First Downs 17 11
Rush Yards 431 69
Pass Yards 12 86
Total Yards 443 155
Passing 1-3-0 9-17-1
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties 4-40 1-10
Rushing: SHS: Daniels — 7-136, 2 TD EHS: McClean — 7-29
Passing: SHS: Pennington — 1-3, 12 yards EHS: Shoemaker — 6-14, 57 yards
Receiving: SHS: Wilson – 1-12. EHS: Rizner – 3-42.
SHS 6 7 21 0 — 34
EHS 0 0 0 0 — 0
2:21 – Daniels (SHS) 1 run, kick blocked
5:51 – Johnson (SHS) 10 run, Rodriquez kick
9:45 – Rawls (SHS) 10 run, Rodriquez kick
5:47 – Daniels (SHS) 92 run, Rodriquez kick
1:18 – Summers (SHS) 1 run, Hill kick
EVANS — Statesboro is usually a straightforward team, but decided to shake things up.
The Blue Devils emptied their playbook Friday night with pleasant results, taking away a 17-11 victory over Evans at Blanchard Field.
Passing up their traditional wishbone look for lots of option and some shotgun, the Devils (8-0, 4-0 Region 2-AAAA) ran wild, racking up 443 yards of offense and getting four different players into the end zone.
“The power game is something that usually bodes well for us,” said SHS coach Steve Pennington. “By mixing in some of the option, we can create more avenues for our offense to be successful farther down the road.”
Statesboro battled hard in the first two quarters, taking a 13-0 halftime lead over the Knights (2-5, 0-3), then blew the game wide open with a 21-point third quarter.
Evans received the ball to start the second half, but the Devil defense forced a third down and Heydon Rollins hauled in an errant pass from Chandler Shoemaker, returning it down to the Knights’ 18.
Two plays later, Sherrodric Rawls raced in from 10 yards out to make it 20-0.
From there, the Statesboro defense continued to dominate, racking up four sacks and allowing just 57 second half yards to notch its first shutout of the season.
“We did a very good job of picking up on what Evans was throwing at us,” said Pennington. “They gained some yards early, but we made the right adjustments.”
Most of the Knights’ second half offense came after the Rawls score as they drove deep into SHS territory, but the Devils stopped a 4th-and-2 on their own 8, and Quan Daniels (7 carries, 136 yards, 2 TDs) took the next offensive snap 92 yards for another touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, Michael Summers finished off the scoring with a 1-yard run that put the mercy clock in motion throughout the final 12 minutes of play.
“It’s good to be 8-0,” said Pennington. “That being said, we’ve got a long way to go. We had some good performances tonight, but there’s always room to improve moving forward.”
After going three-and-out on its first possession of the night and coughing up the ball the second time around, Statesboro finally got things going late in the first quarter – thanks in large part to a surprising ball carrier.
Quarterback Reid Pennington found room around the right end, then wove through two Knight defenders for a 46 yard gain to the Evans 25. That set up Daniels for a 1-yard plunge to open the scoring for Statesboro.
Reid Pennington finished with a career-high 99 rushing yards on the night.
“I didn’t expect to get that much,” said Reid. “All of the running backs and the line did their jobs tonight. Everyone had a big game.”
Willie Johnson added a 10 yard scoring run in the second quarter before the Devils blew the game open in the second half.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.