First Downs 19 8
Rush Yards 36-200 18-100
Pass Yards 155 158
Total Yards 355 258
Passing 8-13-1 9-17-2
Turnovers 2 3
Penalties 7-55 7-50
Rushing: SHS: Rawls, 8-59, 2 TD. GHHS: Mosher, 4-77 TD.
Passing: SHS: Chance 8-13-155. GHHS: Cobb, 9-17-158 2 TD.
Receiving: SHS: Grant, 1-56. GHHS: Brown, 2-85 TD.
SHS 21 17 7 0 — 45
GHHS 6 0 0 16 — 18
11:06 — Brown (GHHS) 81 pass from Cobb (kick blocked)
9:29 — Grant (SHS) 4 run (Hill kick)
1:51 — Grant (SHS) 25 run (Hill kick)
0:51 — Rawls (SHS) 4 run (Hill kick)
7:23 — Gore (SHS) 20 fumble return (Hill kick)
2:59 — Rawls (SHS) 29 run (Hill kick)
0:01 — Hill (SHS) 42 field goal
6:21 — Harralson (SHS) 18 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
10:07 — Mosher (GHHS) 64 run (run failed)
1:30 — Harris (GHHS) 51 pass from Cobb
AUGUSTA — Two plays into Friday’s Region 3-AAAA play-in game, the Statesboro Blue Devils found themselves trailing Glenn Hills 6-0.
But everything came up roses for the Devils after that, as Statesboro thoroughly dominated the rest of the ballgame. When the smoke cleared, Statesboro had claimed a 45-18 victory and a No. 3 seed in the Class AAAA state playoffs.
“I thought that we played well in virtually every part of the game,” SHS coach Steve Pennington said. “Overall, this was just a good night for us.”
The lone bright spot for the Spartans (5-5) came just 54 seconds into the action. Glenn Hills quarterback Earlmonquez Cobb looked deep and found Tyrone Brown on a fly route up the right sideline. Brown hauled in the pass and outran the SHS defense for an 81 yard strike.
“Sometimes teenagers don’t want to listen to adults,” Pennington said. “We spent all week telling our guys about the speed of Glenn Hills. I think that play served as a wake-up call for the rest of the night.”
Statesboro (9-1) wasted no time in answering the bell.
Colin Chance connected with Zach Grant for a 56-yard pass play on the Devils’ second play. Three plays later, Grant raced around the right corner for a 4-yard touchdown run.
George Hill added the extra point, and the Devils never looked back.
On Statesboro’s next possession, Grant struck again. A bad snap on a Glenn Hills punt left the Devils in great field position. On Statesboro’s first play, Grant broke free on an inside run, then juked his way past a pair of tacklers on a 25-yard score.
Sherrodric Rawls joined the fun on the next series, beating the Glenn Hills defense around the right corner for a 12-yard touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, the SHS defense got in on the action.
Cobb threw a swing pass to Kelvin Flegler in the left flat, and Tim Key was there to dislodge the ball. Anthony Gore scooped up the fumble and jogged in from 20 yards out to make it 28-6.
“The defense woke up after that touchdown pass,” Pennington said. “We started executing better and put ourselves in a better position to defend their speed.”
The rout was on when the Devils forced another punt and Rawls capped a 62-yard drive with a 29-yard romp to the end zone.
Statesboro struck once more before the half as Chance ran the two-minute drill to perfection, setting up Hill for a 42 yard field goal to make it 38-6 at the break.
The entire second half was played with a running clock, and Statesboro capped its offensive outburst on its opening drive of the third quarter. Chance quickly drove his team down the field before rolling left and finding Landon Harralson in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard strike.
Statesboro’s backups and junior varsity played the majority of the second half.
Ladale Mosher ripped off a 64-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter and Cobb found Devin Harris for a 53-yard bomb to end the scoring.
Statesboro now advances to the first round of the state playoffs. The Blue Devils will face a drive of nearly 250 miles next Friday as they travel to Cairo to take on the Syrupmakers — No. 2 seed out of Region 1-AAAA.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.