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Statesboro can't hold candle to Coffee
SHS Football
Statesboro wide receiver James Flagg looks for room to run after making a reception in the second quarter of the Blue Devils region matchup at Coffee County Friday night. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

A long drive to Douglas turned into a long night for the Statesboro Blue Devils as they trailed 21-3 at the half and ended up falling to the No. 8 ranked Coffee Trojans by a final score of 35-3. Statesboro drops to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in region play. 

“What I was afraid of happening happened,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “I told the team the game would be won on the line of scrimmage, and we got knocked off the ball defensively and couldn’t get anything going on offense either. We couldn’t get a push up the middle and they swarmed us and put eight in the box and we didn’t get much done tonight.” 

Trailing 21-3 early in the second half the Blue Devils looked to gain some momentum as they recovered a Coffee fumble at the Trojan 33-yard line. Statesboro was able to get down inside the 5-yard line and quarterback Kam Mikell took off around the far sidelines on a keeper. Mikell appeared to go out of bounds at the one, but lost the ball which went through the back of the end zone. It was ruled a touchback and Coffee took over at their own 20-yard line. 

“We made a mistake there and it kind of killed momentum there,” said Kaiser. “Credit to Coffee they are a good team and whipped our tail.” 

The Trojans scored touchdowns on all three of their possessions in the first half and never punted the ball. Meanwhile the Blue Devils struggled to move the ball and were only able to come up with three points on a 31-yard field goal from Michael Crews.

The big problem for the Blue Devils defense was stopping the Trojans on third and long. Coffee converted on a pair of third and 12 plays on late in the half scored on third and goal from the 8-yard line. The Trojans were also 3-3 on fourth down conversions. 

On offense with the exception of the two possessions in which the Blue Devils kicked a field goal, and fumbled through the end zone, Statesboro was unable to cross midfield.  

On their first drive Coffee converted on a fourth and short and a third and 12 and scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Maurice Hansley to Billy Simpson for a 7-0 lead. Statesboro went three-and-out and Coffee scored again as Hansley scrambled out of trouble and found a wide-open Simpson for a 42-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. 

Statesboro completed an 18-yard pass from Kam Mikell to Elijah Wells just before the half down to the Coffee 42-yard line. Mikell then scrambled ahead to the Trojan 21-yard line, but the drive stalled and Crews split the uprights from 31-yards away cutting the lead to 14-3. 

Late in the second quarter the Trojans converted on another third and 12 on a pass from Hansley to Keshad Turner inside the 10-yard line. Tyrese Woodget would score from the 8-yard line two plays later for a 21-3 halftime lead. 

In the second half the Trojans made up for their lone miscue by scoring on their next possession. They would go for it on fourth and two from the Statesboro 15-yard line and Fred Brown went up the middle virtually untouched to extend the lead to 28-3. They’d tack on a 5-yard score by Antoine McDuffie for the final points of the game. 

Next up for the Blue Devils they will be back at Womack Field as they host winless Bradwell Institute.