BROOKLET – After a sluggish start, the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets asserted themselves against an overmatched Groves team on their way to a 49-6 win at Fred Shaver Field.
The Yellow Jackets (3-4, 3-2 in 3-AAA) ran for more than 400 yards and threw for two touchdowns on the night. Most of their offense came after the opening 13 minutes that saw SEB turn the ball over three times, including two fumbles and an interception returned 85-yards for the Rebels’ only touchdown of the night.
The night did not start off well for the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (3-4, 3-2 in 3-AAA) as they fumbled on just their second play from scrimmage. Their second possession also ended with a fumble recovered by Groves, but each time, the SEB defense was able to stop Groves.
The Yellow Jackets were able to block a punt late in the first quarter to set up their first touchdown, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Carter to Josh Proctor.
After forcing a three-and-out and a failed fake punt by Groves, the Yellow Jackets looked poised to add another score. However, Carter’s pass was picked off by Tank Peters who outran the Yellow Jackets to cut the lead to 7-6.
“Our struggles early were mostly us making mistakes,” said SEB Head Coach Pat Collins. “You can’t turn the ball over and we had two fumbles and one interception. Give Groves credit. They don’t have many boys on their team, but Coach (Mike) Martin is trying to grow that program and their boys played hard.”
From that point on, however, the Yellow Jackets took control of the game. The would score on each of their final three possessions of the half. Proctor took a handoff 31 yards for his second score of the night to extend the lead to 13-6.
Groves would fumble the ensuing kickoff and eight plays later, Carter would find Tyler Thornton for a 14-yard touchdown strike. Chase Walker would cap off the first half scoring with a 78-yard run up the middle in which he outran the Rebels’ defense to give SEB a 28-6 halftime lead.
Walker would strike again on the Yellow Jackets’ first possession of the second half, this time from 76-yards out. He would finish the night with 204 yards on only 12 carries.
Brandon Breda and Slade Burgin would each add short touchdown runs of their own to provide the final margin of victory.
While the offense was busy piling up 471 yards of total offense, the Yellow Jackets defense was holding the Rebels to 203 yards of total offense, including allowing only 3.4 yards per carry on the night. Jontrell Wells had two interceptions on the night.
“When you block well you can run well and we did that tonight,” Collins said.
Despite the lopsided victory, Collins still saw plenty of areas of concern as SEB moves forward.
“We missed tackles on defense. We had misapplication of rules (missed assignments) on offense and we didn’t do a good job of ball protection,” he said.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets continue their quest to make it back to the postseason.
“We took a great step closer to the state playoffs and that is always the goal,” Collins said.