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Statesboro Football begins state playoff journey
SHS helmet

It hasn’t exactly been a year to remember for the Statesboro Blue Devil football team, but the Blue Devils are still one of only 36 Class 5-A teams left in the state playoffs as they get things underway Saturday night at No. 1 seed Dutchtown.  

The Blue Devils haven’t played a game on the field in over two weeks as their last regular season game against Jenkins was cancelled due to threats on social media and the Blue Devils were forced to forfeit. 

“There are some people out there who feel we finagled our way out of a game,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “That is simply not true. Our administration was very diligent in their efforts to make sure our kids’ safety was the number one priority. We are still playing and everyone who is playing now their record is 0-0 and it is win and advance.” 

The silver lining in not playing last Friday is that the Blue Devils have been ravaged by injuries this year and it was a chance to get some players healthy. There are still some players lost for the season, but Kaiser and the team have had to have a next player up mentality for the entire season. 

“We still have kids out with the flue and tone of injuries,” said Kaiser. “We will get at least a couple kids back who may not have been able to play last week. Even though we didn’t play last Friday we still had our pre-game meal and then hit the field for what was a good practice. I think we have done a good job as a staff of teaching the kids to focus on what we can control.” 

The Blue Devils will be going up against a Dutchtown team who they played three years ago in the playoffs where they fell 20-0. This year the Bulldogs come in with an impressive 9-1 record with their lone moss coming in a 24-7 defeat to Jones County. 

“They earned the top seed out of a very good region,” said Kaiser. “We have been there before just three years ago so we have an idea of what the trip and the atmosphere will be like. They are a typical Dutchtown team who are fast and athletic but not overly big in size, but we know it will be a battle.” 

The Bulldogs come in averaging just under 32 points per game while their defense is only surrendering 8.5 points per contest. The rushing attack is led by Jamal Bing who is averaging over 100 yards per game and has six touchdowns. Quarterback Josiah Jarrett has over 500 yards passing and five touchdowns. 

“They are very simple on defense but they do an excellent job of running their 4-3 scheme,” said Kaiser. “They rarely come out of that defense and their kids play really hard and fly to the ball. Offensively they are very multiple a lot like we are. They have a two-quarterback system and are explosive so it’s a tall task, but every game in the post season is a tall task.” 

Statesboro and Dutchtown kick off Saturday at 7:30 at Dutchtown High School in Hampton.