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SEB looks to make statement against Vidalia
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Southeast Bulloch quarterback Joe Wilson (7) completes a pass under pressure from Portal defender Devon Spells during the first quarter of last week’s contest. The Yellow Jackets have a tough test as Vidalia comes to Brooklet tonight.
    BROOKLET — Coming off a big 34-7 win over cross-county rival Portal, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets look to build on last week’s performance as they host Vidalia tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Brooklet.
    Much like they did against the Panthers, the Jackets (1-1) will look to attack the Indians’ 50 defense with a running game — led by junior running back Tharon Davis (19 carries, 197 yards, 3 TD against Portal) — that exploded in the Jacket win.
    Southeast Bulloch coach John Kenny, who is in the process of installing his spread offense at SEB, is not afraid to keep the ball on the ground if he has to. Although Davis will get a bulk of the carries, the Jackets can attack from a number of spots. Freshman fullback Dieon Evans added 15 carries to compliment Davis in the win against the Panthers.
    “We did not throw the ball a whole bunch (against PHS),” said Kenny, “just because of the way the game progressed. We try to spread the ball around, but due to his position, (Davis) is going to touch the ball more than anybody else.”
    The first year in the system has taken some getting used to for quarterback Joe Wilson, who has shown early signs of leadership, proving to be calm and have a strong presence in the pocket. As Wilson works on the execution of the passing plays, the team hopes to be able to be more effective in that aspect of the game.
    Vidalia brings a new offense of its own, led by first year head coach Tim Chomskis, and will attack the SEB defense with a double-wing/wishbone attack. The Indians (1-0) like to run the ball, knocking off Treutlen 20-6 in their season opener, and the Jackets are no stranger to that. Already having faced the Wing-T of Toombs County and the triple-option attack of the Panthers, Southeast Bulloch has had plenty of opportunities to defend the running game.
    “In the first two weeks, we played teams that were primarily run teams,” said Kenny.  “Each week I think you ought to improve, and each week as you have success — not wins and losses — but success, it’s going to breed confidence.”
    Vidalia will look to establish the running game and utilize the play action to try to air the ball out and try to keep the Jacket defense guessing.
    “They play action and do (some) sprint stuff off of it” said Kenny. “They have good size up front and their quarterback and running backs run well.”
    While Portal’s speed was the main concern for SEB’ offense last week, Vidalia brings size and depth to the table defensively.
    “Vidalia’s big, strong and athletic,” Kenny said. “They run a 50 on defense, they like to change they’re coverage a little bit. … (They have) two huge tackles, a quick nose guard, and backers and a secondary that plays well.”
    Having a series of non-region games to start off Kenny’s first season is helpful in getting his team ready for region play. Playing a variety of teams outside of Region 3-AA will allow Kenny and his staff to build on his team’s strengths before region play kicks off.
    “Like we tell the kids,” said Kenny, “those non-region games, we like to worry more about the video than the scoreboard, so we can improve.”
    Seeing improvement from week to week has Kenny optimistic, and the Jackets hope to utilize these non-region games to have their offense firing from all cylinders when region play begins Sept. 21 at Swainsboro.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.