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Top seed doesn't help SEB in first round loss
Southeast Bulloch's Tyler Griffin hauls in a touchdown pass behind Upson-Lee defender DeGavion Colberton to bring the Yellow Jackets to within 16-13 in the third quarter on Friday, Nov. 27. (Statesboro Herald photo/Scott Bryant)

Earlier this season the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets snapped a 25-year drought without winning a region championship as they knocked off Liberty County for the region title. Friday night in Brooklet the Jackets had a chance to snap a losing streak that went back to 1973, unfortunately the streak will continue as the No. 1 seeded Jackets fell to No. 4 seed Upson Lee 31-13.

“We knew we were playing the toughest region in all of Class-AAA,” said Southeast Bulloch Coach Barrett Davis. “This was a really good team we played here tonight. We fought back in the game, but they have some 300-pound players, and they were tough running the ball. They just made more plays than us.”

The Knights one-two punch of quarterback Jake Davis, and running back Malik Smith proved to be too much for the Jackets who had trouble after digging themselves a 16-0 hole.

Southeast was able to come back on the strength of two second half touchdown passes from Khristian Clark to Tyler Griffin to cut the Knight’s lead to 16-13 in the third quarter. Griffin finished the game with 158 yards receiving and two scores.

As soon as the Jackets had some momentum, Upson Lee had the answers. Facing a third and 16 Davis was able to throw for a first down, and then Smith scored to make it 24-13. Davis added a 52-yard score for the final points of the game.

Our kids fought till the end they just made more plays than us,” said Davis. “ These seniors will be tough to replace. We had 16 seniors and when it comes to character and leadership, they have been one of the best groups I have been around.”

While the Jackets lose a lot on the offensive and defensive lines, they do return plenty of talent at the skill positions for next year.

“Skill wise we have some good players coming back,” said Davis. “What we need to replace are the guys up front. We will really need to hit the weight room this off-season and get much bigger.”

The Jackets end the 2020 season with a record of 6-4.