And then there were three.
Despite a 26-14 loss at the hands of Brunswick, Statesboro (6-4, 3-3 Region 2-AAAA) was able to do enough to join Bulloch Academy and Emanuel County Institute as the area’s representatives in the 2009 state playoffs.
After a convincing 42-12 win over Heritage on Friday, Bulloch Academy has the shortest path to glory, as the Gators stand among the last eight GISA Class AA teams remaining.
Talk about peaking at the right time.
The boys at Gator Alley had their future in doubt no more than a month ago, but got hot at the right time, snagging a region title on their way to a No. 1 seed.
They’re now just two wins away from a trip to the state championship.
This week, Southwest Georgia stands in their way. Heritage came in with an intimidating offense last Friday, but BA made short work of it.
Let’s hope for more of the same this week.
Statesboro, on the other hand, has been more hot-and-cold than the weather on what has turned into a roller-coaster ride of a season. In four quarters of football last Friday, the Devils went from a shot at the region championship to the No. 4 seed.
Now, they have to hit the road for Augusta to take on Region 3-AAAA champ Lakeside.
The Panthers have pitched six shutouts this year, and their only loss came at a 14-13 decision against Hephzibah.
Let’s hope the Devils’ roller coaster is finally starting to hit a crescendo.
Emanuel County is still, well, Emanuel County.
The Bulldogs lost a ton of talent off a team that played in back-to-back state titles over the last two years, but quarterback Michael Robertson has been the glue that binds them together, as they finished 9-1 and earned themselves a first-round home game.
Once thought an impossibility, a trip to the Dome may just be in their future again.
Now for the bad news
Nobody on the field seemed to know why it happened, but Georgia Southern (4-5, 3-3 Southern Conference) lost to Samford 31-10.
The easy question is, “What’s the problem?”
If only it were that easy.
The Eagles don’t have “a” problem. There are a bunch of little issues here and there, and each one culminated into what appeared to be a dominating performance by a three-win Samford team.
It’s apparent that Georgia Southern isn’t very good this year. Identifying the problem at this point is like trying to find the world’s smallest needle in a haystack that’s been getting bigger since December of 2005.
If the Eagles can’t salvage what’s left of their season these last two weeks, the questions will remain the same. The only difference will be the number of people asking them.
One thing’s for sure, Furman coach Bobby Lamb would like nothing more than to be the one keeping his team motivated in the offseason this time around by talking about what happened at “The Furman game.”
On a positive note
By the time we talk again next week, Georgia Southern will have two basketball games under its belt.
While first-year men’s coach Charlton Young and his Eagles have just as many questions surrounding themselves as the football Eagles, there’s a heck of a lot more possibilities.
Nobody knows if they’ll be any good, but at least that question still has a wide array of answers.
GSU fans could use some good news right about now.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.