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Working out the kinks
Turnovers, penalties plague SEB in preseason scrimmage
Southeast Bulloch running back Tharon Davis, right, stiff arms would-be Wheeler County tackler Renaldo Mathis during Friday night's scrimmage.
    BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets reached the end zone through the air and on the ground, but both times, the scores were negated on penalties as the Jackets dropped a preseason scrimmage 6-0 against Wheeler County Friday at Fred Shaver Field.
    Turnovers also stifled the SEB attack as the Jackets turned over the football five times during the three-quarter scrimmage.
    Although first-year Southeast coach John Kenny has changed the old-school Wing-T running attack of the previous SEB squads, the highlight of the game was perhaps the performance of Jacket running back Tharon Davis, who finished the scrimmage with 17 carries for 111 yards.
    First-year starting quarterback Joe Wilson got off to a jittery start, including an interception in the end zone in the first quarter, but as the game progressed, he started relaxing and making some plays.
    “I thought Joe early on didn’t set his feet,” said Kenny. “When you don’t do that, you get the ball fluttering.
    “For his first time under the lights, he started out a little shaky, but then he settled right into the groove and he threw a bunch of good footballs.”
    Wilson finished the game completing 10 of 16 passes for 111 yards as Southeast Bulloch showcased its new offense.
    Turnovers and penalties were costly, and Kenny hopes that the preseason experience will iron out some of the preseason jitters.
    “I’m glad it’s a scrimmage game. … I told the kids on Thursday and again on Friday after walk-throughs, ‘I don’t care what that thing over there says’,” said the SEB coach as he pointed to the scoreboard. “‘All I care about is that video from up top.’ That’s why we play a scrimmage game. We want to get all those kinks out, those mistakes and those things we do wrong.”
    Arsenio Wright led all Yellow Jacket receivers, catching two passes for 39 yards and Tony Raymond caught four balls for 33 yards.
    The lone touchdown of the game was scored by WCHS’s Jordan Browning when he dove it in on fourth-and-goal from the one yard line early in the third quarter. The extra point attempt was no good.
    The Yellow Jackets had three drives cut short by fumbles
    “I have to do a better job making sure we emphasize holding on to the football. That’s my job,” said Kenny. “Like I told the kids after the game, ‘hold your heads up.’ The effort was good. Everybody made mistakes including myself.  We’re going to work all weekend breaking that film down, then Monday, coaches, players, water girls, managers; heck, we’ll correct everybody. I’ve got to do a better job of emphasizing (holding on to the ball) and make sure the kids understand that.”
    WCHS B Team 0,
    SEB B Team 0
    The fourth quarter was reserved for the two squads’ B Teams, and after SEB was forced to punt, Wheeler was able to grind out first downs and run out the clock by keeping the ball on the ground.
    The Yellow Jacket regular season kicks off Friday, Aug. 31 at home against Toombs County at 7:30 p.m.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.