the size disadvantage and continue to find success in the ground game.
Last week, the Jackets — playing with new starters nearly across the board —showed that they were capable of replicating last season’s breakout offensive year.
That could spell trouble for a Mustang defense that allowed 31 points in a season-opening loss to Jenkins — a team SEB will face in sub-region play later this season.
“I had a chance to personally scout South Effingham in their game,” Collins said. “They may have lost, but I will say that they were playing just as hard with the game out of reach as they were in the first quarter. Our guys need to be prepared to match that effort.”
The Jackets’ defense also took its lumps as offensive powerhouse Pierce County tallied 44 points in last week’s opener.
Linebackers Simba Fields and Isaiah Francois will need to be on top of their game and cover plenty of ground as they take on the versatile Mustang attack.
Quarterback Tyler Pullum leads the way for South Effingham. Pullum earned the starting job as a sophomore last season and is unafraid to spread the ball all over the field.
Against Statesboro last season, Pullum connected on 21 of his 28 passing attempts.
“I’ve talked to some of the coaches at Statesboro,” Collins said. “From what they told me and what I saw, stopping him will be a tough task.”
Tonight marks the second road game of three to start the season for the Jackets. Once SEB plays at Bryan County next week, five of its final seven games — including all but one sub-region contest — will be played at Fred Shaver Field.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.