SWAINSBORO — Rashad James completed 16 passes for 269 yards and 5 touchdowns as the Swainsboro Tigers stomped the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets 48-7 Friday.
Without running back Tharon Davis, the Yellow Jackets were forced to give a bulk of the carries to freshman fullback Dieon Evans, who responded by powering his way to several key first downs on third-and-short situations.
“We’re excited about Dieon,” said SEB coach John Kenny. “As a freshman, he did a great job running the football and blocking for us.”
The story of the first half was Swainsboro quarterback Rashad James. He drove his team straight down the field on the opening two drives of the game. Touchdown passes to sophomores Javec King and Malcolm Eady put the Tigers up 14-0 just 5:52 into the first quarter.
The Yellow Jacket defense tightened up and forced punts on the following two drives but – with running back Davis sidelined due to injury – the running game never really got established. Evans rushed for 20 first-half yards on seven carries, but backup tailback Arsenio Wright was held to negative yards in the contest. He did, however, contribute in the passing game, accounting for four catches for 45 yards.
The Jackets could not put together anything offensively until late in the second half. The five-minute, 12-play drive showcased Joseph Wilson’s arm and his ability to spread the ball around to several different receivers. Three different Southeast Bulloch players caught at least one pass on the drive. Wilson was 6-for-7 on the 65-yard drive, including a 15-yard strike to receiver Greg Wright in the back of the end zone as time ran out in the first half and cut the Tiger lead to 20-7.
The Yellow Jackets came out of the locker room with all of the momentum, putting together another offensive drive. The drive got underway when Arsenio Wright caught a 32-yard pass from Wilson. The drive stalled on the 33-yard line.
Southeast Bulloch got the momentum back two plays later when Tony Raymond recovered a fumble by Tiger wide receiver Byron Fouts. Back-to-back incomplete passes by Wilson halted the ensuing drive on the 19-yard line.
“In the third quarter, we had the momentum. We had a great drive. We got inside the 20 twice,” said Kenny. “I need to make some better calls inside the 20 to at least get us a field goal attempt or a touchdown. We’ll go back to Monday and we’ll improve, but I need to make some better calls inside the 20.”
It was all Swainsboro in the fourth quarter, and SEB watched as big play after big play let the game slip away.
Southeast Bulloch returns to action Friday on the road for Westside’s homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.