BROOKLET — After a disappointing loss last week, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets find themselves tied for fifth place in Region 3-AAA after two games and looking for a win to get back in to the thick of the playoff hunt.
The Yellow Jackets (1-3, 1-1) need a win to avoid falling further behind the leaders in the region who are all 2-0, including the Jenkins team that defeated SEB last week.
“We’ve had our best week of practice that we’ve had all year,” said SEB Head Coach Pat Collins. “We’ve worked hard all week and had a positive attitude. Our boys were disappointed with the outcome last week but our boys came back to practice to work.”
Another of the teams ahead of SEB is Windsor Forest (3-1, 2-0), who come in to tonight’s game on a three-game winning streak in which they have averaged 36 points per game. However, those wins have come against teams that are a combined 2-10-2 on the season. In their lone contest against a team with more than one win, the Knights fell to Jenkins 47-20 in their season opener.
The Thursday night game meant that the Yellow Jackets had to adjust their practice schedule, but Collins said the only difference is they didn’t have their typical walk through day that they have on Thursday, but the remainder of the week was the same.
Offensively, the Knights have a three-headed monster in the backfield comprised of juniors Marvin Bussie, Traivon Bass-Black and Tyrek Irving. The trio have rushed for more than 1,300 yards on the season. Expect a heavy dose of Bass-Black who averages more than 20 carries a contest for a team that rushes for more than 330 yards per game.
“They are very, very large and have a big offensive line,” Collins said. “But our guys see a big offensive line in practice every day so they know what to expect.”
The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, have their own dominant ground game to counter the Knights. After struggling early in the season against larger schools, the Yellow Jackets have averaged 286 yards rushing in their two region games. Chase Walker leads the vaunted SEB attack with a 5.3 yards per carry average and seven touchdowns primarily through tough, inside runs.
Jontrell Wells provides an outside threat for the Yellow Jackets rushing attack, averaging 8.0 yards per carry.
However, unlike the Knights, the Yellow Jackets have an aerial attack that not only keeps defenses honest, but can provide a change of pace for SEB as welll. Senior quarterback Caleb Carter has averaged 10 passing attempts a game, which may not seem like many, but it is significantly more than SEB has attempted in past seasons.
Carter has completed nearly 50 percent of his attempts to six different receivers for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Wells leads the team in receptions with six for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets will look to their defensive line and linebackers to slow down the Knights. As always, SEB will need to make sure they are lined up correctly and know their assignments and most importantly, they’ll need to execute and tackle.
Collins said it was also important to win first down and force the Knights in to second-and-long and third-and-long.
“The greatest challenge Windsor Forest presents, as a total team, is that they are playing with great confidence. They’re off to their best start in years,” Collins said. “When you’re playing a team with confidence you have to come out and assert yourself early and we’ve challenged our guys to do that.”
Because the game is on a Thursday night, kickoff for the game has been moved up to 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Savannah.
“Our record is what it is, but we have a good football team and I’m hoping our fans will make the trip down to Savannah to support our guys,” Collins said.