BROOKLET — Eager to put the previous week’s shutout loss behind them, Southeast Bulloch came out firing on homecoming to have a shutout of their own with a 55-0 win over Groves.
Everything that went wrong for the Yellow Jackets last week was clicking for them Friday night against the Rebels. Senior quarterback Blaize Minick was five for six with two touchdowns and 78 yards, also picking up a score on the ground. The defense played confident, but disciplined coming away with four turnovers.
But the hero of Friday night’s homecoming victory was junior running back Jamari Daniel. The five-foot-four running back rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns to inch closer to a 1,000 yard season.
“We’ve kind of messed around with him because he was around 750 and he wanted to get 1,000 yards on the season,” SEB head coach Barrett Davis said of Daniel. “The kid works hard in the weight room. He works hard in the classroom. He’s a kid that doesn’t say a whole lot, just shows up and does his job.”
All 184 of his yards came with ease and efficiency with Daniel just shooting up the middle hungry for more yards each time. The 155-pound back earned those yards on just 19 carries, averaging just under 10 yards per carry.
Like most great running backs, Daniel commended the great and consistent work of his offensive line.
“I have to give tons of credit to that offensive line,” Daniel said. “I love them.”
The offensive line didn’t just help Daniel in the win, but made room for the other backs to pick up the remaining 206 yards on the ground. And on the few occasions Minick dropped back to pass, there wasn’t a Rebel in his vicinity.
For Davis and his team, the importance to send a message after last week’s loss of evident. When the game went final and the Yellow Jackets finished shaking hands with the visitors, they rushed over to the band. The party then began.
“It felt good, just wanted to play hard. We took a tough loss last week so just wanted to get back from that,” Daniel said. “It was very important to get back on our feet. We stayed focused and practiced hard all week to come out with the W.”
The confidence and zeal that was vacant from SEB last week in Savannah was back in full force on both sides of the ball. From the starters who played a perfect game to the younger players who were in pretty much the entire second half, the Yellow Jackets felt it and feel like a playoff team.
But Davis doesn’t want them to be satisfied with just being a playoff team.
“We’re just trying to get ready for playoffs once we figure out who we’re playing and just get our kids in that cycle,” Davis said. “We’re trying to get our kids learning that we want to win a football game. We want to keep moving on, not just settling for making playoffs or having a good season.”
The buy-in and belief is present in the Yellow Jackets who now have the most wins in an SEB season in more than 10 years. SEB has allowed two touchdowns or less in six games and have scored more than 20 points in six games.
SEB hosts Johnson Friday on senior night, but the Yellow Jackets will be focused on the Jenkins/Benedictine game which will decide who and where the Yellow Jackets play in the first round.