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Swainsboro crushes ECI in latest chapter of local rivalry

Herald Correspondent

It was the 41st edition of this historic in county rivalry and it delivered. After a 15 minute lightning delay, 15 combined penalties and a whole bunch of Jalyn Williams, the Swainsboro Tigers stayed perfect after a 26-7 victory against the Emanuel County Bulldogs.
The rain definitely made a difference in Friday night’s contest as the ball hit the turf seven times for three fumble turnovers- all from the Bulldogs. The most costly and most impressive was what looked like a direct handoff from ECI’s Chase Whitehead to Swainsboro’s Keenan Williams who took it 17 yards the other way making way for a one play, 16 yard touchdown run from Jalyn Williams.
It was just that kind of second half for both teams. ECI would work the ball then a simple turnover would give the Tigers the ball and a few players later, Swainsboro fans would be cheering. This would be a complete opposite from how the first half played out.
The first half started off just like last week’s game plan for the Bulldogs- a long, steady drive. But would be cut short with the first of several fumbles and set the Tigers up on their own 31 yard line. As for Swainsboro, their first half was summarized by short drives with a lucky break here or there emphasis on short as the tigers only had the ball for 5 minutes in the first.
ECI’s offense did an awesome job of staying on the field with Eric Dixon picking up 64 first half yards. But 5 offensive penalties and a lost fumble would keep the Bulldogs from scoring. The second half began with an electric 63 yard carry from Jalyn Williams to open up the scoring for Swainsboro.
The Bulldogs suddenly found their motive to score and put together a nice 8 play, 59 yard scoring drive to pick up their lone score of the night. The only other effective and positive thing ECI did for the rest of the game was the next play with a weirdly successful sort of squib kick thing, but it wouldn’t do anything more than 6 yards back and forth running.
The Tigers turned it on and kept it on for the rest of the night with Williams continuing to dominate the line of scrimmage, the special teams clicking on all cylinders and even allowing backup quarterback Jacolby Gibbons to get a touchdown pass. Regardless of the final score, both teams did a lot of good things and ECI shouldn’t be worried as they go back to playing single A region schools in a few weeks.
Swainsboro’s head coach Scott Roberts gave credit to the defense for the win saying the “defense did a heck of a job keeping them out of (the endzone) on those long drives.” And he was thrilled to “have two quarterbacks that (they) feel really good about.”
Swainsboro (2-0) will have a bye next week and Emanuel County (1-1) will travel to Portal next week.