The Statesboro offense has only had four scoring plays this season over 50 yards, Friday night they had four in one game, as big plays and solid defense led the Blue Devils to a 35-6 win over South Effingham as they improve to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in region play.
“We got out to another slow start defensively but once we calmed down, we were fine,” said Statesboro coach Jeff Kaiser. “Offensively there were times they had nine players in the box and we were able to hit big plays for touchdowns.”
The Blue Devils spotted the Mustangs a 6-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kaden DeGenero to Justin Martell then reeled off 35 unanswered points.
The Blue Devils started the scoring on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Kam Mikell to Tim Taylor. Michael Crews extra point gave the Blue Devils a 7-6 lead.
The Blue Devil defense accounted for the next points of the game. Pinned at their own 31 the Blue Devils Caleb Tisby ripped the ball loose from the Mustangs Cameron Edwards and then scooped it up and went the rest of the way for the touchdown to extend the lead to 14-6.
“I thought our defense did a really good job after that initial drive,” said Kaiser. “South Effingham has scored some points on people this year but we did a pretty good job of shutting them down."
The Blue Devils managed another touchdown before the half as on third down and eight Kam Mikell scrambled around and finally took off up field. Mikell shed a tackle and then went to another gear outracing the Mustangs 78-yards for the touchdown to put the Blue Devils up 21-6 at the half.
“We have some guys on offense who can really, really run,” said Kaiser. “We are trying to do a better job of creating opportunities for big plays. Tonight, we were able to hit those big plays where in the past we have not.”
Opposing teams may want to watch out for Jordan Lovett on the first play in the second half as for the second straight week Lovett took the hand off on the first play of the third quarter and went the distance for the touchdown. Last week against Bradwell it was 64-yards and this week Lovett sprinted 69-yards for the touchdown to extend the lead to 28-6.
Mikell and Lovett combined on the final points of the night as Mikell spotted Lovett across the middle all alone and he went 67-yards for the final points of the game and a 35-6 lead.
The win all but wraps up a state playoff appearance for the Blue Devils who would clinch the No. 2 seed if they can win out on the road at Effingham County and at Glynn Academy to end the season.
“We have a chance to do something that hasn’t happened here in a while,” said Kaiser. “We play against two really good football teams but if we win out, we will host a state playoff game so that is our goal.”
Mikell finished the game with 124 yards rushing and 147 yards passing. Lovett ended the game with 100 yards rushing.