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Statesboro downs South Effingham 41-7
SHS football
Statesboro running back Jaylin Mikell tip toes down the sideline in the second quarter of the Blue Devils 41-7 win at South Effingham. Mikell was one of three Blue Devil backs to go over 100 yards rushing as he finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns - photo by All photos special to the Herald

In football you want to begin to peak when it gets close to playoff time. The Statesboro Blue Devils are doing just that as after a 38-18 win over Bradwell the Blue Devils put together their best game of the season, as they traveled to Guyton and knocked off South Effingham 41-7.

The Rebels came into the game winless at 0-7 on the season, but are still adjusting to a new offense which saw them give Benedictine a good game last week before falling 39-25.

Friday the Blue Devils offense put up their second straight game of over 400 yards of offense, finishing with 384 yards rushing, and 68 yards passing. Statesboro also had three backs go over 100 yards. Jaylin Mikell had 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Aundrell Grace had 113 yards and two scores as well, and quarterback Ames Rackleff added 115 yards and one score.

“I was really proud of our guys,” said Kaiser. “We never lost composure, we kept our foot on the gas and did what we needed to do to keep our playoff hopes alive. Everybody contributed on offense, and our line blocked well.”

Last week the Blue Devil defense gave up over 300 yards of offense, but Friday night the Blue Devils only allowed 110 total yards, and 49 of that came on one play.

“I was worried to death since South Effingham went to a single wing and put all their big physical guys up front,” said Kaiser. “I didn’t know if we could match up physically. We gave up that one big play on defense, but besides that we played really well.”

The Blue Devils started the scoring in the first quarter, and took nearly eight minutes off the clock in doing so. Ames Rackleff hit Will Yawn with a pair of key passes to extend the drive. Rackleff and Yawn hooked up on a third and long, and later on a fourth and 10 for first downs. The drive culminated in a six-yard Grace touchdown. The extra point failed leaving the score 6-0.

In the second quarter Rackleff took the ball around the left side and had plenty of room to run as he went 49-yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion pass from Rackleff to Ford Wildes was good extending the lead to 14-0. 

The Blue Devils next possession began at their own one-yard line. Statesboro proceeded to go on a 99-yard scoring drive capped off by a 45-yard Grace touchdown. Cody Parker’s extra point made it 21-0.

The one big play the Blue Devils let up led to the only Mustang points of the game. Desmond House took the ball around the left side 49-yards to the Statesboro three-yard line. On the next play House went in for the score cutting the lead to 21-7 at the half.

While Grace was the offensive force in the first half, Mikell took things over in the second half. Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Mikell changed that early in the fourth. A 29-yard touchdown run with 10:16 to go in the game made it 28-7.

The Blue Devil defense forced a three-and out and then the offense capped an eight-play drive on an impressive Mikell run. Stopped at the line of scrimmage Mikell continued to drive his legs and fight forward, eventually breaking free and into the end zone from 14-yards out for a 34-7 lead.

The Blue Devils tacked on one final score with just under two minutes to play as Jordan Lovett found a hole and went 36-yards for the final points of the game and a 41-7 Blue Devil victory.

“This is two weeks in a row where I am really of our guys for what they’ve done,” said Kaiser. “We took care of business this week, and now we have to go get ready for another tough one next Friday.”

Statesboro improves to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in region play. Up next the Blue Devils host Effingham County Friday at Womack Field.