Statesboro High hung around for the first half, but were shut down in the second half as the Wayne County Yellow Jackets knocked off the Blue Devils by a score of 31-13 Friday night at Womack Field.
In a battle of two former Georgia Southern Eagles it was the elder coming out on top as Jaybo Shaw’s Yellow Jackets proved to be just too much for Matt Dobson’s Blue Devils. The Jackets were led by South Carolina commit Matthew Fuller who had 127 yards on 27 carries including all four touchdowns. Wayne had 227 yards of offense to just 124 yards for the Blue Devils who were shut out 14-0 in the second half and managed just four first downs the entire game.
“We have to execute better it’s that simple,” Dobson said. “It is some of the same things happening again and that is penalties and special team errors gave them short fields a couple times. I will take responsibility for all of it. We just have to find a way to clean things up and get better.”
After the defense stopped Wayne on their initial drive the special teams errors began. Kam Mikell caught the Jacket punt on his own 15-yard line and tried to run back and change direction, but he was hit at the five yard line and coughed up the ball. The Statesboro defense did an excellent job of limiting the Jackets to a field goal as they trailed 3-0.
Mikell made up for his miscue on the next offensive play as the Blue Devils ran a reverse, and Mikell sprinted down the sidelines untouched for a 71-yard touchdown and a 7-3 Statesboro advantage.
More special teams issues on the next Statesboro series as they were forced to punt and the snap sailed way over the head of Blue Devil punter Keith Howard, who did a great job of just getting the punt off from his own end zone. Wayne County scored two plays later as Fuller went 31-yards into the end zone for a 10-7 lead.
Fuller added a 17-yard touchdown in the second quarter and after another Statesboro three-and-out it looked like Wayne County may get a chance to add to their lead. The Statesboro defense came up with another big play as Jovon Gibson and Chris Williams combined to cause a fumble and Williams was able to recover in Jacket territory.
The Statesboro offense then made their first, and unfortunately last, nice drive of the game. Quarterback Bruce Yawn hooked up with Raylin Grant for a first down pass, followed by a nice first down run from Elijah Wells. Yawn would eventually get the Blue Devils into the end zone on a one-yard quarterback draw. The extra point was blocked and the two teams went into the locker room with Statesboro trailing 17-13.
“It looked like we were going to have some momentum, but then we get the extra point blocked,” Dobson said. “I thought we played hard from there but we are still not doing the little things correctly. Our effort is there we just have to clean up the execution.”
The second half belonged to the Yellow Jackets who added two more Fuller touchdowns and managed to shut down the Statesboro offense.
Statesboro falls to 1-3 on the season while Wayne County improves to 3-1. Up next Statesboro travels to 4-0 Burke County next Friday.