Don’t look now, but after a roller-coaster ride of a season, the Statesboro Blue Devils still have a shot at a Region 2-AAAA title.
They’ll have to beat Brunswick (6-3, 4-1) on the road Friday – that’s a given – but with a little help from the rest of the region, it could still happen.
Ironically enough, the very same Effingham Rebels (2-7, 1-4) that optioned their way to a 27-7 win over SHS earlier in the year, now have the Blue Devils as their biggest fans. That’s right, a win by ECHS over Ware County paired with a Blue Devil win at Brunswick means the region crown once again comes to Statesboro.
The Rebs will need to stop a Ware offense that scores 13 points per game (due in large part to a shutout by a certain SHS defense). Effingham scores 14 per game, but allows 23.
In other words, anything can happen.
I wouldn’t have my Friday night any other way.
Ahh, Region 3-A.
In the crazy Class-A world, it’s clear that Region 3’s best four teams are Savannah Christian, Emanuel County Institute, Johnson County and Claxton.
If only it were that simple.
No, those four can still find themselves watching the playoffs from the outside looking in if things don’t go their way on Friday night.
The play-in game is looming its ugly head.
The reason No. 2 seed Claxton didn’t make an appearance in the 2008 playoffs is the very same reason Jenkins County still has a shot this year. It’s simple – the matchups are set, so forget your records and past accomplishments – win or sit at home.
Jenkins County was on the bubble heading in to this past weekend, but a dominant 42-15 win over Wheeler County has helped keep the playoff hopes alive in Millen.
The War Eagles (4-5, 3-3) were reeling at the bottom less than a month ago, dropping three-straight region contests before stringing together three-straight victories at the end of the season to secure a spot.
It won’t get any easier from here. Jenkins will need a win against Savannah Christian to get to state. Nobody’s figured how to do that yet this season.
As for Claxton, fans at the Pecan Grove await Treutlen, whose only two losses of the season came against ECI and Johnson County, and the Vikings were a touchdown away from winning each of those.
That’s enough recapping for now. None of that matters. One slipup by any of these teams could spell disaster for what was an otherwise successful season.
A long time coming
We’ve all watched Bulloch Academy making noise in the playoffs year after year for the better part of the last decade, but something’s been missing over there at Gator Alley lately – a region title.
It’s been 11 years in the making, but an 18-16 defensive battle against Edmund Burke Academy later, and BA can finally hoist the GISA Region 2-AA trophy.
Fans on both sides kept waiting for EBA to break off a long run or a deep pass in the scoreless second half last Friday, but it never happened. Bulloch made the plays when it needed to.
Coach Clint Morgan and the boys can’t celebrate too long, however, as the No. 1 seed Gators face Heritage Christian in the first round of state on Friday.
Bulloch didn’t need a region title to make a run all the way to the state semifinals a year ago, but this time around, it sure doesn’t hurt.
Portal’s season-opening, 23-13 loss at the hands of the Metter Tigers set the tone for what has been a season full of struggles.
After a win over Bryan County and a hard-fought defeat at the hands of No. 2 Savannah Christian, the Panthers would like nothing more then some revenge Friday as they take on the Tigers again.
Of course, Metter quarterback Pete Nagel would like nothing more than to surpass 2,000 passing yards on the season.
It will be a grudge match as the two teams take the football field for the last time in 2009.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.