First Downs 10 9
Rush Yards 29-264 25-51
Pass Yards 186 168
Total Yards 450 219
Passing 6-10-1 11-28-1
Turnovers 3 3
Penalties 9-66 5-48
Rushing: SHS: Rawls, 2-78, TD. BHS: Evans, 10-46, TD.
Passing: SHS: Chance, 6-10-186, 5 TD. BHS: Evans, 11-28-168.
Receiving: SHS: Corless, 4-127, 3 TD. BHS: Cannon, 4-51
SHS 13 24 0 7 — 44
BHS 0 6 0 0 — 6
3:04 — Corless (SHS) 32 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
0:27 – Corless (SHS) 22 pass from Chance (kick failed)
6:15 – Rawls (SHS) 72 run (Hill kick)
4:37 – Osborne (SHS) 30 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
2:36 – Corless (SHS) 37 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
0:21 – Evans (BHS) 2 run (kick blocked)
0:03 – Hill (SHS) 48 field goal
11:46 – Haralson (SHS) 21 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
AUGUSTA — The Statesboro Blue Devils made the quick trip up to Augusta Friday night to watch quarterback Colin Chance engage in a spirited game of catch with receiver Joe Corless.
The seniors hooked up on touchdown passes of 37, 32 and 22 yards en route to a 44-6 blowout win over the Butler Bulldogs.
Chance finished the game going 6-of-10 for 186 yards and adding touchdown strikes to Juhwan Osborne and Landon Haralson to go along with his scoring tosses to Corless.
Each of the night’s six touchdowns for the Devils (5-0) covered at least 21 yards. Statesboro’s other scoring play also came from long range as George Hill bombed a 48-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in the first half.
“It was just a big play kind of night,” SHS coach Steve Pennington said. “We got contributions from the passing game and the running game. We also got solid blocking. We were going to take what Butler gave us and some of those plays got broken open.”
A week after taking down Burke County in a matchup of top-10 teams in Class AAAA, the No. 6 Blue Devils were a bit rusty coming out of the gate.
Statesboro committed two penalties on the game’s opening drive and Chance threw an interception at midfield – one of his few miscues on the night.
The Devils also misfired on their second possession with a missed 29-yard field goal and totaled nine penalties for 66 yards in the game.
“I need to do a better job of getting these guys mentally and emotionally ready to play, no matter the opponent,” Pennington said. “Luckily, it’s better to learn these lessons in victory than it is through defeat.”
But for the few negatives, there were plenty of positives.
Statesboro opened the scoring late in the first quarter as Corless (four catches, 127 yards) ran an out-and-up to run under a perfectly lofted 32-yard pass from Chance. After a quick three-and-out from the Devil defense, Corless again got behind the Butler secondary — this time for a 22-yard strike.
Not wanting the passing game to have all the fun, Sherrodric Rawls broke loose on a 72-yard scamper midway through the second quarter.
Devon Robinson fumbled away the Bulldogs’ first offensive play after Rawls’ run, and Chance found Osborne from 30 yards out just three plays later.
Statesboro’s lead bloated to 34-0 when Corless hauled in another deep pass at the Butler 10, then ran his man over the goal line for the touchdown.
“Tonight was all on my guys,” Chance said. “We didn’t start out like we wanted, but we regrouped. I was just trying to make some plays. It’s nice to have a lot of receivers who I know will get the job done.”
Butler’s only offense came late in the first half as Sandrez Evans hit Robinson on a 30-yard pass to the Statesboro 2-yard line. Sandrez powered into the end zone, but the PAT was blocked. Akarri Smith ripped off a 29-yard run on the next possession to get the Devils back into scoring position, and Hill’s kick to beat the halftime gun put the running clock in motion over the final two quarters.
Butler managed a long drive to begin the second half. The Bulldogs reached the Devils’ 7, but were turned away on downs.
Chance hit Haralson with a 21-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.