On Friday night, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets secured their third straight victory following a 21-7 triumph over the Screven County Gamecocks.
Despite allowing their first points of the season, the SEB defense put together a masterful defensive performance.
The Gamecocks offense struggled mightily throughout the game, accumulating just 138 total yards and just three first downs on the night.
“(The defense) continues to get better and better,” said SEB head coach Jared Zito. “Played fast, made a lot of good tackles, so just really proud of that unit.”
Offensively, it was another slow start for the Yellow Jackets. Just like last week’s contest against Telfair County, SEB managed just one first half touchdown.
It was clear to everyone in attendance that Screven County planned to minimize the impact of four-star Central Florida commit Tyler Griffin.
For the majority of the night, the Gamecock defense placed two defenders on Griffin at all times, virtually eliminating his presence from the SEB offense.
The plan could be deemed a success by the Gamecocks, who held Griffin to just 18 rushing yards and one reception offensively.
However, Griffin made his presence known in the return game. The star athlete electrified the stadium with a 70-yard punt return to score the game’s first points.
“He’s a baller, he’s special,” said Zito. “It’s a little frustrating for him and frustrating for us, because people are going to do some stuff to him in the passing game to take him away.”
While Zito noted the importance of getting the ball into the hands if his best player, he attributed some of the rushing success to Griffin simply being on the field.
“Again, it left us with a light box, so we were able to run the football as we got going,” said Zito.
And run, run, run the ball they did to the tune of nearly six yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets accumulated 250 of their 345 offensive yards on the ground.
Senior running back Tradon McBride led the way with 135 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown on the first drive of the second half.
AJ Johnson, a junior running back, accounted for the third and final Yellow Jacket touchdown of the night. The eight yard scamper capped off a 58-yard performance with a touchdown, extending his scoring streak to three consecutive games.
While the Yellow Jackets did the majority of their work on the ground, senior quarterback Khristian Clark went 4-6 for 95 yards and an interception. Clark also accounted for 42 rushing yards of his own.
SEB will be back in action next Friday as they hit the road for a second straight week as they head to Grovetown. The Yellow Jackets enter the game at 3-0, while the Warriors sit at just 1-2 in 2021.