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SHS, SEB working to rebound; BA unbeaten
Mike Anthony

    With Portal High School’s football team out of action thanks to a much-needed bye week, only three area teams were in action last Friday. It was an eventful week 5 of high school football as Southeast Bulloch traveled to top-ranked Dodge County and Bulloch Academy put its undefeated (4-0) record on the line against two-time GISA defending Class AA state champions Memorial Day.
    Statesboro High School also played in its first region and home game of the season against the Mustangs of South Effingham.
    When it was all said and done, only Bulloch Academy walked away from the friday night lights a winner. The Gators pushed their overall record to 5-0 with a 21-7 victory over Memorial. Against one of the fastest teams BA will see this season, according to Gators’ head coach Terence Hennessy, the Gators’ defense was up to the challenge against the Blue Thunder.
    Statesboro’s defense also had a good showing in a 35-21 loss to South Effingham. The Blue Devils (0-3) gave up two touchdowns without the Mustangs’ offense stepping on the field. SHS gave up an interception for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown in the final quarter. 
    Southeast Bulloch could very well be the best 1-3 team in the area. The Yellow Jackets lost 31-7 to Dodge County, ranked in the top 10 in Class AAA football. SEB is off this week, the Yellow Jackets will open region play against Beach Oct. 2.
    As teams go over game film and get ready for this Friday’s action, here are a couple of notes from week 5.

    D shows up, turnovers do too:
    The Blue Devils’ bugaboo this year reared its ugly head Friday night. Turnovers have been an achilles heel for Statesboro High School and against South Effingham, SHS had four. The Blue Devils outgained the Mustangs on offense thanks to two big runs from running back Mahlon Williams. However, the defense once again played a solid game holding the Mustangs to just 139 rushing yards on 39 attempts.
    Head coach Steve Pennington said his offense has progressed over the weeks. SHS implemented a pre-snap motion offense and Pennington said Williams’ big runs were a result of the hard work his team has put in over the weeks.

    Gators win, win, win:
    Week after week, it seems as though the Bulloch Academy Gators find ways to win. Friday was no different as BA won in a dominant performance.
    Head coach Terence Hennessy said the Gators’ defense established themselves as a physically tough team against Memorial.
After Memorial’s opening score, the Gators scored 21-unanswered points. Last week the defense came up with a big stop on a two-point conversion attempt to preserve a 35-34 victory. Last week, the breakout star was Jarves Williams, who has emerged as one of the Gators’ threats on offense.
    Williams’ 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns helped BA secure yet another win.

    Tough schedule:
    SEB head coach Pat Collins knows the benefit of playing some of the toughest teams in the area. After losing to Dodge County, Collins said the tough schedule will make his team better leading into sub-region play.
    So far, the Yellow Jackets have faced teams with a combined record of 11-1. Two of those losses came to teams ranked in the top 10 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
    SEB running back Chase Walker said games against tough teams are the best games to play in.

    Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.