Watch a replay of the Butler-Statesboro game on Northland Cable Channel 99 on Monday
and Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
First Downs 7 12
Rush Yards 24-76 39-338
Pass Yards 34 50
Total Yards 110 388
Passing 5-15-1 2-4-0
Turnovers 3 1
Penalties 9-50 5-35
Rushing: BHS: Lambert, 16-48. SHS: Williams 9-103.
Passing: BHS: Evans, 5-15-34. SHS: Chance, 2-4-50, TD.
Receiving: BHS: Jones, 2-23. SHS: Lewis, 1-21, TD
BHS 0 0 0 0 — 0
SHS 7 13 13 7 — 40
2:56 — Lewis (SHS) 21 pass from Chance (Hill kick)
5:18 — Taylor (SHS) 7 run (Hill kick)
4:29 — Roberts (SHS) 16 run (PAT Failed)
6:38 — Taylor (SHS) 6 run (PAT Failed)
2:36 — Murphy (SHS) 55 run (Aubrey kick)
5:48 — Murphy (SHS) 4 run (Aubrey kick)
Halloween is still nearly a month away, but it was tough to tell with all of the Statesboro Blue Devils masquerading around in different positions.
With regular starting running backs Quan Daniels and Sherrodric Rawls sitting out because of injuries, 10 different Devils carried the ball and three touchdowns were scored by players more accustomed to the defensive side as Statesboro took away an easy 40-0 victory over Butler Friday night at Womack Field.
Not content to chip in with the scoring, the defense of the Blue Devils (3-1) totally shut down the Bulldogs (0-4), limiting them to just 110 total yards of offense.
Statesboro raced out to a 20-0 lead at halftime, ran the lead to 40-0 midway through the fourth quarter, then emptied the bench as the running clock counted down the victory.
“I was pleased with the way that we played,” SHS coach Steve Pennington said. “And I was glad that we were able to get so many guys into the game to get some experience. Any time you can play under the lights at Womack Field, it’s a good night.”
Andrew Taylor — normally patrolling at linebacker — found the end zone twice and Ben Roberts (defensive back) punched in another to pile it on the Bulldogs.
“I can’t remember my last rushing touchdown,” Taylor said. “It was probably back in rec league ball. We worked on our ‘Blue’ package with a bunch of defensive guys this week. I wasn’t sure if I’d have a chance to score, but (offensive coordinator Kenny Tucker) called my number and I wanted to get the job done.”
Starting for the injured Daniels and Rawls — and later for Diquan Brunson, who was also banged up Friday — were reserve running backs Daniel Murphy, Akarri Williams and Anthony Curtis.
Williams led all SHS rushers with 103 yards while Murphy contributed 75, including a 55-yard touchdown on a perfectly executed option pitch by quarterback Colin Chance.
“I was excited to see those guys gaining some confidence,” Pennington said. “They had an opportunity tonight, and they were able to execute our offense well.”
Chance also was effective through the air, opening the night’s scoring on a 21-yard play-action strike to Jon Lewis late in the first quarter.
But every other time the Devils neared the goal line, the defense came in to do some heavy lifting.
Taylor extended the Devils’ lead to 14-0 when he rumbled in from 7 yards out midway through the second quarter.
The SHS defense forced a fumble just two plays into the ensuing Butler possession, giving the Devils the ball at the Bulldogs’ 18. Gore rushed once for 2 yards, then finished it off with a 16-yard scamper to give Statesboro its halftime margin.
In the second half, the Devils’ defense continued to dominate.
Butler running back Isaiah Lambert was limited to just 48 yards on 16 carries, while quarterback Sandrez Evans completed just five of 15 passes.
Even as the second string took the field late, the SHS defense wouldn’t budge. Butler advanced into Devils’ territory for just the second time of the night, but Darius Mikell intercepted Evans to preserve the shutout.
“After losing last week, we had a chip on our shoulder,” Taylor said. “I thought that we got to the ball quick and made all of our tackles.”
Taylor added his second scoring run of the night from 6 yards out on the Devils’ first possession of the second half.
Murphy’s long run blew the game wide open heading to the fourth quarter. Williams ripped off a 49-yarder to the Butler 4, allowing Murphy to cap off the scoring with 5:48 to play.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.