For the first time since 2014 the Statesboro Blue Devil football team enter the second week of the season with some momentum from a season opening victory. That came last Friday as the Blue Devils held on to beat Greenbrier 7-3 in Evans.
Statesboro used a powerful swarming defense to hold the Wolfpack to just over 100 yards of total offense, and created four turnovers including three interceptions in the game.
“We were very pleased by our defensive performance,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “We had a lot of guys contribute, and held a good Greenbrier offense to just over 100 yards. It was a great team defensive effort.”
On the offense side of the ball the goal from the beginning of the season was to eat up the clock, shorten the game, and do not commit turnovers. The Blue Devils did have a 100 yard rusher in junior Jaylen Robinson who rushed for 107 yards, but they did commit two turnovers, and were only able to muster seven points.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with two drive killing penalties and two turnovers,” Kaiser said. “We have to be able to get more consistent on that side of the ball, but we did average over four yards a carry on offense which was a good thing.”
This week the Blue Devils take on a familiar foe in the Liberty County Panthers. Statesboro and Liberty have battled it out the past two years, both years Statesboro had a lead in the second half, and both years Liberty was able to come back and win.
Last year the game came down to the wire with Statesboro maintaining the lead until the final few minutes when Liberty was able to score and secure themselves a 36-34 victory in Hinesville.
“That game was a real heartbreaker for us,” Kaiser said. “I felt like we had that one won, and felt like if we won that game that could have given us a boost to propel us the rest of the season.”
This year both teams enter the game with 1-0 records. Statesboro knocking off Greenbrier last week, while Liberty destroyed their cross county rivals Bradwell Institute 40-17 on the strength of quarterback Dionte Bowens and running back Kris Coleman who had 351 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
“They are a very very fast team on offense,”Kaiser said. “They return 10 of their players on offense, they are solid on defense, are well coached and have one of the best backs we will see all season.”
Statesboro and Liberty County get things underway Friday at 7:30 at Womack Field.