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Statesboro opens up region play
SHS helmet

The 2-4 Statesboro Blue Devils know that one region win can get them into the postseason. The trouble is they are in the midst of a four game losing streak, and the tough competition only continues this week as they host unbeaten 6-0 Wayne County.

Last Friday the Blue Devils ended the non region portion of their schedule with a 49-28 loss to Burke County. The Blue Devil defense struggled against the Bears, but the offense actually showed some signs of life, as they had 400 yards of offense, and two different running backs each had over 150 yards rushing.

“We had 23 formation assignment busts on defense last week against Burke County,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “We made too many mental mistakes on defense. As for our offense we were pleased and feel we got better on that side of the ball.”

The Blue Devils schedule has been a tough one, as four of their first six games have come against ranked opponents, and the next two are as well as Wayne County is currently ranked seventh, and then the next week the Blue Devils travel to No. 8 ranked Ware County.

“We’ve had some people question our scheduling,” said Kaiser. “We feel if you want to be the best, you have to play the best. We know how difficult our region is and we felt like we needed some tough opponents to get ready for region.”

The Yellow Jackets come in with a perfect record, and while their defense only allows 11 points per game, much of their success has come on the offensive side of the ball, where they are averaging 33 points per game.

“They are the total package,” Kaiser said. “They are big and fast on both sides of the ball, and they are well coached. They have a good receiver, a good running back and a good quarterback, who can all hurt you.”

The Jackets are led by a balanced attack. Quarterback Shamar Jackson threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns two weeks ago against Appling County, while running back M.J. Fuller has rushed for over 700 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Head coach Ken Cribb’s son Ashley is another weapon as he is the leading receiver, but also has lined up at quarterback and running back, and has seven touchdowns.

“We have to continue to try and control the ball offensively and keep their offense on the sidelines,” Kaiser said. “If we can protect the football, and get back in the groove on defense I like our chances.”

The Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets are set for a 7:30 kickoff at Womack Field.