The Statesboro Blue Devils started the season with three straight wins, but have dropped their last three games, and enter Friday night’s contest with Ware County with a 3-3 record, but not a lot of momentum. ‘
This past Friday the Blue Devils dropped their region opener 21-7 to Wayne County. As has been the case in all three Statesboro losses, the Blue Devils were within a touchdown late in the third quarter, but once again they were unable to score when they had to, and are now 0-1 in region play.
“We’ve had some opportunities to win these games,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “Friday we had a long touchdown called back on a holding penalty, we had a touchdown catch in the end zone where our player made a great catch but wasn’t able to secure it when he hit the ground, and had a breakdown on our punt team that gave them the go-ahead score.”
The good news for Statesboro continues to be the Blue Devil defense. Of the 21 points scored, one Wayne County touchdown came on a punt return, and aside from one big offensive play, the SHS defense played another solid game.
“In our six games our defense has only given up over 200 yards of offense one time,” Kaiser said. “We need to be able to finish better, and we need to tackle better than we did on Friday at Wayne County.”
The Blue Devils gauntlet continued this Friday as Statesboro welcomes in Ware County. The Gators are currently ranked as high as 10 in the state by some publications, which will mark the fourth straight ranked team the Blue Devils have played.
“Our kids are getting to play the cream of the crop in the tate of Georgia,” Kaiser said. “We have five or six teams on our schedule that will probably finish with 9-1 records. I think that will only help us to be prepared for the competition we will see the rest of the season.”
The Gators and Blue Devils each have 3-3 records, and while Statesboro has played some pretty tough teams, Ware County could argue their schedule is even tougher. The Gators losses have come to Rockledge (FL), Coffee County, and Lowndes. The Gators wins have come against Burke County, Jonesboro and Glynn Academy.
The Gators are averaging only 19 points per game, and giving up 23 points per contest, but are averaging 31 points per game in their wins. They are led offensively by sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos, and his brother Ladedric who is a senior running back.
“It’s another great team and great program we will be facing Friday,” Kaiser said. “Their quarterback is a very good, athletic player who likes to run. They have a new coaching staff, but are still running much of the same stuff they have in the past. Defensively they are big, fast and physical, much like we've seen the last three weeks.”
Statesboro and Ware County are scheduled for a 7:30 kickoff at Womack Field.