The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets flag football team just continues to roll.
The Jackets are 18-0 and the No. 1 ranked team in Georgia. They are 57-0 over the past three seasons with back-to-back state titles and the Jackets open the state playoffs Tuesday at home against South Effingham in pursuit of a third consecutive championship.
Head coach Marci Cochran said she is impressed with the way the team has continued to play at a high level despite losing some key players from last year’s squad.
“We hit a little slump after playing in the invitational tournament we hosted here,” Cochran said. “I feel like when we started the area tournament, we really turned it on. Our team has really bonded through the year and I feel like we are playing our best as we enter the state.”
On offense, the Jackets are averaging more than 25 points per game after losing quarterback Ansleigh Littles, who is now playing in college. They also lost their top receiver and defensive stopper in Delanie Thames, who is currently playing softball at Georgia Southern.
“Korine Talkington has done a good job taking over for Ansleigh Littles at quarterback and has 47 touchdown passes,” Cochran said. “Alex Odom and Natalya Odom have combined for 37 touchdowns to lead us in receiving. Jaci Kitchings has kind of stepped into the Kaylee Haas role and Chloe Cochran has done a good job at center where Abigail Morgan had been.”
Defensively the Jackets have been giving up just over three points per game, which is only slightly worse than last year when they limited their opponents to about two points per contest.
“Our defense tends to get overlooked at times by how much we score but they have played great this year,” Cochran said. “Natalya (Odom) has really stepped up and given us a lot of speed in the secondary. Jadyn Williams led the team in sacks this year with 23 and started last year as well. I’ve also liked what I have seen from Kelsey Johnson, who didn’t play last year and has really been great at linebacker. The defense has come a long way since the start of the season.”
Tuesday the Jackets open the state playoffs as they host South Effingham. The Mustangs are the No. 4 seed but are 8-4 overall and Cochran is expecting a good game Tuesday.
“They are really good for a four seed,” Cochran said. “They are more of a running team and they do a lot of quick passes like we see out of Calvary. It is going to be a tough opening game for us, but I feel like we are ready.”
Southeast Bulloch and South Effingham are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start Tuesday on Fred Shaver Field in Brooklet. If the Yellow Jackets win, they will play a second game Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Jenkins (Savannah) – Jordan (Columbus) game.