Up Next: SE Bulloch (0-1) at South Effingham (0-1)
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets came up short in a season-opening 44-26 loss to Pierce County last Friday night.
No one in the Jackets’ camp was satisfied with the loss, but considering all of the question marks surrounding the offense — which lost nine starters from the high-scoring 2013 squad — it’s hard to be too disappointed.
The Jackets had the Bears — Region 1-AAA champs in two of the last three seasons — sweating things out as Pierce led by just two points late in the third quarter before pulling away with two late touchdowns.
“On one hand, I’m pleased with some things we did well,” SEB coach Pat Collins said. “On the other hand, we’re frustrated with some of the things we did to prevent ourselves from having a chance to win.
“We’re not down on ourselves. We’re just frustrated and know what we have to improve on.”
Collins noted that the talented Pierce defensive front was able to make things tough for the SEB offensive line at times.
Then again, the new faces on the Jackets’ front showed plenty of promise and the ability to continue the power running that was the team’s calling card last season.
Veterans Austin Cowart and Chase Ruarks joined up with transfer Colby Patton and new starters Ahmaad Fields, Steven Burrell, Tyler Collins and Jacob Jackson to keep the chains moving and open up holes to spring a few big plays.
Just behind them was Weston Edenfield, an All-Region tight end from last season who is now playing in a wing-back position.
“I’m going to play wherever it will help the team,” Edenfield said. “I just love playing football and I’ll do whatever the coaches ask.”
Collins appreciates his senior’s enthusiasm and credited Edenfield with being a big part of getting the offense going and being a leader on the field.
With the new front paving the way, Michael Davis filled the feature back role vacated by near-2,000-yard rusher Tyler Epps.
Davis is well on his way to giving SEB another rusher with eye-popping stats as he racked up 199 yards and a touchdown in the opener.
“We pride ourselves on running the ball well,” Collins said. “There are some things we need to work on after the first week, but we’ll continue to improve and hopefully we’ll start to see the scoreboard reflect that improvement.”
Southeast Bulloch will stay on the road for its second game as the Jackets travel to South Effingham for a non-region contest Friday evening.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.