First Downs 9 23
Rushes-Yards 21-52 51-310
Passing Yards 126 31
Total Yards 178 341
Comp-Att-Int 8-17-2 1-3-1
Turnovers 2 4
Penalties-Yards 11-64 8-85
Rushing: SAV: Dillard, 10-35; SEB: Epps, 22-166, 3 TDs.
Passing: SAV: Norman, 6-14, 72 yards, TD, 2 INT. SEB: Carter, 1-3, 31 yards.
Receiving: SAV: Williams, 5-103, 2 TDs. SEB: Edenfield, 1-31.
SAV 0 0 6 8 — 14
SEB 0 14 0 16 — 30
10:00 — Epps (SEB) 1 run (Sandhagen kick)
1:40 — Epps (SEB) 1 run (Sandhagen kick)
4:03 — Williams (SAV) 23 pass from Norman (Conversion failed)
11:17 — Safety (SEB) Holding in the end zone by SAV
8:47 — Epps (SEB) 3 run (K. Carter pass to McBride)
1:40 — Davis (SEB) 3 run (Conversion failed)
0:31 — WILLIAMS (SAV) 40 pass from Newton (Newton run)
BROOKLET — Led by Tyler Epps, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets had too much power on the ground for visiting Savannah High.
Epps ran for 166 of SEB’s 310 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and the Yellow Jackets cruised to a 30-14 win over the visiting Blue Jackets of Savannah on Friday at Fred Shaver Field.
“When you establish the fullback, it opens up a whole lot of other things,” SEB coach Pat Collins said. “It’s hard to take the ball out of his hands. He’s a hard worker.”
Savannah (1-5, 1-2 Region 1-AAA) kept it within a touchdown when a 23-yard pass from quarterback Jamal Norman found Jermaine Williams in the end zone to make it 14-6 in the third quarter, but it was all Southeast Bulloch (4-0-1, 2-0) after that.
The fourth-quarter scoring started when Savannah was flagged in its own end zone for a safety after back-to-back personal fouls pinned the Blue Jackets at their own 3. Six plays later, Epps scored his third touchdown from three yards out to put SEB up, 24-6, after Keagan Carter’s pass to Matthew McBride was good for the two-point conversion.
With the backups in on the next drive, sophomore Michael Davis (4 carries, 35 yards) punched one in from 3 yards out for SEB.
Antonio McMillan split carries with Epps and ran for 81 yards on 16 carries, and Keagan Carter, McBride and D’Andre Boyle combined for 64 yards on eight carries.
“We’ve got some very good players on our junior varsity program. They’re coming in and they’re hungry,” Collins said. “Davis ran the ball exceptionally well tonight, and he’s got a bright future if he keeps working.”
Backup Savannah quarterback Eric Newton threw a 40-yard bomb to Jermaine Williams with 1:40 remaining in the game for the final margin.
Savannah managed only four first downs in the first half, and three were gifts from SEB penalties — roughing the kicker, a late hit and pass interference.
A 16-yard run by Trey Dillard (10-35) in the second quarter was the only time the Blue Jackets moved the chains on their own before halftime. They put together only 29 yards of offense in the first half to the Yellow Jackets’ 177.
Southeast Bulloch moved the ball almost at will in the first half, but two of its four drives ended with a turnover. The Yellow Jackets marched 65 yards on the game’s first drive, but a fumbled snap on the 1-yard line left the scoreboard at zeros, and quarterback Cole Carter threw an interception to Dillard in the second quarter.
Southeast Bulloch committed four turnovers and eight penalties for 85 yards.
“I’m a little disappointed with those kinds of things,” Collins said. “Why does it happen? I guess if we all knew that, we’d all write books and make a lot of money. But our guys were able to be resilient and get the job done and, at the end of the day, the final score is what matters.”
A 31-yard pass from Carter to a wide-open Weston Edenfield over the middle set up the first 1-yard Epps touchdown run of the second quarter and, later, a methodical 13-play, 56-yard drive set up the second, leaving SEB leading 14-0 at halftime.
In a battle of unbeatens next Friday, Southeast Bulloch will travel to Blackshear to face Pierce County at 7:30 p.m.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.